Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gombe rally: Jonathan’s convoy narrowly escapes bomb blast

  THREE minutes after the convoy of President Goodluck Jonathan left the Pantami Stadium in Gombe on Monday, explosion rocked the Water Board area of the state, leading to the death of three persons.

  This came almost 25 hours after five people, including two suspected suicide bombers, lost their lives in twin-bomb explosions in the state.The Monday incident occurred at 3.30 p.m., shortly after President Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 14 election, concluded his campaign rally held at the Pantami Stadium.It was gathered that pandemonium occurred when a car exploded, leading to the death of the suspected bomber and two other person, while 18 people were said to have sustained varying degrees of injury in the explosion.
  According to an eyewitness, the suicide bomber, suspected to be a female, might have been denied access into the stadium, where President Jonathan urged Gombe people to vote for his re-election in the forthcoming presidential election, forcing her to detonate the explosive few metres away from the venue.As of the time of filing this report, no individual or group had accepted responsibility for the explosion, while it was unclear whether the presidential campaign was the target of the suicide bomber.
  Sunday twin explosions, which rocked the old Gombe market and the Kasuwan Katako, behind the 301 Artillery Regiment Quarter Guard of the Nigerian Army in the capital, forced the state police command to ban the use of motorcycle in the metropolis until after the presidential campaign on Monday.This, the source said, could have informed the use of car by the suicide bomber.
  Meanwhile, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Fwaje Atajiri, confirmed the explosion, saying, however, that it took place after President Jonathan had left the venue of the presidential campaign.Atajiri stated that the explosion occurred some distance away from the Pantami Stadium, informing that two persons lost their lives in the explosion, while 18 others got injured.Members of the Gombe State Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) were attacked by some thugs immediately after the blast occurred.Chairman of the chapel, Mr Timothy Choji, informed the Nigerian Tribune that as they were trying to escape the scene of the incident, their bus was damaged by some thugs, adding that five members were injured. 


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