One of the busiest Plazas, Emab plaza in Wuse II, the heart of Abuja, Nigeria Federal Capital Territory has just gone up in smokes as suspected Boko Haram bombed it. The bomb went off in a taxi cab at the time many people were shopping in the Plaza at about 4.02pm.
Only last week, a Directorate of Security Service (DSS) had warned that Boko Haram planned an attack in Abuja, using a fuel tanker.
Our correspondent reports a few minutes ago that the bomb went off about 500 metres from where he stood but could not say whether there was casualty.
The bomb went off just a few minutes after President Goodluck Jonathan took off from Abuja, heading to Equatorial Guinea where he will participate in the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union’s Summit of Heads of State and Government.
The President who is expected back in the country on Friday, was accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina , the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.
Meanwhile, no official security report has been made yet.
But there is a report this afternoon that Military officers and men have been placed on red alert in view of the increasingly daring moves of the deadly Boko Haram sect.
Sources said that the military hierarchy has recalled those on leave even as other personnel have been stopped from taking annual leave or travelling out of their official postings.
“A red alert” is issued when there are reasons to believe there will be a major security risk,” a military source said even as officers and men are said to have been cautioned to separate their personalities from official calling.
The military opted for these measures as part of the ongoing “re-strategising plan” against the insurgents, who are trying to extend their operation areas beyond the Northeast.
“The security challenges in the country require a state of alertness on the part of officers and men in the Armed Forces. This is why everyone has been placed on what I may describe as ‘red alert’.
“We are at a stage in the fight against insurgents that we cannot take things for granted. It is just a way of re-strategising.
“Do not forget that if all options fail, we may move heavily against the insurgents and make the battle a decisive one. But, the military is looking forward to options being explored by the government.
“So, the alertness is to ensure that all officers and men are within reach and accessible in case of any task,” a top military source said.
He added: “We want everyone restricted to his or her duty post and barracks to avert infiltration by the insurgents. Some of these insurgents have been trying to induce military men but they have never succeeded. We need to be proactive.
“Do not forget several attempts made by the insurgents to strike in some military/ police barracks and formations in Abuja, Jaji, Bama, Maiduguri, Gombe, and other places.
“After screening of all these places and beefing up security, the next stage is to prevent officers and men from inducement by these insurgents.” [myad]