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Governorship Election: Explosion creates panic in Maiduguri

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Early on Tuesday morning, bomb explosions in Maiduguri created panic as polling units witnessed a low turnout of voters for the governorship and House of Assembly elections. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that the explosions in London Ciki and Baga Road took place simultaneously around 5.40 am.

“I was still at the mosque after the morning prayers when I heard a large bang around 5.40 am. I immediately rushed out of the mosque only to discover that the scene of the explosion was close by. I went to the main road only to discover that a bus driver had stepped on an improvised explosive placed on the road by some unknown persons,” Inuwa Shehu, a resident of London Ciki said.

Mr Shehu told NAN that the explosive was carefully covered with a polythene bag to create the impression that it was ordinary waste. He added that the driver escaped unhurt but the windscreen of the vehicle was damaged. The second explosion took place in Baga road near a factory. “The explosion took place while I was on my way home after the morning prayers.

The impact of the explosion uprooted a large neem tree. But I don't think there was any casualty,” said a witness, Madu Shettima. No casualtiesMr Shettima told NAN that another unexploded bomb was found in Jajeri by some children near a cemetery. Mike Zuokumor, the state police commissioner, told NAN that there were no casualties recorded in the explosions.

He pointed out that the explosives were carefully covered to prevent detection. “I am appealing to the public to be security-conscious and avoid stepping on any object on the road especially early in the morning or late in the evenings,” Zuokumor said. The police command on Monday placed restrictions on movement during the polls when it discovered that some people were taking advantage of the relaxation on movement to plant explosives in the city.

Meanwhile, in Kano, our correspondent witnessed a low voter turnout, while security was at its minimal level, confirming earlier fears that the spate of killings and violence after the Presidential elections might create fears among voters at the Governorship polls.

In Ilorin, the story seem different as hundreds of voters turned out early for accreditation at Ilorin Grammar School, Ilorin. At the Alausa area of Lagos State, armed soldiers were on patrol while cars were seen parked at polling units as people waited to be accredited to vote. Many of them left the polling areas in their cars after the accreditation. They are expected to return to cast their vote, set to commence at 12:30pm.