Two car bombs were reported to have exploded on the 1st of October as Nigeria celebrated its 50th independence anniversary, killing at least eight people and about 20 others injured in a wicked attack on the nation’s capital, Abuja. This attack is not the first of its kind in Nigeria and if swift and serious action is not taken, it will not be the last.
It will be recalled that sometime in May this year a bomb explosion occurred, at the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) office in Warri, Delta State, causing serious panic in the oil city. Although no life was lost as the explosion occurred after the workers had closed for work, but the explosive shattered the administration office, equipment and air conditioner in the two-storey building.
An s.m.s sent to a media outfit by a member of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) shortly after the bomb blast stated: “I, the Udemegun of Niger Delta bombed the NDDC office in Warri at about 8.00 p.m. It’s just a warning strike to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the Niger Delta Development Commission. The next target will be the NDDC headquarters, Port Harcourt. Government House, Yenagoa is not safe…”
The reply gotten from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Commissioner in Delta State, Chief Emmanuel Ogidi and the Delta State Police Command, through its spokesman, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Charles Muka, said the explosion was as a result of a faulty 2.5 capacity LG split unit air conditioner installed outside the office and not a bomb.
About five days after the above incident; as if the so called “Udemegun” and his people wanted to buttress their claim and at the same time make caricature of the Delta State Police Command and the NDDC chairman, there were two car bomb explosions some 200 metres away from the Government House Annex in Warri, Delta State, venue of a two-day post amnesty dialogue organized by a media outfit.
However, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) also claimed responsibility and said in an e-mail statement to journalists that it had planted three explosive devices in and around Delta State Government House in Warri to debunk the state governor’s claim about MEND. It is also worthy of note that the governor of Delta state declared that “MEND is a media creation”.
Now that this so called “media creation” has claimed innocent lives in the capital city of Abuja, I hope that the government would rise up and face the challenge now. How long shall the government continue to bury its heads in the ground like an ostrich as regards this issue? If actions were taken at the first instances, I am sure that the nation would not have been plunged into a state sorrow and pain on the day that was supposed to be the country’s happiest.
Who knows when and where their next targets would be, with these recent bomb explosions near the Eagle Square, Abuja, it therefore means that people have to be very careful about attending public gatherings or rallies of sorts, especially this period of electoral campaigns and declaration of intentions to vie for one political office or another.
This is the best time to verify effectiveness of the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras which were installed on twenty five strategic locations within the Federal Capital City, Abuja, by the Nigeria Police. I can recall the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command Mr. Haruna John saying; the CCTV cameras will help to curb crime and priorities would be given to vulnerable black spots, criminal hideouts, and all identifiable escape routes of criminals within the Territory.
With these CCTV cameras in place and going by international best practices, I trust that the Nigeria Police will soon furnish the public with live videos of the people who planted the bombs on the streets of Abuja, if for no reason, at least just to justify the huge sums of money spent in the installation of the cameras.
I will urge the perpetrators of this evil act to have a re-think and embrace dialogue as the best way to making their dissatisfaction or grievances known to Nigerians and the world. Violence does not breed anything other than sorrows and pains.
I want to use this opportunity to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the unfaithful incident and wish those who have various degrees of injuries quick recovery. In the same vein, join millions of Nigerians to condemn this dastardly act and urge the relevant authorities to ensure that the perpetrators of this evil act are brought to book.
God bless Nigeria.