The two biggest markets in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – the Wuse and Garki Ultra Modern Markets – were in the early hours of yesterday shut down by security agents who claimed to be operating under intelligence report that bombs were planted in them.
The closure, which was confirmed by the Public Relations Officer, Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML), Mr. Innocent Amaechina, lasted for three hours before the traders and customers were eventually allowed inside the premises.
According to Amaechina, the market management and owners of shops and stalls in the affected areas had to comply with the directive, which started from 7a.m. till 10a.m., when they were reopened for business.
“The security agencies told us to close the market for few hours, based on intelligence report and they were reopened around 10a.m. after they finished their work,” he said.
Also speaking to THISDAY, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Olajide Laleye, confirmed that there was a bomb scare around the markets, which was triggered by intelligence report to search the affected areas.
Laleye said the police responded swiftly and handled the situation but could not ascertain if there were any findings.
Earlier, there was a report that what could have been a devastating bomb blast was averted in the Garki Market, Abuja
It was alleged that a suspected Boko Haram members planted the bomb over-night at the Garki Market but security sources managed get information about it with police arriving around 5a.m. yesterday morning to detonate it.
The police also went ahead to cordon off the market including the Wuse for thorough search.
However, a security source has debunked the report about detonation of bomb in Garki or any other market in FCT, saying it was only a scare.
“There was no bomb that was found or detonated but a scare with security personnel acting on a tip-off,” the source said.
The Public Relations Officer of FCT police command, Altine Daniel, later stated that there was no bomb in the market.
“We have moved in there and it was just a security check that some people misunderstood, but the markets have been reopened and people have gone back to their normal businesses,” he said. [Thisday,NT]