Bomb Scare Causes Pandemonium At National Assembly

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Barely 24 hours after the Monday morning bomb blasts in Nyanya Abuja, which claimed about 72 lives, with scores wounded, rumour of an impending bomb blast enveloped the National Assembly Tuesday leading to pandemonium within the complex.

Workers and some National Lawmakers who rushed out of their offices as a result of the bomb scare, Banks within the premises of the National Assembly like the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Guaranteed Trust Bank (GTB) and Zenith Bank also hurriedly shut down their operations even as many hurriedly abandoned their duty posts and rushed home.

The rumour became rife at the complex around 1.30pm when some legislative aides and civil servants were seen discussing in groups of an alleged strange movement of some persons whose mission to the National Assembly was said to be suspicious.

The immediate curious responses by security operatives when their attention was drawn to the suspicious movement, coupled with lack of official communication on what was going on, further heightened the tension creating fears in the minds of workers and visitors.

Our correspondent observed that the security agents, comprising the Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, were immediately drafted to the major entrances to the sprawling complex frisking both visitors and workers.

At that point the senior officers in the various offices directed their junior officers to lock up their offices and close for the day to avert any possible danger.

The unusual closure of the offices and the rush by the workers to get out of the complex further created pandemonium and panic to workers of banks and other private establishment who, also hurriedly locked up their doors to customers.

Some of the workers who spoke with our correspondent said their bosses directed them to close and go home.

But in his reaction to the development, the Acting Sergeant-at -Arm of the National Assembly, Mr. 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.

Meanwhile the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), have described the Monday bomb blast which killed scores of people at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja as the work of “mindless” and “godless” people.

Ekweremadu in a statement on Tuesday issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Uche Anichukwu, from Washington in America, described the dawn bomb attack on a bus station in Nyanya, Abuja as “the height of depravity and inhumanity.”

Ekweremadu had travelled to the United States to deliver a paper at the Johns Hopkins University before the tragic incident.