Economic Forum: Jonathan Orders Closure Of Schools, Offices

President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the closure of all government-owned offices and schools in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, except those on essential services.

A statement on Friday night in Abuja by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the measure was to ensure “free flow of traffic” and successful hosting of the World Economic Forum.

According to him, private organisations with large number of staff may also wish to close down.

He said, “This is to inform the general public that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has approved, as part of arrangements for the successful hosting of the World Economic Forum Africa, that all government offices and schools in the Federal Capital Territory, except those on essential services, are to be closed from Wednesday, May 7 to Friday, May 9, 2014.

“Private organisations with large number of staff may also wish to close down.

“This is to ease the flow of traffic within the city and enable participants carry out their assigned roles and participate actively at the World Economic Forum Africa.”

But Presidency sources said the decision may have been premised on security reports following the bombing of Nyanya, a satellite community within the FCT by suspected members of the Boko Haram Islmaic sect within two weeks.

It’ll be recalled that only two weeks after a bomb blast killed more than 71 persons in Nyanya, another explosion claimed lives on Thursday evening.

The blast, which was believed to be a suicide attack, occurred around 8.45pm when a bomb-laden car exploded at the Karshi Taxi Park, a few metres from where the April 14, 2014 explosion took place.

Eyewitnesses said some dead bodies were taken to the Maitama District Hospital, Asokoro, six corpses were deposited at the National Hospital while one body was taken to an unidentified hospital in Nyanya.

Scores of injured people were also evacuated by ambulances to different hospitals for treatment.

But a statement co-signed by the Head, Public Relations, NSCDC and NEMA Press Officer, Emmanuel Ezekiel, said that 10 bodies had been deposited in the mortuary while 13 unconscious persons were receiving treatment at different hospitals.

It added that other injured victims were being attended to by medical personnel, urging members of the public to avoid hindering rescue efforts.

“While security agencies have condoned off the area of the explosion this evening in Nyanya, Abuja, response agencies have moved injured victims to hospitals and at least 10 lifeless bodies have been deposited in the mortuary while 13 unconscious victims are receiving medical attention in different hospitals in Abuja. Other injured victims too are being attended to.

“The public are urged to cooperate with security agencies and avoid rushing to the scene to guard against hampering the efforts of the various agencies working together to ensure public safety,” the statement said.

Security sources had said the perpetrators of the blast might have planned to leave the explosive-laden car at the motor park overnight so that it could be detonated on Friday for maximum effect, but the bomb accidentally went off, killing the driver and other innocent people.

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