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Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

Nyanya bombings: Gwagwalada residents living under fear amid rumour of attack

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Nyanya Bomb Blast-SceneBy Usman Shuaibu

Following the double bomb blasts in Nyanya, a suburb area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on April 14, and May 1, 2014, respectively, most residents of Gwagwalada Area Council, are now living under heightened despair and fear, amidst mounting rumours that the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents intends to attack the area.

What many residents of the area thought was a mere panic response necessitated by a trauma situation from the double tragedies of the twin bomb blasts at Nyanya motor park ,in less than three weeks, has persisted and become a habitual nightmare for people living in the area.

Obviously, the double blasts happened at a time when most people especially FCT residents were thinking that the lingering insurgency and bombings have been confined to the north eastern part of the country.

In the first incident which occurred on April 14 at the Nyanya High Capacity Bus Terminal, police at the time had confirmed 76 deaths and more than 150 injured and no fewer than 25 vehicles destroyed.

It would recalled that the second blast, at about 7:30 p.m. May 1st, the day Nigeria workers joined their counterparts around the world to celebrate this year’s May Day, which officials said claimed 21 lives and injured 66 persons injured, was the second in the area in less than three weeks.

Consequently, since the devastating explosions, there appears to be growing palpable fear among people living in the FCT and its adjourning communities, as the double car bomb explosions in less than three weeks, in Nyanya, and like never before, it has intensified anger and despair that trailed the deadliest assault on Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Some residents of the area who spoke to Peoples Daily said, since the double explosions in Nyanya, they have literally been living with heightened despair and fear, as the insurgency in the North East appears to have more than before reached the FCT.

They however expressed dismay that despite the huge money allocated in the country’s budget for the security in Nigeria, saying “no tangible result had been recorded by the government in its attempt to stop the escalating acts of terrorism even in the Abuja, the nation’s capital.”

According to some residents, it beats them crazy that what happened barely in space of three weeks could reoccur almost exactly at the same spot, the first happened, hence the mounting fear that it could happen next time in the area.

A resident, Mallam Shuaibu Salisu, who was weary of the wide spread sense of insecurity in the area, urged the federal government to expedite action towards combating against the dreaded Boko Haram militia causing havoc in the country.

Similarly, another resident, Mr. Silas Ogbonna, who faulted the initiatives of government at all level towards resolving the lingering security challenges rising from the activities of insurgents in Nigeria’s north-east, alleged that the government was not serious about the insecurity of Nigerians.

He accused the government of failing to provide enough weapons and gadgets to the security agencies, so as to enable them successfully carry out their work.

A community leader in Anguwar Hajara community, in the area, Mallam Awwal Saleh, stressed that the people of the area were no longer sleeping with their two eyes closed due to fear extension of the Nyanya attack to the area..

Saleh, therefore pleaded with the government to give the necessary support to security agencies in the discharge of their duties.

Not left out, the pastor in charge of the First Baptist Church, Gwagwalada, Rev. Julius Abiola Ayotunde, said that since the double bomb explosions occurred in Nyanya, the people within the area and its environs have become very security conscious of their communities.

The however appealed to the security agencies in Gwagwalada, to intensify its efforts on conducting security patrol, in order to checkmate the activities of criminals in the area.

Ayotunde, equally called on the various religious leaders across the six Area Councils of the FCT, to not relent in the roles in the society, urging them to continue praying for peace to reign in Territory and the country at large.

However, some of the victims of Nyanya blasts, who are receiving treatment at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) called on the Federal Government for assistance.

A victim of the April 14, 2014 bomb blast at Nyanya, Mr. Eyinaye Gabriel, told Peoples Daily that no government official had visited them, since they were brought to the hospital.

He said that they had not received money, relief materials or any form of assistance from anybody.

“We heard that some government officials have been visiting the victims at the various hospitals, but we are yet to see them. We have also heard that money and some relieve materials were given to bomb blast victims, we have not received any,” he said.

He however commended the effort of the Teaching hospital management, for taking care of them, saying that if not for their efforts (UATH leadership), they (victims) would have been dead by now.

Also, Gabriel stressed the need for the Federal Government to place more emphasis on the security of Nigerians at all times.

Another victim, Mr. Eduku Eze, said ever since they were hospitalized after the incident occurred; only a group from a church visited them in the hospital.

Eze said that the hospital management had been responsible for their treatment while their relatives take care of their feeding.

Speaking to Peoples Daily, the Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Peter Alabi, also confirmed that the management of the hospital had been taking care of the victims except their feeding.

He explained that the hospital received three causalities from the Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, said that one of them died within two days of arrival. He said the victims will spend two to three months in the hospital, to ensure total recovery.

He further said that the leadership of the hospital had estimated the medical bills of the victims as well sent same to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), but were yet to receive any response from the agency.

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