Samuel Bello, Abuja

Following reports of suspected underground flowing magma-like substance that put residents on edge in Abuja, the Federal Government has advised them not to panic as government investigates the incident.

Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, who stated this when he visited the affected area in Mpape community, said samples had been taken for further analysis to tell what triggered the eruption.

“Government is concerned about what is happening around us and we urge the community not to panic.

“We are on top of this matter and we assure you that any slightest occurrence to our environment, we will always be here to address it.

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“So, just give us some time to investigate and get back to you. We have taken samples to go and analyse the samples and after that, we can be able to tell you what it is.”

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Mohammad Bello, said based on what oozed out, preliminary observations show that it is obviously not something that should make residents worried.

The FCT minister also assured residents that their lives and properties would not be at risk.

According to him, “All these cannot be determined until after thorough investigations.

“The police will surround this area so that sample will not be tampered with and the appropriate ministry of Mines and Steel Development will put in motion, right procedures to see that this thing is unraveled.”

On his part, Director General of Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Alex Nwegbu, said the incident might have occurred due to exposed toxic materials.

Said he, “We are testing the radiation to ensure that we are not exposed to any toxic materials.

“We are going to use maybe, handorger and burn down to know the extent to which this material is buried down and from there, we draw our conclusions.”

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A Witness, who gave his name as Frank, explained that “when we first noticed the flowing whitish substance, we were surprised because we have never witnessed anything like this before as far as this community is in existence.

“We discovered that smoke was coming out from a particular spot, very whitish and we were bemused by the incident and we went close to find out what it was. On reaching there, we discovered that some substance was coming out from the ground. One of us threw a stone into it and immediately it caught fire. We were very scared. We want government to send in professionals, just as they sent geologists to come and survey the place to see exactly what is the solution to the problem,” he said.