Boko Haram: Nigeria slaps curfew on Abuja...Hotels, Clubs, Bars To Close At 10 pm


ABUJA — Nigeria's capital Abuja on Wednesday imposed a curfew on recreational centres after a deadly bomb attack two weeks ago at the police headquarters claimed by a radical Islamist sect.

The city's administration said night clubs and cinemas should close by 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) as well as beer parlours and billiards centres, daily including weekends.

Parks and gardens that admit children would now close at 6 p.m. (1700 GMT).

The city also banned parking of vehicles on roads where most government offices are located.

"These measures are necessitated by the need to ensure adequate security of lives and property in the federal capital territory (in light of) the prevailing security concerns," said a statement signed by the city's spokesman Muhammad Hazat Sule.

The new security steps follow the June 16 bomb attack on the national police headquarters car park which claimed at least two lives, including a police officer.

The Boko Haram sect, blamed for series of gun and bomb attacks in the northern part of the country in recent months, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The sect hit again this week in two attacks in as many days killing 30 people, 25 or them in multiple bombings at an outdoor beer drinking spot.

In a bid to curb common crimes such as robberies a few years ago, authorities tried to get beer gardens to stop serving alcohol after 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) in Abuja, which became the nation's capital in 1991, but the rule was ineffective.

The Abuja measures, which are expected to have negative economic repercussions, has been described by an economic analyst as an "overkill".

"I think it's a knee-jerk reaction, but it's overkill," said an independent analyst Onah Ekhomu. "We are not at war and the authorities can take care of this problem."

"First of all by doing that you have already told the terrorist that they have won."

Boko Haram, which launched an uprising in 2009 in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, had in previous months targeted police personnel, politicians, community and religious leaders usually by its gunmen riding on motocycles.

But lately, it has widened its attacks targeting even ordinary civilians at beer drinking spots, with one latest such attack claiming 25 lives in Maiduguri on Sunday.

Ekhomu said authorities are certainly fearing more attacks and that could have informed the curfew decision.

But "that does not call for shutting down a whole capital," he said.

Courtesy AFP