Nigeria is counting it’s deaths as suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber bombed Police Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday. Police so far put death toll at two, but independent sources are expected the figure to rise.
One dimension to the story was that the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim and the police headquarter building were the targets.
The suicide bomber was said to have trailed the IGP into the premises and attempted to park near the IGP’s car, but was stopped by the traffic wardens who intercepted the car.
A traffic warden was believed to have entered the bomber’s car and directed him to the car park before it exploded killing the bomber and Traffic Warden.
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Olusola Amore told journalists that the act was carried out by a suicide bomber suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram sect. He said investigation were on to get the true identity of the bomber who was charred and burnt incognito.
According to him, 33 vehicles were burnt beyond recognition while 40 others were partially damaged. He said the charred remains of the suicide bomber had been recovered even as investigation commenced.
Eye witness said the explosion occurred at the parking lot of the Force headquarters at about 10am when most police officers and men had settled for work. A suspected suicide bomber was believed to have died in the incident
Specifically, the bomb exploded from one of the buses in the parking lot leaving many cars destroyed while many offices including Force complex(Louis Edet House), including the office of the Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Investigation Unit were affected.
A statement by the Head of Public Relations National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Yushau Shuaib confirmed that: “The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in conjunction with other stakeholders responded timely to the explosion that occurred today at the parking space of the Police Headquarters, Abuja.
“The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi who mobilised rescue and evacuation team from the agency to the site of explosion, ordered the release and use of specialized equipments for the operation which included Ambulances, Hydraulic Spreader and Cutters as well as body bags to evacuate victims.
“While some vehicles were completely damaged at the scene, the casualty figures from the explosion could not be confirmed yet. Other agency at the site included the Fire Service, Civil Defence Corps, Military, Red Cross and the Police and medical personnel
“Further update could be obtained from relevant agencies.”
The bombing came barely 24 hours after the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, declared ‘war’ against Boko Haram members.
A joint covert operation of the Police, SSS, and other intelligence units had started in Maiduguri against the Boko Haram rebels in the last few days.