At least five people were killed and several injured in a coordinated bomb attacks on offices of ThisDay newspaper in Kaduna and the nation’s capital, Abuja.
The bomb blast in Abuja occurred at 11:20 AM when a suicide bomber driving a black Isuzu (SUV) rammed through the back entrance of the newspaper complex in Jabi area of the city killing two security guards at the gate.
The explosion in Kaduna was carried out by two assailants in a cream coloured Honda Accord car with registration number AL 306 MKA. They drove into a plaza which houses ThisDay Newspaper, The Sun Newspaper and The Moments newspaper, at Ahmadu Bello way.
The assailants threw explosives and killed two people who accosted them at the entrance of the building. They were however overpowered and arrested by a crowd at the scene
SSS on the coordinated bomb attacks
The State Security Service (SSS) in a statement signed by the deputy director public relations, Missus Marilyn Ogar, confirmed that three persons including the suicide bomber died in the Abuja bomb blast while five persons who were injured.
Also explaining the simultaneous bomb blast in Kaduna, the SSS stated that another bomb was detonated at about the same time in Kaduna, when two persons in a cream coloured Honda Accord (academy) car, drove into Soj global communications and investment limited plaza which houses offices of The Sun, ThisDay and The Moments newspapers, on Ahmadu Bello way.
According to the SSS, one of the assailants, Umaru Mustapha, an indigene of Maiduguri, Borno state alighted from the car with a container of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
The SSS claimed he was immediately challenged by two residents who subdued him and handed him over to security agencies.
While sympathising with the families of victims, the SSS applauded the gallantry and patriotism exhibited by the Nigerians who risked their lives to save others.
The agency urged all citizens to rise up to the challenge of bringing an end to the menace of terrorism in the country.
The latest attacks are coming on the heels of security warning by the United States embassy in Nigeria to their citizens, warning that the fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram will be conducting a string of coordinated attacks, targeted at major hotels in Abuja.
When Channels Television visited the scene of the bomb-blast in the newsroom, the news room did not exist anymore as damaged desks and chairs bear witness to the fact that lots of people worked in the now ravaged environment.
However, many of them were not in the office at the time of the attack.
Samson Oliver, a young worker in the printing press hall was asleep after a night shift, when he heard the blast. He told Channels that four of his colleagues were injured
Neighbouring buildings around the ThisDay complex in Abuja were not spared after the explosion, as their shattered windows also testified the impact of the blast.
The wounded were rushed to the hospital with one of them, a private guard with the newspapers in a critical condition at the emergency care unit.
But one of them who suffered minor injuries gave account of the incident.
The media has suffered some losses in the insurgency against the Nigeria government as Channels Television’s reporter and camera man, Enenche Akogwu was killed in the attack staged by Boko Haram in Kano, earlier in the year.
Jonathan condemns ThisDay bomb blast
The president has condemned the bomb blasts which occurred earlier today at newspaper houses in Abuja and Kaduna.
President Goodluck Jonathan reaffirmed the commitment of the federal government to continue to uphold the constitutional right to freedom of expression in general and of press freedom in particular, pledging that criminal elements bent on instilling fear in the minds of Nigerians and foreigners will not succeed.
South-south governors on ThisDay bombing
Governors of the six South- South states of the country have also condemned the twin bomb attacks on media houses in Abuja and Kaduna state.
The governors in a joint statement issued on the side-lines of the 2nd South-south economic summit in Asaba, the Delta state capital, described the attacks as barbaric and cowardly.
While wondering the motive of the attacks, which coincided with its on-going regional summit, has the publisher of ThisDay Newspaper, Mr Nduka Obaigbena, in participation as chairman of the summit, the governors urged the security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks are apprehended and made to answer for their heinous crime.
The governors sympathized with the staff and management of the newspaper, urging them not to be deterred by the incident.