Daily Trust (Abuja)

7 August 2012

Nigeria: Black Polythene Bag Causes Pandemonium in Lokoja

A black polythene bag containing wastes, found at the gate of a Church but mistaken for an Improvised Explosive Device (bomb), caused pandemonium in Lokoja metropolis on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident happened barely 14 hours after 16 people were killed in a Church at Otite in Okene, Okene Local Government Area of Kogi by gunmen.

NAN further reports that the incident paralysed government business and commercial activities in Lokoja as residents scampered for safety from the imaginary bomb.

In the confusion that ensued, NAN observed that government offices and business premises, including commercial banks were locked up.

As civil servants hurriedly locked up their offices, taxi drivers and commercial motorcycle operators ran for their dear lives.

Security agents close to the Revival Church in Phase II area of Lokoja, where the phantom bomb was said to have been discovered, did not help matters as they started shooting into the air.

At about 10 a.m., major streets in Lokoja were deserted with commercial banks closing their doors against customers, who also fled for safety.

NAN correspondent also observed that many residents took to their heels for safety while shop owners, restaurants and other joints quickly shut down to forestall any unpleasant eventualities.

At Government House, Lokoja, the seat of power in Kogi, security personnel were seen positioned in strategic places to maintain law and order.

The ever-busy Ganaja Junction, the hub for cheap labour and daily paid workers, was completely deserted as the labourers also ran for cover.

Meanwhile, Police and other security agents have been deployed to strategic locations including Churches and Mosques while patrol teams with APC Armoured tanks were seen moving around to keep the peace.

A member of the Revival Fire Church, who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, said the scare was uncalled for as the object taken for a bomb was later discovered to be a polythene bag, containing wastes.

Mr Simon Ile, Kogi Police Public Relations Officer, said that nothing like bomb was found at the Church premises, adding that it was a mere rumour being peddled by the some people to create fears.

Ile, however, said that the men of the command were patrolling the streets of Lokoja while others were stationed in strategic locations to maintain orderliness.

NAN

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