Nigerian Senate blame security agencies for series of bomb explosions

By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – The Senate has blamed security agencies for lack of intelligence that would have prevented the increasing rate of bombing incidences across the country.

Senate President, Senator David Mark says the manner in which the bombs are being detonated makes obvious that it is done by professionals that can be detected if the security agencies are alert to their duty.

Senator Mark expressed worry on the implications of the various bomb explosions on the nation’s economy and image to the international communities.

A day after the inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan and 26 state governors across the country, four powerful attacks were recorded in four different towns across the country on Sunday evening and Monday respectively.

At least 15 people were confirmed dead while many others were reported to have sustained various degrees of injuries in the attacks.

The explosion occurred at the Bauchi State capital, Bauchi; at Zaria in Kaduna State, Maiduguri in Borno State and Zuba, near Abuja, the federal capital territory.

Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika who spoke at the scene of the incident at Shadawanka Barracks in Bauchi, said thirteen people died while 40 others were injured when three devices exploded at the 33 Artillery Brigade’s Mammy Market of the Nigerian Army in Bauchi on Sunday night.

He said, fourteen persons died, forty injured, some were treated and discharged.

According to Ihejirika, no soldier was among the people that lost their lives. There are some policemen, relatives of the soldiers and other civilians.”

He said the Barracks is a place where soldiers and civilians interact and reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to tackle all terrorist threats in the country.

The Army Chief also said, “We have come out with new security measures. He said the army has established an outfit called the Dog Section of the military police. These according to him are all aimed at enhancing capacity to deal with terrorist acts in the country.

According  to him, so far  the army have established one in Abuja in addition to the one they had because of the last incident, adding that one will be established in all Army barracks nationwide. He said the army was also enhancing engineers in order to detect terrorism acts.

Addressing military men in Bauchi, Ihejirika said what had happened is a challenge to all security agencies rise up to the challenge of fight against terrorism in the country, while advising them to be more vigilant.

He expressed his sympathy to the soldiers, their wives and relatives over the losses they incurred in the incident.

General Officer commanding the 3 Armoured Divisions, Jos Major General Sunday Idoko described the incident as unfortunate, adding that security should be everybody’s concern. He said army barracks under his command don’t have perimeter fences.

In his account of the incident after he conducted newsmen round the scene of the incident last Sunday night Brigade Commander of the 33 artillery brigade Brigadier General Agbo Robinson said the three bomb explosion occurred around eight o’clock in the evening when officers and men of the brigade and other civilians were relaxing”.

Robinson said the Army has now sealed the market to enable soldiers to investigate the remote cause of the incident, and reiterated the commitment of his officers to fish out the culprits.

Chairman, operations of the Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Bello confirmed there were twenty-nine injured people admitted in the hospital,eight were treated and discharged while twenty-one people are currently in the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi.

A witness told newsmen that the devices exploded simultaneously around 8 o’clock in At Zuba, near Abuja, a bomb detonated by unknown persons in a popular drinking joint at Zuba International Market on Sunday night killed one person and injured 10 others, including under-aged children.

A worker at a joint in the market said the place was crowded with people because of Democracy Day, when they suddenly heard a deafening explosion that threw people to the ground.

He said lack of medical facilities in the market worsened the situation of victims, which led to the death of one person, who lost a leg.

Another witness, Musa Ahmed, who claimed the bomb exploded at 9 pm, said he was about to take a drink when he heard a loud bang and saw a ball of fire as well as smoke. “We got up and ran for our lives, while some people were on the ground covered with chairs,” he said.

FCT Police Public Relations Officer SP Moshood Jimoh said one person was killed while eight others were injured.

He said those who were injured have been hospitalized. He said no one has claimed responsibility for the acts.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) confirmed that two people died while 11 were hospitalized following the blast at Zuba.

And in Zaria, Kaduna State, an explosive device suspected to be a locally-made bomb exploded in the early hours of Monday, injuring two teenagers at the Iyan Juma area of Zaria city.

The bomb that was planted at Tudun Masallaci in the Iyan Juma ward inside the ancient city of Zaria exploded around 6am when two teenagers unknowingly stepped on the explosives.

Witnesses said the teenagers were sent on an errand by their parents when one of them stepped on the explosive and that led to the explosion.

He also said the genesis of the tension in Zaria right now may not be unconnected with the declaration and swearing-in of Yakowa as governor.

Apart from that he added “We have suffered enough humiliation from the soldiers and mobile policemen drafted to restore order during the post-election violence. That is why some people have vowed to take revenge but to me that would not do good to anyone”.