United Nations building bomb: How bomber beats security protocol

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Ban Kin Moon

The lone suicide bomber, who blew up parts of the UN House in Abuja on Friday morning, caught the army of security guards on the premises off-guard by taking the exit gate on approaching the building instead of the access gate, a security man who survived the blast told Sunday Sun yesterday.

Mr Douglas Namson, who was still wreathing in pains while he spoke from his hospital bed at the National Hospital, said the bomber would not have been able to execute his lethal assignment if he had taken the access gate because his men would have stopped him.

Namson, who said he watched in bewilderment as the approaching Toyota Camry car crashed the two gates through which people exit the sprawling building before ramming into the reception, explained that he could only shout “what is that, what is that” from where he stood until the ensuing deafening explosion threw him on the ground.

The man whose two colleagues were confirmed dead in the blast said the last thing that was in the mind of the security men when the man was speeding against the traffic was a suicide mission hence they were taken by surprise.

His story: “He came through the exit gate. We were wondering what he was up to. As he hit the first exit gate, he broke it. Then he broke the second one, and my colleague was asking, what is that? The last thing on our mind was a bomb attack. I was standing on a machine.

Before I could turn back, I just saw the vehicle ram into the entrance of the building. Immediately it entered into the reception, we just heard the explosion.

United Nations Building, Abuja

“Before I realized it, I saw myself on the ground. Immediately I stood up, I saw a sharp glass buried in my right hand. I used my left hand to force it out.

I didn’t even know that pieces of glasses were buried all over my thighs. It was when I was in the emergency room in the National Hospital that they removed my trousers, and I saw glasses had pierced my laps.

My right eye was closed and I couldn’t see with it yesterday. It was only this morning after treatment that I began to see with it. I asked about my colleagues, and they said some are in Aso Clinic, some are in Wuse General Hospital and some are in Asokoro. They told me that two of them lost their lives. I ask about their names but they didn’t even tell me.

“We did not even suspect anything because that gate is the exit gate and not access gate. The man was just driving one way with speed. The gate was closed, with a very big iron. If you see the very big iron which they take construct the gate sef… (he said in Pidgin English) It is not manual; it is automatic. That is why when you press it the gate opens. But it was not open; it was locked.

We are even surprised how the gate was opened. It was when the man hit the gate that it opened, and he hit the second one.

From Modestus Chukwulaka, Daily Sun, Abuja