BY Umar Yusuf, Yola
Confusion enveloped Yola, Adamawa State capital, on Thursday, as parents and guardians rushed to pick their children and wards from school following a bomb blast at the Anti-Bomb Squad of the state Police Command. The confusion was so pronounced as vehicular and human traffic struggled in all directions and rammed into each other.
The loud bang of the blast, which occurred in the central business district of Jimeta, was heard in virtually all parts of the capital city.
But, the Thursday bomb explosion was unusual. It did not emanate from the dreaded terrorist group, Boko Haram. It was not a suicide bombing as we used to witness in this part of the country.
Even as Boko Haram accounts for some percentage of the bombings in Adamawa, the explosives that went off, that Thursday, were seized from the group. But the police, either by acts of omission, negligence or careleness, kept the dangerous materials in their stores at the Anti-Bomb Unit.
As the confusion raged and the entire area situated along the Ahmadu Bello was cordoned by the military and other security agencies, it was later discovered that the explosion occurred from the stores of the Anti – Bomb Squad of the police.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ghazalli Mohammed, who arrived the scene with other security chiefs in the state, gave an account of the incident and doused the tensed situation.
Gwazalli disclosed that the incident was neither a suicide bombing nor an attack by insurgents but that the explosion occurred from the stores of the Anti-Bomb Squad of the command. Ghazalli then confirmed the death of four policemen, while eight others were critically injured and were on admission at the Federal Medical Center, Yola. Independent investigation by Sunday Vanguard revealed that nine explosives were kept in the stores.
According to our findings, some of the explosives were recovered from Boko Haram insurgents, while others were missiles fired by the military that missed target and landed on wet ground thereby preventing them from detonating. It was revealed that the explosives had been in the stores until Thursday when they exploded.