From MOLLY KILETE, Abuja
There was pandemonium yesterday morning at the Area 10 section in Abuja, when residents and passer-by noticed a neatly packed cellophane bag placed at the corner of the road. The sight of the object and the fact that it might cause a possible explosion forced residents to report the matter to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police command, which immediately dispersed the Bomb Disposal Unit to the scene.
The place is not far from the Garki Post Office. On getting to the scene, the Bomb Disposal Unit operatives in their bid to ascertain the content of the bag, but they were careful to avoid what happened in Kaduna last year when a police officer used his bare hands and got blown up by the explosive, the policemen played safe by first detonating the contents.
The detonation caused a big bang, forcing people to flee while others went about spreading the rumour that there was a blast in Abuja. After successfully detonating the contents, police personnel later found them inside the bag to be sand, tiles and some packs of rubbish. When contacted, FCT Commissioner Police, Aderenle Shinaba, confirmed the report but said it was not a bomb blast.
Shinaba said: “What happened was that there was panic over the sight of a bag packed inside a big carton because of the security situation in the country. We were called in and we immediately dispersed the Bomb Disposal Unit of the police.
“And you know because of what happened in Kaduna to one of our bomb experts who came and saw something like that he fetched it and killed him, my men moved in and could not touch the contents with their bare hands. So, the next option available was to detonate it, whatever the content is, it will now be shown to everybody.
So, they did that detonation and it was the noise from the police detonation that made people to start running helter skelter. Now after detonating, they found the contents to be sand, broken tiles and all sorts of rubbish.
That was what happened”. Shinaba told Daily Sun. He maintained that there was no Improvised Explosive Device in the package and advised residents of Abuja to go about their legitimate duties as the police and other security agencies were working round the clock to keep the city safe and crime-free.