As Nigerians marked the country’s 15-years of democratic rule, yesterday, a pandemonium broke out in Kurudu, a suburb of Abuja, as rumour of bomb blast filtered in, following an explosion, thought to be from a bomb attack.
The explosion, which occurred yesterday at about 9.40 a.m., when most residents were still at home, in line with the Democracy Day Public Holiday, caused serious panic in the area, as residents scampered for safety.
Immediately, the news of the blast, thought to be a terrorist attack in Kurudu, swiftly spread fear amongst residents of Karshi, Jikwoyi, Karu, Nyanya and other adjoining towns.
In the frenzy, there was heavy traffic gridlock in the area, due to rush by some motorists to leave the area, just as many residents remained indoors.
According to a resident, Uko Emmanuel, panic started when people heard the heavy explosion in the area.
He said though it was not clear if there was a bomb blast, many residents decided to remain indoors.
Another resident, Malam Inuwa Bakari, who spoke to our correspondent early yesterday, said many fellow residents were fear-stricken, more so when they saw helicopters hovering over the area.
However, authorities were quick to douse the tension, explaining that the explosion was a controlled one by a construction company on a rock, which had been blocking a new road under construction, spanning from Karshi to Apo, in the Abuja city centre.
According to the director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Olajide Olaleye, it was a “controlled blast” to blow up a rock close to the Army Post-Housing Estate, in Kurudu.
He said the rock had been blocking the road new road under construction, passing through the area, to ease the nightmarish traffic gridlock along the Abuja-Keffi Express way.
He further clarified that the residents of the Estate were informed about the blast, calling on residents to remain calm.
It would be recalled that residents in the FCT and its neighbouring communities have been on alert following double bomb blasts in Nyanya Motor Park, on April 14 and May 1, respectively, planted by the Boko Haram sect, which killed over 100 people.