By Soni Daniel
Four days after the bomb blast that rocked the Abuja suburb of Nyanya, the second within a fortnight, terrified residents have opted to keep off public places.
Findings by Sunday Vanguard indicated that the residents of Masaka, Karu and Kugbo, which share boundaries with the bus terminal that was bombed in the first incident, have been overwhelmed by fear and shock.
Investigations also showed that banks, schools and other public utilities around the scene of the blast have also been shut, leaving their patrons stranded.
On Friday, none of the financial houses close to the scene of the blast was open to the public, while restaurants, business centres, pharmacies and drinking spots were also under lock and key.
The fear of the residents was heightened on Friday when the police cordoned off the scene of the blast, claiming that security agents discovered and defused three more unexploded bombs in the area.
The police also said they did now want anyone to contaminate the scene of the blast so that it could continue with its forensic investigation.
“The Bomb Disposal Squad of the Nigeria Police has along with other security agencies cordoned off the scene of the explosion, where the squad recovered and safely defused three unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices.
In order to avoid the contamination of crime scene and protect the public from the risk associated with such crime scenes, members of the public are strongly advised to keep away from all scenes of blasts and other related crimes,” police spokesman, Frank Mba, said.
Apparently fearing further attack, commuters have also avoided the bus terminal.
Many long buses being used by the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Authority were seen without passengers on the Nyanya-Abuja Road on Friday and Saturday despite repeated assurances by the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, that the residents would be protected from attacks.
Apart from visiting hospitals to assure the relatives of the bomb victims, Mohammed also told journalists that necessary steps had been taken to ensure the safety of the residents of Abuja but did not say what the measures were, leaving the residents to doubt that any attention had been given to their security.
‘’We have decided to remain indoors for now because we don’t trust anyone anymore,” Andrew Ichete, an ICT worker, whose compound in Kugbo was shaken by the force of the blast, said.
A resident of Masaka, Anne Nelson, said she and her husband had opted to remain at home until the security situation became clearer.
“Today, my husband and I did not step out of the house because we do not know what terrorists will do next,” Ann told Sunday Vanguard.
Meanwhile, soldiers and police continued with their ‘stop-and-search’ operation on major roads leading to and out of the FCT yesterday.
The search of cars by security agents has led to gridlock on many parts of the capital city.
No fewer than 20 persons were killed on Friday when Nyanya was attacked by terrorists, the second time two weeks. The first attack, on April 14, left over 100 dead and many others injured.