By Wole Mosadomi, Suleja
Suleja is still reeling from the effects of last week’s bomb blast at the INEC office in the town, and the residents counting their losses. For the Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Awwal Ibrahim, his prayer and wish is that may the blast be the last of its kind in his domain.
Unknown to many people penultimate Friday’s incident was the third bomb blast in the town in the last two months.
The first occurrence went unreported, according to the Emir, the 2nd Republic governor of Niger State.
An explosive device was said to have gone off in a particular building in the town, reducing it to rubbles. No one died in the blast.
The second one came a few weeks later at a PDP rally claiming 10 lives.
“The most painful of it all is the last one at INEC where some innocent youths posted to my domain to serve their fatherland and struggle to earn a living through the scheme were involved in the blast. We don’t know what those who planted the bomb stand to achieve by killing innocent people”, Alhaji Ibrahim told Saturday Vanguard.
The Emir said Suleja is a town for all only that non natives should strive to understand the people, appreciate their values and do everything to promote the cause of peace and stability.
“The present situation we are now is a source of worry to us and we just have to be assisted by the government; we cannot continue to exist in the condition of fear and intimidation being experienced now,” the Emir remarked.
Malam Awwal Ibrahim pleaded with the federal government to particularly beef up security in Suleja town saying, whatever security being put in place for lives and property of people in Abuja, the same gesture should be extended to Suleja because it has “contributed immensely and positively to the well being and progress of Abuja, the new Federal Capital.”
“We have sacrificed our ancient name (Abuja) for the Federal capital, sacrificed our vast land for its take off and Suleja town is now hosting most people especially workers in the new federal capital in order to make Abuja survive. We should be given our due recognition and due assistance to ensure that we are also protected because the town is experiencing an upsurge in population due to its proximity to Abuja and we cannot cope with the population explosion”, he said.
Similarly, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and Chairman of the State Traditional Rulers’ Council described the incessant Bomb blast in Suleja as unfortunate, tragic and should be condemned by all Nigerians.
The Etsu Nupe who spoke with our correspondent shortly after leading all traditional rulers in the state to the Emir of Suleja’s palace on a condolence visit on Wednesday asked government to take the problem of security more seriously with a view to forestalling future occurrence.
Alhaji Abubakar called on the federal government to place Suleja on the priority list most especially in terms of security because of its proximity to Abuja , the Federal capital adding that, “the criminals may always want to use Suleja as their hiding place to perpetrate and unleash terror on innocent Nigerians especially those resident in Suleja town”.
The Etsu Nupe who is a retired Army General asked all Nigerians to be more security conscious as the issue cannot be sorely handled by government alone and that special prayers should be offered for the arrest of the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
The Director Personnel Management (DPM) of Suleja local government, Etsu Abubakar Sadiz said: “As all Nigerians are shocked, Suleja people are mostly shocked and we are yet to recover from the shock”.
He said while government right from the local to federal levels are playing their roles, Nigerians should be more security conscious and compliment government efforts to beef up security in the country and report any suspicious movement within their immediate vicinity to the conventional security agencies for a prompt action to be taken”.
Etsu Sadiq said Suleja local government, has started a sensitization campaign on the need for the people to be more security conscious and also embark on community policing in order to protect the lives of their people and fish out the criminals in their areas.