•Bomb scare in Minna, residents run for cover
From TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri and AKIN ALOFETEKUN, Minna
Maiduguri again witnessed no fewer than 10 bomb explosions yesterday evening, few hours after the killing of a police traffic warden. The first explosion occurred at about 6.15pm followed by more blasts, which occurred simultaneously in different areas for about 15 minutes. Sporadic gunshots by security forces also followed.
The exact locations of the explosions could not be ascertained as at press time. Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram dared the heavy security presence at the post office area yesterday as they shot dead a police traffic officer at about 1.30pm. The incident caused pandemonium as residents, traders and motorists ran helter skelter as anti-riot policemen shot into the area.
The entire area located at the heart of the city was immediately deserted as security forces took position to forestall further tragedy. Efforts to get the reaction of the Joint Task Force (JTF) did not yield any result as its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa did not respond to several calls to him. There were no words from the Borno Police Command too. Meanwhile, residents of Minna, Niger State, especially those in the Farm Centre, Tunga area of the state capital scampered into different directions following a bomb scare at the Abdulsalami Abubakar Motorpark.
The incident occurred at about 9:30am, when a passenger sighted a black polythene bag containing some yet-to-be identified items and thereafter raised an alarm that attracted the attention of neighbours and passersby to the scene. Daily Sun reliably gathered that no sooner than the incident happened than the news filtered into all parts of Minna and its environs, with different versions, some of which claimed there was a bomb blast in the city.
The state police command quickly dispatched the police anti-bomb disposal team to secure the scene and evacuate the strange object contained in the polythene bag. Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Pius Edobor, confirmed there was a bomb scare, adding that somebody saw an envelope which contained some yet-to-be identified items in an area of the city at between 9:30 and10:30 am yesterday.
The Deputy Superintendent of Police, in an interview with journalists in Minna said the command had commenced investigation into the case, while the Police Bomb Disposal Unit in custody of the strange items were yet to disclose their findings.
He therefore advised that members of the public should have no cause to fear or panic, adding that if the public saw any suspicious object, they should let the police know about it to professionally handle the matter.