- Death toll rises to 75
- Bomb scare in NASS
- Stop playing politics with insecurity, Tambuwal warns
By Lawrence Olaoye & Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Umar Muhammad Puma
There are indications that the Counter-Terrorism Unit (CTU) of the Nigerian security forces may have identified and recovered the body of the suspect who on Monday set-off the bomb at Nyanya Motor Park, Abuja killing about 75 persons and injuring several others.
It was gathered that a mutilated body suspected to be that of the bomber was recovered by the security forces.
Certain leads, including a mobile phone were also found on his body.
Security agencies, it was learnt are working on two possibilities regarding how the bomber carried out the dastardly act. The first is that the bomber may have driven a bomb-laden red Volkswagen Golf car to the bus park and walked away before the explosion.
The second, according to the security source, is that suspected bomber may have walked into the bus park with the bomb concealed in a ‘Ghana-must-go bag’ dropped close to the commuter buses.
Either way, security forces reasoned that the suspected bomber, having conveyed the bomb to its destination, walked away to a location at the bus park where he ostensibly waited for the bomb to explode.
They explained that he may not have given enough distance between himself and his deadly luggage and, like other innocent commuters whom he had set out to kill, was also killed by the impact of the explosion.
Security officials reason that the fact that his body was not dismembered or charred beyond recognition like others who were killed instantly by the blast, might have stemmed from the fact that he was not as close to the epicentre of the explosion as the commuters who had boarded buses at the park.
Meanwhile, activities at the National Assembly were yesterday paralysed due to a bomb scare in and around the premises making lawmakers and members of staff of the legislature to hurriedly close for the day and run for dear lives.
The bomb rumour came barely after 24 hours after bomb hit Nyanya Bus stop killing over 75 with several others injured.
Commercial banks with the National Assembly premises and other commercial concerns in the complex horridly closed down to avoid being caught in the web.
There were traffic hold up at the entrance of the National Assembly as people were trying to escape from the scene, while staff were seen trekking out of the premises in large number.
The security operatives were everywhere to forestall such dastardly act and also ensure that peace return to the complex.
The security operatives used sniffer dogs at the main entrance of the National Assembly.
Similarly, bomb detective experts were brought into the National Assembly premises using their equipments to frisk the nooks and crannies of the complex.
Reacting to the development, the Acting Director of Sergent-at -Arms of the National Assembly, Ibrahim Ndako, told journalists that there was nothing like bomb scare in the complex and attributed the workers’ panic to mere rumours.
He said, “There is nothing like bomb scare. It is just a rumour. Those banks chose to close because we have assured them that there is nothing like that. It’s just mere rumour.”
However, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has called on the political leaders in the country to stop politicizing issues of insecurity and take necessary actions to protect lives and property of Nigeria citizens.
This is coming as the Speaker has offered to donate blood for the victims currently undertaking treatment at the National Hospital. Speaking when he visited the National Hospital to commiserate with victims of the Nyanya bomb blast, Tambuwal urged all political leaders to come together and support the government in addressing the challenge of insecurity.
“We should stop playing politics with issue of insecurity. From what I have seen among the victims, I doubt if they are members of any political party. We should stop playing politics; we should address the issue and it is not about any religion. It is unfortunate; we must come together; we must rise to the challenge and address this challenge”.
“I will go to the National Blood Transfusion Centre and donate some blood for the victims. And I call on well-meaning Nigerians who have the capacity to donate blood to please come out and donate blood ad whatever is required for the survival of the victims,” he disclosed.
On what motivated him to donate blood to the victims, the Speaker replied “I was moved by humanity in him”, he said.
In a related development, the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, who received Tambuwal at the National Hospital confirmed to newsmen that 216 persons were affected by the blast.
According to him, 75 of them were confirmed dead while the remaining sustained various degrees of injuries and are being treated in the National Hospital.