UN House Bombing: Prince Charles Edet National President Volunteers For Awareness Against Kidnapping and Human Trafficking (VAKAHT) with UN Representative, Program Manager, Prof. Falade Johnson Bade laying wreath during Condolence/Solidarity walk for Victims of Suicide Bombings in Nigeria and United Nation House in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
By Jide Ajani, Ben Agande, Godwin Oritse, Oscarline Onwuemenyi, Inalegwu Shaibu & Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA: The man who supplied materials for the making of Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, to members of the Boko Haram has been arrested by the State Security Service, SSS just as it emerged that the sect had sent 270 of its members to Yemen and Sudan for training on terrorism according to security sources trailing activities of the group.
The break through in the arrest of the supplier of IEDs came as a result of confessional statements obtained from the arrested members of the sect, Babagana Ismail Kwaljima a.k.a Abu Summaya; and Babagana Mali a.k.a Bulama.
In addition, Kwaljima and Mali have also told the authorities that they had taken part in some bombing ventures in some parts of the country.
Vanguard gathered that both men confessed to having taken part in bombings in Bauchi, the Bauchi State capital and Maiduguri, the Borno State capital
Information made available to Vanguard in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, yesterday, suggested that part of the reasons the bomber chose the UN House “may not be unconnected with earlier intelligence about the bombings which were planned for the city but which the authorities got wind of”.
Adequate arrangements put in place
In fact, according to a security chief, “there had been adequate arrangements put in place once we learnt of the plans of the sect members. That was why places like the Federal Secretariat, the National Assembly Complex, the headquarters of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Complex, and even some embassies were fully secured”.
Information made available also indicated that the choice of the UN House by the sect may have been a last minute option “with the intention of inflicting maximum hurt and generating optimum though negative attention”.
Already, the arrested supplier is making useful information to his interrogators.
Meanwhile, on the issue of a seeming shoddiness in the handling of the intelligence about the intended bombing in Abuja, another security source told Vanguard that “the nature of the intelligence we got was not target-specific and, therefore, what happened was a situation where we prioritized the areas of coverage”.
However, the UN House missed the radar of the intelligence and security communities.
“Knowing the pattern of the activities of the group we moved to save-guard some strategic locations in the capital city”, Vanguard was told.
FG to conduct integrity test on shattered building
The Federal Government yesterday announced that it will carry out integrity tests on the devastated United Nations Common Office in Abuja to ascertain the state of the entire structure.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed who dropped this hint yesterday while inspecting the shattered complex, located at the Ambassadorial Enclave in Abuja, noted that the test will assist the government take informed next line of action in its efforts to get the place back on track.
He pointed out that a reputable building construction company would be engaged to conduct the integrity test to assess the extent of damage on the building.
Senator Mohammed revealed that the FCT Administration is already working out ways of getting alternative office accommodation for all the United Nations Agencies occupying the common office to enable them continue with their humanitarian duties in the country.
The Minister also visited some of the victims at the the National Hospital.
He encouraged them to have faith and see what happened to them as sacrifice for peace and common good of humanity; promising that the government will do everything to provide the best medical care to enable them recover speedily.
Senator Mohammed thus directed the FCT Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Onakomaiya Ademola to specifically attend to the additional and personal needs of the victims particularly the cleaners and local security men who are not on the employment of the United Nations.
FCT convenes security meetings fortnightly
The Minister further revealed that the Federal Government has commenced the installation of close circuit television CCTV to cover the Federal Capital City, Abuja.
To ensure that government is on top of security situation in Abuja, Senator Mohammed disclosed that henceforth the FCT Administration will convene security meeting every fortnight to compare notes.
According to him, “We will be more proactive in intelligence gathering to nip any security challenge in the bud.”
The Minister urged residents to report any suspicious movement to the law enforcement agents by assisting with useful information because security is a collective responsibility.
According to him, attack on any individual or section of the society is an attack on Nigeria and therefore desires collective approach to confront the spineless act; insisting that this ugly trend is unacceptable.
Senator Mohammed enjoined Nigerians to pray for the nation as it strives to become one of the most developed countries of the World.
While guaranteeing the residents of adequate security of lives and property irrespective of political or religious affiliation, Senator Mohammed assured that all security outfits in the Federal Capital Territory are adequately prepared to be on top of any unexpected criminal activities during and after the festive period.
The Minister reassured residents of the Federal Capital Territory that the FCT Administration is committed to providing an enabling environment that will make Abuja maintain its lead role of being an all inclusive city in the country.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Daoudu Toure who led the FCT Minister round the devastated UN Common Office revealed that 130 persons were victims of the blast (both the dead and the injured).
The Minister was accompanied on the visit by the FCT Chief of Staff, Alhaji Musa Umar Yashi; the FCT Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Onakomaiya Ademola.
SSS besiege National Assembly complex
Operatives of the State Security Service, SSS have also taken over the National Assembly complex Abuja in the aftermath bomb blast at UN house. The security operatives who are well armed with sophisticated weapons and other security equipment now manned the main entrance to the National Assembly aside police men and the Sergeant-At-Arms, the official security operatives of the National Assembly.
The presence of the security operatives has restricted the flow of vehicles and pedestrians into the complex as the stern looking SSS operatives barricaded the main entrance with one of the hilux pick-up trucks, while one of the gates to the complex was shut completely. Previously, gates to the complex were opened till 6Pm.
There was also the usual stop and search party by the Sergeant-At-Arms, while members of the police used electronic bomb detecting machine to scan vehicles for bombs before being allowed into the national assembly.
The gun wielding SSS operatives assisted by the assembly security personnel ensured that both the assembly staff and those who have one business or the other in the complex wore their identity cards and entrance permits.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.