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Panic In Kaduna Over Bomb Scare

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  Business activities were temporarily brought to a halt at Jama'a Road in Kaduna on Wednesday, when residents mistook a polythene bag placed beside an electric pole for a concealed explosive device.

The development caused panic among the residents, as traders and shops operators hurriedly closed their premises, while motorists abandoned the area to avoid been trapped in another explosion.

'The bag, which was dropped near a pole by the roadside in the area, was later discovered to contain waste,' an eyewitness said.

The eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that residents, who noticed the bag concluded that it might contain another explosive planted by terrorists.

'The police were alerted and they cordoned-off the area, but later realised that it contained house-hold disposables,' the eyewitness said.

The witness also said that there was a mild drama, when the police came as none of the officers was ready to approach the object.

'A young man from the neighbourhood, sensing that the police were not willing to go near the bag, moved towards it with a long stick.

'The boy, Abdullahi Olaya, 18, also of Jama'a Road, Kaduna used the stick to touch the bag and nothing happened.

'Realising that the bag did not contain any explosive device, the police arrested the boy as a suspect,' the witness further said.

The eyewitness said as a result of the arrest, confusion ensued because residents in their hundreds rose in defence of  the boy and threatened a showdown with the police.

The police had to quickly release the boy, who was immediately whisked to 'safety' by sympathisers while normalcy had since returned to the area.

NAN learnt that the situation led to serious traffic hold up in the area as motorists changed routes with some making a U-turn towards the Nasarawa Road, also in Kaduna.

The spokesperson of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mr Aminu Lawal confirmed the incident.

He said a call came in and men of the command went to the scene, where they discovered that 'it was leather bag full of trash'.
ʉ۬'When I received the call about a probable Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at Lagos street round about, we detailed some men to go to the scene.

'On reaching there they discovered that it was only a leather bag with rubbish inside and not an IED,' he said.
ʉ۬Lawal, however, gave the assurance that the police would ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens.
ʉ۬'We will continue to give people information and we call on people to report any suspicious persons and incidents round their areas because that is the only way we can curtail this menace,' he said.

The residents' scare over polythene bag came barely three days after the Easter bomb explosion, which killed dozens of people in the city. (NAN)