No fewer that 1,000 members of the Living Faith Church, aka Winners Chapel, located along Obehira Road and the Deeper Life Church all in Okene, Kogi State, reportedly escaped death on Sunday when a car laden with explosives exploded along Okene-Obehira Road.
It was learnt that there had been rumours of impending attack on the residents from unknown persons in the last one week.
An eyewitness, who pleaded not to be named, said worshippers at the two churches located within the vicinity scampered for safety after the explosion.
The eyewitness, a middle aged man, told journalists in Okene that the explosives in the vehicle went off beside the Living Faith Church. He, however, said nobody was sure of the destination of the vehicle.
But another eyewitness who also preferred anonymity, said the occupants of the vehicle were on their way to the Living Faith Church. He added that the explosion recurred while the church service was already going on.
He said the attackers could be aiming to bomb the churches before they were stopped by one of the managers of the NNPC filling station where the vehicle was initially parked.
The source added that it was in the process of moving the vehicle from the station that it exploded.
According to him, there was no casualty.
The incident caused gridlock along the ever-busy Okene-Obehira Road which is one of the link roads between the North and the western states.
Meanwhile, a man was arrested by security agents in connection with the explosion.
The Kogi State Police Command spokesman, Mr. Ile Simon, who confirmed the arrest in Lokoja on Sunday, said the suspect was driving in a car and heading towards the church when he was accosted by security men.
Ile said it was while the suspect was being screened that a “big” explosion occurred.
He stated that the security men deployed in the church arrested the suspect before he could escape.
The police spokesman said no report of death was received but some people were being treated for shock and injuries from the stampede that followed the explosion.
Simon said the command had placed its men on 24-hour alert to prevent a reoccurence.