Abuja Explosions: Ex-militants "generals", "commanders" meet tomorrow

2010-10-03
VANGUARD Newspaper- Emma Amaize

Ex-militant “generals”, “commanders” and top activists in the Niger_Delta are expected to meet tomorrow to deliberate on Friday’s bomb explosions in Abuja by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) and other issues affecting the post-amnesty programme of the Federal Government.

A member of the Presidential Committee on Post-Amnesty and a Niger-Delta youth leader, Hon Kingsley Kuku, said yesterday that the meeting would deliberate extensively on the bomb explosions by MEND and take a far-reaching decision.

He said that Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and other ex-militant leaders would be at the meeting, which venue he failed to disclose.

Meanwhile, more anti-bomb personnel and equipment may be deployed in Abuja in the next few days following the bomb blasts during the country’s 50th independence anniversary.

Ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Front, NPDVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, Tompolo, former national president of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor and head of the Deadly Underdogs, a disbanded militant group in Delta State, “General” Ezekiel Akpasibewei, have urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to spare the culprits.

A top security source told Sunday Vanguard, yesterday, Jonathan took the matter seriously, hinting that he had commenced closed-door sessions with his security chiefs on how to track down the perpetrators.

“Definitely, the army will be involved because some people want to overawe Abuja with the use of force and the anti-terrorist squad of the Nigeria Police is also going to be given more equipment to facilitate its work. It is, however, left for the Inspector General of Police and his colleagues to brief Mr. President on the full modalities”.

According to him, “What I can tell you is that the President is already consulting with the Chief of Defence Staff, Inspector General of Police and other service chiefs on the next line of action. I don’t have the full details but they are strategizing”.

Sunday Vanguard learnt that extra_security measures would likely be put in place around Aso Villa and other key government establishments in Abuja in the next few days or weeks to checkmate further attack.

Our source said the Special Adviser to the President on Niger_Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Committee on Post_Amnesty, Mr Timi Alaibe, and some ex_militant leaders may likely meet with Jonathan to discuss on how to handle the matter.

Dokubo_Asari, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard on phone, said it was obvious that the explosions were masterminded by a militant leader and his followers under the auspices of MEND saying, he would watch whether government would succumb to his intimidation or take the right step to bring him to book.

On his part, Tompolo condemned the bomb explosions in Abuja and said, “There is no right_thinking Nigerian that will support this, it is wrong and it is not a good statement from whoever had done it”.

Ekiyor maintained that what happened in Abuja showed that the security chiefs in the country have a lot to do, saying, “What does it tell you that bombs exploded in Abuja on the day the country was celebrating its independence anniversary. Why did they not comb Abuja before and on the day of the event”.

“General” Ezekiel said government should arrest the culprits and prosecute them, adding that there was no genuine reason for them to throw bombs at Abuja during the independence anniversary celebration.

 

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