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Bomb blasts: Security beefed up in Abuja



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…Residents hit Buhari for withdrawing soldiers from checkpoints


NIGERIA is certainly not at its best as the fight against Boko Haram insurgents have assumed a monumental dimension with Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja embarrassed with simultaneous twin bomb blasts on Friday night killing over 30 people.
The multiple blasts on Friday night was said to have been masterminded by Boko Haram terrorists. It occurred at Nyanya and Kuje Market area, around a police station.
National Daily gathered that Nyanya blast claimed five lives while 19 were fatally injured. At Kuje Market, 15 were killed while over 20 injured.
As a result of the blast, Nigerian military have deployed men to patrol the city of Abuja as fear of the unknown gripped residence. At the scene of the blast, all traders and customers have been told to vacate the market until security situation improves.
In other markets within the FCT, security men including the Nigerian Police Anti-bomb Ordinance Disposal unit, the Department of State Security, (DSS) National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) are busy carrying out “Stop and Search” of people streaming into the market. Bags and vehicles are carefully screen before being allowed into the market.
At various military barracks, although situation has been very tight, with latest bombing, security has been invigorated with stale looking soldiers positioned at strategic locations carefully searching everybody coming into the barracks.
In a swift reaction, the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has ordered the deployment of men to patrol all the nooks and crannies of the FCT. According to the Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olabisi Kolawole in Abuja on Saturday said,
“Following the incidents the Police High Command ordered an immediate deployment of Police Explosives Ordinance Disposal Units to the scenes to prevent further destructions.
“Preliminary investigations revealed the bomb blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers – a male and a female. Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police has ordered massive stop-and-search activities in and around the Federal Capital to Territory, Abuja.”
IGP assured residents of FCT and the entire country not to panic as the police was prepared to ensure adequate security of lives and property. It said those that carried out the dastardly acts, did so in shame of cowardice, adding that no matter their aim, Nigeria would not accommodate terrorists’ acts.
Reacting to National Daily, the Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman said, “The police is in charge of the security situation in Abuja. Attack at Kuje is within the FCT, you should be asking the police about what they are doing to stop future blast not the military. If it is within the North East, the military can react to the development. The police are the lead security agency in this matter. I don’t really want to say anything about it.”
Attempt to reach the Director, Defence Information, Col Rabe Abubakar to know what the defence military is doing to strengthen security within the FCT failed as he was not picking his phone.
However, a senior military officer told our reporter that the decision to withdraw the military from “Check Point” especially the “Stop and Search” has not gone down well with the presidency as people are not happy with what is going on. “You can see what happened yesterday. How can the President assumed office and ask the military to withdraw from the check point overnight. That decision was wrong considering that we are still battling with insurgency in the north east.
“Also, as that was not enough, the presidency asking the service chiefs to move to the theatre of war in Maiduguri was also a minus rather than a plus. Is Maiduguri now only Nigeria, he asked rhetorically?
A man identified as Adamu told our reporter that his friend lost his wife and two daughters at Kuje market blast. “It is a pathetic situation. As I speak with you now, I just left National Hospital where their remains and the injured were taken to. The situation is bad. I cannot understand why the President would ask the military men to leave the roadblocks as the “stop and search” was yielding result. Now, see what the relapse in security in the city has led us. The Boko Haram insurgenst have penetrated everywhere. We are not safe,” he concluded.
At the force headquarters, the security has intensified. Both military barracks close to the Aso Rock have seen an upsurge of military men on patrol. The gate of former Gowon and Abacha barracks; Niger barracks and the Guards Brigade directly responsible for presidential guards are under intense security surveillance. At the moment, a military source hinted our reporter that fear has enveloped everybody as “fear of Boko Haram insurgents infiltrated everywhere is what is given everyone some sense of concern.”
Meanwhile, Condemning the Abuja bomb blast attacks, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the bomb attacks in Kuje and Nyanya areas of Abuja that killed and injured many people, warning that no amount of cowardly attacks will save the Boko Haram terrorists from imminent defeat.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the attacks, as well as other recent ones, are part of the cowardly tactics of the terrorists to focus on soft targets, after the military has succeeded in putting them on the run.
Since democratic system evolved in 1999, Abuja has had several bomb blast killing hundreds of Nigerians and foreigners in the most bizarre manner. On December 31, 2010, Mammy Market located at the Mogadishu military barracks along Nyanya road, Abuja was bombed killing 11 people while so many were injured. On the 26 August, 2011, the United Nations office in Abuja was bombed by Boko Haram killing 21 people while 73 were injured.
Also in 2011, the Force Headquarters in Abuja had a dose of the Boko Haram bombing as what was believed to be the first suicide bombing in Nigeria’s history occurred on 16 June 2011, when a suicide bomber drove a car bomb onto the premises of the Louis Edet House killing several people. They were said to have targeted the Inspector General of Police, IGP Hafiz Ringim, who narrowly escaped death with a whisker.
Since then, Abuja has been the cesspool of several bomb attacks. During the 50th Independence in 2010, otherwise known as Independence Day attacks, two cars bomb attacks targeted at the Eagle Square where the former President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to celebrate with other world leaders left 12 dead and 17 injured. The attack was attributed to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) led by Gideon Okar who is presently facing trails in South Africa.
On April 14, 2014, more than 70 people were killed in a bomb blast at a crowded bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja orchestrated by Boko Haram insurgents. The blast was said to have been masterminded by Sadiq Ogwuche, a 29-year-old Nigerian Army deserter and son of a retired army colonel. He was said to have planned the execution of the April 14 Nyanya motor park bombing, which killed 70 people, and left scores injured with several buses destroyed.
On the 25 June, 2014, a bomb blast occurred at popular shopping mall, Emab Plaza on Aminu Kano Crescent in Wuse 2 in Abuja killing 21, and injured 17 persons and several cars were burnt.
Friday blast in Abuja is coming on the heels of high expectation from Nigerians that the military is going to end the war against insurgency in the North East Nigeria in December 2015, following the Presidential mandate given the Service Chiefs in July to end insurgency in Nigeria. In realisation of that mandate, President Buhari in a military fiat ordered that all the service chiefs re-locate the Command and Control centre to Maiduguri.
As Nigerians wait to see how the military ends insurgency in December, Friday blast coming a day after Nigeria’s 55th Independence Anniversary is a spoke in the wheel of progress as the military intensifies efforts to decapitate Boko Haram, especially as the Defence Spokesperson, Col Rabe Abubakar told journalists in Lagos on independence day that “they have degraded and decimated Boko Haram”.

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