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BOMBS FOUND IN AKWA IBOM SCHOOLS

By NBF News

Bombs found in A' Ibom schools
From JOE EFFIONG, Uyo
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Forty years after the Nigerian civil war ended, thirty one live bombs used by both the federal troops and Biafran soldiers have been found in two primary schools in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The schools are Government Primary School Ikot Ebyan, Hospital Road, Eket and Government Primary school, Ikot Okidumo Okon. While 15 bombs were discovered in the first school, 16 were found in the second. The two schools were said to have been used by both the federal troops and Biafran soldiers as camps during the war.

The 15 81mm bombs at Government Primary School, Ikot Ebiyan were excavated from the schools' premises by some deminers, sponsored by Humanitarian Demining Exercise of the war affected parts of Nigeria. A statement signed by the chief media officer of the group, Dr Emeka Uhuegbu, as made available to Daily Sun on Tuesday, said the chairman of Eket Local Government, Mr Emmanuel Udoh, had informed the deminers that there were some instances of bomb explosions in the schools premises shortly after the war.

The council boss was said to have directed the team to scan the schools for more explosives as a result. The exercise was said to yield the harvest of bombs a few metres away from the staff room, bordering classrooms.

'On scanning the compound, the deminers equipment indicated the presence of explosives ordnances in the premises and requested the headmistress of the school to vacate the pupils to enable the deminers detonate the bombs, which they said was unstable. The bombs were destroyed in-situ.

Reacting to the discovery, an official in Eket Local Government, Mr Ebiere Etukudoh, commended the federal and state governments for embarking on the exercise, and the bomb experts for putting their lives on the line to save the lives of others in the state. He appealed to them to scan other parts of the local government area.

Earlier, the leader of the United Nations-backed exercise, Dr Bala Yakubu, appealed to the school authorities to co-operate with the deminers by obeying safety precautionary measures.

Yakubu also called on the residents of Eket town to report any location suspected to contain landmines and other explosive remnants of war in the area while the team of deminers were in the state.

The statement said 289 landmines and other explosives have been destroyed, including 80 cannons at the site of a crashed jet fighter, one locally made Ogbunigwe, and two locally made anti-tank landmines in seven local government areas so far in Akwa Ibom State.