Investigation by LEADERSHIP yesterday revealed that the suicide bomber who devastated the ThisDay office in Abuja came under the pretext of placing an advert. The bomber, who came in a Isuzu Jeep, eyewitnesses said, first approached the front gate of the media house but was directed to make use of the back gate.
One of the security officials who spoke with LEADERSHIP after the incident said the suicide bomber insisted on being allowed to park his car inside the THISDAY building as, according to him, he was carrying large amount of cash which he intended to pay for the placement of an advert.
But a THISDAY private security guard, identified as Christopher Saddiq, an Ibira from Kogi State, was said to have attempted to persuade the bomber to leave his car outside. His mission however led to his death as the car bomber rammed him into the THISDAY back gate, while crashing his car into the building’s generator house.
Scores of security personnel and other staff who were injured by the bomb attack were rushed to the National Hospital for treatment. The attack damaged a substantial part of the building constructed by Julius Berger Ltd.
LEADERSHIP gathered that, prior to the attack, ThisDay had received intelligence alert, informing it of the possibility of an attack by a militant sect. The alert had informed the decision of the management of the paper to prohibit the use of the front gate for exit or entry into the building.
Hoodlums cart away valuables
Scores of hoodlums from across the area swiftly took advantage of the bomb blast to plunder the personal belongings of staff.
Some journalists said their laptops, telephones and other valuables were looted by hoodlums who took advantage of the stampede to steal their personal effects.