Lagosians got yesterday perhaps the first hint of Boko Haram’s imprint in the city.
Abubakar Shekau, leader of the violent Islamist sect, claimed responsibility for the explosion in Apapa – one of the key homes of businesses with national and international relevance, including the port.
It also owned up to the bombing in Abuja, in the 16-minute video given to the French news agency AFP.
Shekau said his group was responsible for a bombing in the capital Abuja and an attack at the fuel depot in Lagos on June 25.
The Lagos attack was described by government officials as an industrial accident, but an AFP investigation revealed it was a deliberate explosion.
“I ordered (the bomber) who went and detonated it,” Shekau said. “You said it was an accidental blaze. You can hide before the people, but not before Allah.”
“We were the ones who detonated the bomb in filthy Abuja” that killed at least 22 people, the leader of Boko Haram added.
In the same recording, Shekau voices support for the extremist militant group ISIS, which has taken over large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
“My brethren… may Allah protect you,” Shekau said in the video, listing ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Al-Qaeda head Ayman al-Zawahiri and Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
He also mocked the “Bring back our girls” campaign, calling for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Chibok, Borno State, on April 15. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the abductions, showing some of the girls in a video as they recited part of the Holy Quran.