Massive Bomb rocks Abuja on New Year Eve… scores reportedly killed and more injured

A bomb Victim in the Hospital

LONDON: 31/12/2010

A massive bomb blast has rocked Nigeria’s capital Abuja as scores caught in the blast are reported dead or seriously wounded.

The blast went off about 6pm Nigerian time.

First hand information claimed it occurred next to Sanni Abacha Military Barracks just at a   crowded “Mammy” market.

The market is said to be attached to the Barracks in the Asokoro area of Abuja.

Reports have watered down the number of casualties from huge numberreported earlier to about 20 deaths.

Scores more were wounded and are receiving treatments in various Hospital in Abuja

The yet-to-be-identified device exploded near a fish-frying shop in the bustling market just attched to Sanni Abacha Military Barracks.

Ity had been reported that  many of the casualties were soldiers and their family members doing their last minute shopping for the New Year.

“The area was full of women, children and men relaxing ahead of New Year celebrations. The bomb is reported to have exploded specifically in the area where many gather to eat freshly roasted fish”, a reports filed by Next indicated .

However, the director army public relations, Brigadier General Chris Olubolade confirmed an initial  4 people casualty,but eye witnesses speak of seeing at least 20 bodies and the number mat rise dramatically.

The Nigerian Television Authority quoted 30 as dead.

The bodies of the dead have been ferried by ambulance to an unknown hospital while the injured are receiving treatment at a hospital withing the barracks.. The barracks, popularly known as Sani Abacha barracks which is situated along the Keffi – Abuja express way close to the Highbrow Asokoro area of Abuja was cordoned off.

Reports also say that the building housing the police headquarters in Abuja has been sealed up, though it is not clear if this is related to the bombing.

Mr. Olubolade , could not give details on the bomb or the possible perpetrators of the dastardly act saying only “investigations are still on going to determine the cause.” The barracks are home to Navy, Army,Airforce officers working at the defence headquarters.

The mammy market that was the scene of the bombing is also known to be patronised by members of the international diplomatic community, although there is no indication that any of them were caught in the blast.

The former Nigerian vice – president, Atiku Abubakar, a presidential aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party has denounced the bombings and described them as ” senseless and wicked”.

In a statement issued shortly after the carnage, Mr Abubakar said he sympathies with the innocent military and civilian victims caught in the bombing incident.
The former vice- president went on to say that the latest bomb targeted at a military establishment is an indication that ” President Jonathan cannot provide the type of leadership to secure the nation.”

His statement has been described as opportunistic, selfish, childish and short -sighted  as he was exploiting a national tragedy to score a cheap political point.

A London based legal practitioner lambasted Atiku and asked if he would have done done better, claiming Jonathan was cleaning up the mess he left behind as an initial actor under the last regime as Obsanjo’s vice president.

” At a time of national tragedy when we all should unite and come together as one, how can an experience politician come out with such trash in th name of scoring political point instead of standing in unity with the nation”, he querried

A victim receiving treatment

The Presidency reacts…says no one can make the nation ungovernbable…

President Jonathan has reacted angrily to the New Year eve bombing in Abuja comdemning the action as calous and urging the nation’s military chiefs to rise up to the challenges.

The presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, in a statement said: “Tonight, evil people determined to turn the joys of fellow Nigerians to ashes detonated a bomb at a barracks market in the Federal Capital City.Basking in their nefarious success in Jos on Christmas eve, they have once again knifed at the heartstrings of a nation decked out in gaiety, celebrating new year’s eve.

This is extreme evil. It is wicked. It defies all that we that we believe in, and stand for as a nation.The president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, condemns this attack, and commands the nation’s security services to rise to the occasion and arrest this new and dangerous challenge to our peace and stability.

There shall be no sacred cows. All, no matter how remotely connected to these incidents, must be brought to justice. They must be made to pay.

In an apparent signal that there could be links to many politician undercover to the bombing, Jonathan warned:”No one, and we repeat, no one, can make this nation ungovernable, ” the statement said.

It will be recalled that Northern elder staesman, Adamu Ciroma issued a thereat that the nation would be made ungovernable for Goodluck Jonathan if he ventured to run for the Presidsency