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Published On: Thu, Feb 21st, 2013

Fear Grips Lagos Residence over FESTAC Bridge Explosion

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Inspector General Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar

Residents of Lagos and the state government are yet to come to terms with the explosion that occurred under the Festac Link Bridge on Monday, leading to the death of a person and injury to another.
The bridge in question links Festac Town to Amuwo Odofin Housing Estate, and is a popular location for sand business.
The shocked residents are now scared by the reality that insecurity, in the form of explosions, has finally reached Lagos, previously considered one of the safest states of the country.

Aside the casualty, whose name was given as Pius Oladele and was said to be the head of the sand dredgers association operating in the area, a policeman-friend of the deceased was badly injured and his legs severely damaged, as a result of the impact of the blast.
Oladele’s body was reportedly shattered and had to be gathered together with a shovel by emergency rescue officials who arrived at the scene minutes after the incident.
Although none of the eyewitness could precisely explain the circumstances of the tragedy or whether the deceased was the target, they expressed fears that if Lagos could be successfully targeted, then the entire country is on fire.
“The impact of the explosion was so intense that the thick concrete pavement on which Oladele sat scattered everywhere,” one witness said.
Lagos State State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, visited the scene, claiming that it was not an explosion as thought and adding that experts were already studying samples of particles from the scene, in order to ascertain what exactly exploded.
“It is not the type of explosion that Nigerians are used to of recent; just somebody trying to play games here and there by using common battery put in a torchlight; that’s what we found there,” he said.
Area Commander of Area E, Dan Okoro, said it was a mild incident and that residents should return to their businesses, as the Police is doing everything to secure the lives of residents. He also made his phone number available to the residents so that they could reach him in the case of emergencies.
Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Ayodele Adewale, who was also at the scene promised that the government would relocate business people using the place to another location.
Since the attack occurred, residents of the state have continued to raise concerns. “The reality is here and if the government does not rise up immediately to nip it in the bud, this may escalate and turn it into a ghost state,” said Rotimi Ajayi, a resident,
Tony Ade, another resident, said the incident was a bad but obvious sign that all is not well with the state. “If this could happen in Lagos, then it can happen anywhere,” he added.
He expressed certainty that the Police would downplay the incident, and urged other residents to be careful when carrying out their various activities henceforth.
The state government is yet to come out with an official statement but Huhuonline.com learnt that the Governor Babatunde Fashola has already received the security report and is in talks with top security personnel in the state.
The state government became quite apprehensive of the threat of suicide bombers since last year, when it began restricting vehicular movement in and out of the secretariat, using heavily armed security men stationed at the gate. The governor, it was learnt, has now mandated the security chiefs in the state to up their task for the peace of the state

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