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Stop these blasts now – Onovo, Okiro, Shagaya warn

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Following the  explosions that occurred outside the police headquarters in Nigeria’s capital Territory Thursday,  top retired security operatives have called for  serious investigations into the real causes of  these bomb explosions in order  to avoid such occurrences in the future.

Two former Inspectors General of police, Mike Okiro and Ogbonnaya Onovo as well as generals John Shagaya and  IBM Haruna in a telephone chat with Saturday Vanguard Thursday night described the incident as unfortunate even as they expressed dismay that a place like the police headquarters could be invaded by the bombers.

Ex-IGP Okiro told Saturday Vanguard  that the incidence is a challenge to the federal government of  Nigeria and the Nigeria police, urging them to bring the people responsible to book.

“It’s a very sad incident and a challenge to the Nigeria Police and the Federal Government of Nigeria to bring the people responsible for this to book. This is  a very sad development.

“It was very daring for such a thing to happen in the police headquarters and something  serious should be done about it .It is incredible to hear  that the police force headquarters has been bombed. It is unbelievable. The police must get to the root of this.”.

Commenting on the incident, former Ecomog Commander, General John Shagaya  also expressed worry that such a thing could happen at the headquarters of the police force.

“I cannot imagine it. Of all places for a dastardly thing  like this to happen turns out to be the headquarters of the Nigeria police force. Really, that’s very  unfortunate. We discussed this in the last week before the 6th Senate wound up.

My view is that security is the responsibility of all of us. Everybody should have his eyes and ears on the ground and report any suspicious movement. The fear of  most Nigerians is that if they report funny moves, they would be in trouble but that shouldn’t be especially at the rate these explosions are taking place.

“The police is suspecting Boko Haram and I believe Boko Haram has some form of leadership and if the police suspect this sect, they should find a way of liaising with them to find  out what their grievances are  like they did when the issue of the Niger Delta was on-going.

There must be something these people are agitating for. Another thing is that there are some people who use explosives in their businesses  and they bring in explosives  into the country, like those in the quarry and mining and I think the security agencies should do something to ensure these explosives don’t get into the wrong hands. It is about time we begin to ask ourselves what does Boko Haram want rather than folding our hands and wondering.”

Former IGP Ogbonnaya Onovo said the incident was a terrible shock and speaks on the urgent need to secure the country.

“It’s a terrible shock. I’m condoling members of the Police Force whose members were killed in the many bomb blasts that happened in this country and in the recent ones. But this is not something we fold our hands and brood about. It requires  that urgent  action  be taken to put an end to that  and I hope that all hands would be on deck to secure our country.

This is not the first time bomb explosions are taking place in this country, but I think these bombers are going too far. The police and the federal government must stop them and all the security agencies in the country must sit up to this task.”

The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF and its former national chairman, General IBM Haruna also reacted on the development. The ACF  described the development as one that calls for a serious concern.

“ The recent spate of bomb blasts across the nation is a very sad development  in the history of the nation and therefore, a serious cause for concern, especially when regard is paid to the fact that the perpetrators are unknown, let alone their real motives which are needed for permanent solution to the unsavory  phenomenon.

The only way to stop these bomb blasts is to find out the real motive  behind them”, ACF stated in a statement to Saturday Vanguard through it national publicity secretary, Anthony Sani even as the forum’s former national chairman General  Haruna called on the intelligence agencies to sit up to their responsibilities.

“This is a security matter. Let the security people deal with it. We have the Nigeria Police Force, the Customs and the  military. Let them do their jobs. If they were doing their jobs well and intelligence is up and doing, these things wouldn’t be happening. Security agencies shouldn’t let the enemy over-power them.”

The June 16 , 2011 bomb blasts in Abuja had damaged several vehicles even as many died in the blasts. Similar explosions  had happened on the event of Nigeria’s golden anniversary and killed at least 12 people, while another bomb  exploded on New Year’s Eve in an open-air beer garden and market at an army barracks in the FCT, killing at least four and wounding at least 21.

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