By KINGSLEY OMONOBI/SUSAN EDEH
ABUJA—A few hours after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan, a gale of bomb explosions swept through Bauchi, Abuja and Zaria, the hometown of Vice- President Namadi Sambo, which claimed 14 lives and injuring about 50 others.
Reacting to the bomb blasts, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General A.O. Ihejirika, described the incidents as terrorist attacks because of the kind of explosives that were used while the police said they were already investigating the explosions.
Military authorities disclosed to Vanguard in Abuja, yesterday, that the explosion that occurred at 8. 30p.m. at the Zuba International Electronics Market on Sunday, on the Kaduna/Suleija road, killing one person and injuring three persons, was indeed, a bomb blast and may have been one of the several bombing plots planned to embarrass the nation during the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan at Eagle Square in the presence of over 40 foreign leaders.
Vanguard was also informed that the successful detonation of the bomb in a relaxation spot may have been made possible following the decision of security agencies to unblock communication facilities which had earlier been jammed from 11am to 8pm for security reasons in the Federal Capital Territory.
Contacted on the development, FCT Police Spokesman, Superintendent of Police Jimoh Moshood, said men of the Anti-terrorists squad and the Police bomb disposal unit had cordoned off the entire Zuba Market and were combing the surroundings to ensure that more explosives were not left behind. He added that arrests were yet to be made.
According to a security source, “the explosion of the bombs in Bauchi Mammy market which killed 13 persons and injured 40 others may be a kind of revenge on the military for foiling all attempts by these groups to successfully execute their plots of causing mayhem at the inauguration in the state”,
An army officer who participated in the rescue operation in the Bauchi incident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said at least 20 people were dead.
“By my estimation, because I was involved in the rescue operation, the number of people killed could not be less than 20. Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdulkadir Indabawa, said the attacks were caused by “locally-made devices”.
The Barracks Commander, Brigadier- General Agbo Robinson, said the bombs went off at “exactly 8 pm when people were relaxing” and that all victims were civilians.
The Chief of Army Staff, however, said a lot of security measures have been put in place to avoid a re-currence and that one important aspect of security in the state, was the cooperation of the general public.
He advised members of the public to be vigilant and watch out for strange elements and character, so as to apprehend terrorists before they strike.
According to him, “The security agents in the state cannot fight terrorism alone, it is the collaborative effort of everybody in the state. That is why we are appealing that members of the public should always be on alert and report any suspicious movements”.