Attack in Edo not carried out by ISWAP – Police, govt

By Jethro Ibileke

The Edo State Government and the police have refuted claims that an attack on security operations which led to the burning of a vehicle was not carried out by the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP).

Pictures of one of the operational vehicles of the Edo State Security Architecture codenamed ‘Operation Wabaizigan’ (034) surfaces on the social media Friday night, allegedly set ablaze at Ibilo-Igarra Junction, in Edo north axis, by the members of the dreaded Zagazola Makama, the Islamic State in West African Province (ISWAP).

The state government and the police however agree that there’s no presence of ISWAP in Edo.

But, the State Government, in a statement on Saturday by its Commissioner of Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare, refuted claims that ISWAP was responsible for the attack on the vehicle.

Rather, Nehikhare blamed bandits whom he said were “resorting to guerrilla tactics,” for the attack.

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“The Edo State Government refutes claims that it was ISWAP, that carried out the attack by fleeing bandits at Ibillo-Igarra Road Junction, where they burnt a Wabaizigan patrol vehicle on September 22, 2022 after a thorough investigation by the state security outfits involving the Police, Nigerian Army, Edo State Vigilante Network and Nigeria Civil Defence Corp.

“There is no evidence of ISWAP or its operatives in Edo State.

“Government assures that it will continue to provide support to the security agencies in the state to tackle crime and criminality and also enhance patrols of the state’s borders to make the state most uncomfortable for the decimated bandits.

“The Edo State government restates its commitment to the safety of lives and property in the state and to the sustenance of a safe environment for citizens to go about their lawful businesses,” Nehikhare said.

But, the State Police Command through its spokesman, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, in a telephone conversation with our Correspondent, said the attack was not carried out by ISWAP, Boko Harram or bandits, but hoodlums.

“It is not ISWAP, it is not Boko Harram, it is not bandits. We don’t have the presence of ISWAP, we don’t have the presence of Boko Harram, we don’t have the presence of bandits in Edo state,” Nwabuzor said.