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Abuja Blast Unsettles New Year Celebrations

Preparations for the New Year celebration was yesterday cut short in Abuja after a bomb exploded at the Mammy Market located directly opposite the Mogadishu Cantonment formerly known as Sanni Abacha Barracks in Abuja, killing 10 people.

Many people were also injured in the bombing which sent shivers down the spines of the residents of the Federal Capital Territory. In a swift reaction, President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the bombing and vowed to apprehend and deal with the perpetrators.

The bomb which exploded at about 7p.m. was said to have been planted in a luggage near the spot where tourists were relaxing ahead of the new Year celebration.
Mogadishu Cantonment is a popular spot that draws tourists across the country and beyond because of local fish delicacy.
Seven bodies were evacuated from the scene of the incident as at the time of filing this report while three bodies were deposited at the Asokoro District General Hospital.

A combined team of the military, police, Federal Road Safety Commission, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps cordoned off the scene of the explosion and provided ambulances used to evacuate the dead and the injured.
Speaking on the development, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyin Pentinrin, who was at the scene of the incident for on-the-spot assessment described it as “a new crime.” The defence chief said it was unfortunate that people who were relaxing for the New Year had to be targeted and urged people to be vigilant.

“It is this type of incident that we have in Jos. It is unfortunate that a bomb was planted where people were relaxing for the New Year. What we need to do as a people is to be vigilant. You should not allow people to keep any luggage near you.
“We have been able to rescue some people but the law enforcement agencies will get to the root of the matter,” he said.
Rumours of another explosion at the Dunamis Church in Jikwoyi under the Abuja Municipal Area Council, which had gained ground, were later found to be false as security agencies combed the place without any sign of bomb.
The explosion also led to the evacuation of worshippers who had gathered at the Eagle Square Abuja for the “Cross over night” to the New Year.

Security agencies ordered them to evacuate the place for safety reasons.Following the development, stern looking soldiers were swiftly deployed in strategic locations in the nation’s capital. The soldiers were seen yesterday night conducting stop and search operations.

The Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim also ordered Police commissioners to beef up security across the country and urged the citizenry to be wary of vehicles parked near worship centres as it appeared the bombers targeted such places.
Jonathan in a statement last night condemned the attack, promising to deal with the perpetrators.
He said: “Tonight, evil people determined to turn the joys of fellow Nigerians to ashes detonated a bomb at a barracks market in the Federal Capital

City. Basking in their nefarious success in Jos on Christmas eve, they have once again knifed at the heartstrings of a nation decked out in gaiety, celebrating New Year’s eve. This is extreme evil. It is wicked. It defies all that we  believe in, and stand for as a nation.”

The President commanded the nation’s security services to rise to the occasion “and arrest this new and dangerous challenge to our peace and stability.”“There shall be no sacred cows. All, no matter how remotely connected to these incidents must be brought to justice. They must be made to pay.  No one, and we repeat, no one, can make this nation ungovernable,” said the President. In his reaction, former vice president and presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar denounced the increasing bombing incidents in the country as senseless and wicked.

He sympathised with the innocent military and civilian victims caught in yesterday’s incident and said the latest bombing targeted at the military was an indication that President Jonathan could not provide the type of leadership for securing the nation.  Dele Momodu, presidential aspirant on the platform of the National Conscience Party said the bombing leading to the loss of innocent Nigerian lives was totally condemnable. “The bombing has once again thrown our nation into grief and mourning. I sympathise with the families of Nigerians whose loved ones were affected by this deplorable act of violence and terror.

ThisDay

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Posted by on Jan 1 2011. Filed under Abuja (FCT), Headlines, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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