No Hiding Place for Bombers

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Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has given assurance that the perpetrators of last Thursday’s bomb blast that wrecked havoc at the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force would be fished out and brought to book.

The President who spoke during a visit to the scene of the incident at the Loius Edet House Abuja yesterday, urged Nigerians to remain calm as government would do everything possible to ensure that terrorist attacks become “a thing of the past”.

Meanwhile, strong indications have emerged that Nigeria may seek the assistance of security experts from the United Kingdom (UK) United States of America (USA) and Israel to deal with the security challenges in the country.

Fielding questions from newsmen, Jonathan commiserated with the victims of the explosions and gave the assurance that the perpetrators would be fished out and brought to book.

” First and foremost, let me commiserate with those people who lost their lives and properties. Some vehicles were burnt and some people must have been victims of the explosions.

“Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that it happens all over the world, no country is free.

“Nigeria is also having some ugly incidents lately but surely we will get over it and people should not panic at all. Soon most of these things will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Reacting to the claim that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim, was the target of the attack, Jonathan said terrorist act should not be viewed as an attack on the police or individuals but on the entire nation..

“No, it is not just the IGP, everybody is a target of terrorist attacks. I don’t want to make reference to what happened in the United States where they were to crash a plane into the White House.

“So, terrorists will aim at the top if they can bomb the President, they will do it,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President arrived in the Force Headquarters at about noon and was received and conducted round the scene by the IG and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mrs Ivy Okoronkwo.

NAN recalls that police had confirmed two people killed, several injured while 33 cars were burnt beyond repairs, and 40 others damaged during the incidence which the police said was the handiwork of a suicide bomber.

Meanwhile, inspite of Thursday’s bomb blast at the Force Headquarters, the FCT Police Command has assured residents of the city of their safety.

The spokesman of the command, Jimoh Moshood, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the command was not deterred by the incident.

“In spite of the security challenges we are grappling with, we will not be deterred from carrying out our responsibility of securing lives and property,” he said.

Moshood said the command recently received additional Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) which it had deployed to enhance security.

He also said the command would provide adequate security for those that would be involved in the JAMB examination today.

He said all Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers have been directed to provide adequate security for both students and JAMB officials who would be involved in the examination.

Meanwhile, NAN reports that security was tight on Friday at the force headquarters as police personnel in mufti were denied access into the premises even after identifying themselves with their identity cards.

NAN gathered that the order to deny such officers entry came from above while journalists entering the premises were thoroughly frisked.

The same security measure was also replicated at the FCT Police Command as the gate was shut to visitors and journalists.

A security operative in mufti at the gate, who did not want to be named, said : ” Even journalists have to be cleared by the appropriate organ before they can be allowed to go in.

Saturday Champion has gathered that the IGP spent most of yesterday discussing with his top shots the possible way of cracking the stronghold of the Boko Haram and any other group linked with it.

On its part, the Labour Party (LP), Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter blamed the security agencies for continued bombing of restricted places in Abuja, stressing that “the security apparatus in this country have not done enough to protect the lives and property of the citizens”.

In a statement by Adejobi Peter, Chairman and Isah Likita, Secretary of the party, though the party condemned the bomb blast at the force headquarters, they called on President Jonathan to “carry out surgical operation on our security apparatus”.Reminding Jonathan that Nigerians looked forward to immediate halt to spates of killings, bombings and kidnappings in the country, the party stressed that only proper forensic analysis could unravel the perpetrators of the dastardly act so that they could be brought to book.

Also reacting to the incident, National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed shock over the tragic loss of lives and destruction of property.

According to the National Publicity Secretary, Professor Ahmed Alkali, “this attack on the premises of the headquarters of our police force, coming at time the country is trying to recover from the post election violence, calls for vigilance and further awakening to the dangers facing our nation.

“This incident is regrettable and a sad reminder of the necessity to redouble our efforts in securing not just our public Institutions but also the ordinary citizen. The PDP condoles the families of those who lost their lives in this carnage and wishes those who were injured a speedy recovery”.

While asking Nigerians to join hands with President Jonathan to tackle head on all security challenges facing our country, the party condoled with the families of the deceased and those affected in the blast.

Meanwhile, nine officers of the Nigeria Police Force who were admitted into the hospital following Thursday’s bomb explosions in Abuja, have been discharged.

The Acting Chairman of Asokoro General Hospital, Dr Abubakar Ahmadu confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday that the officers had been handed over to the police health unit.

He said the officers were discharged after due observation and since they did not sustain serious injuries, they were allowed to go home.

At Garki Hospital, a nurse at the Accident and Emergency unit handling the treatment of a female victim, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the lady was discharged on Thursday.

She added that the lady was in the hospital on Friday morning for checkup and was advised to visit for regular checkups.

NAN reports that the only male victim at the National Hospital, Abuja was still on admission.

Mr Tayo Haastrup, the hospital spokesperson, told NAN that the patient was under observation.

Federal Government yesterday urged states to step up security measures to check the incidence of bomb blasts following the recent incidents of bombing across the country and force headquarters.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim gave the charge yesterday on the need for states to improve on security intelligence and surveillance.

Anyim who reasoned that there is a possibility that the mastermind of the dastardly acts might spread the targets to other states, noted that security is not the business of the security personnel alone but should be seen as that of everyone.

“The easiest way to tackle this sort of problem is for all Nigerians to be security conscious” he said. Anyim stated this when he received Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

He also tasked parents and traditional rulers to assist in this wise by reporting any suspected character within their domain and homes to security.

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