The Federal Capital Territory Administration has resolved to build a new motor park at Nyanya within a reasonable distance from the expressway, as a way of solving the perennial traffic gridlock at the Nyanya border area of the Keffi-Nyanya-Abuja express road.
FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, announced this yesterday after an inspection of the scene of Thursday’s bomb blast at Nyanya satellite town.
Mohammed also directed that all buildings, shops and business premises located along the road corridor in the area should be demolished immediately in the overriding public interest.
Meanwhile, the death toll from the second Nyanya bomb blast on May Day rose to 20 yesterday after one of the victims at Asokoro District Hospital died.
As at Friday, the official figure of those that died from the attack was 19.
Mohammed disclosed that work would commence on the new motor park within the next one week.
He added that a team of officials from the relevant government agencies had been put in place to facilitate a speedy construction and opening of the new park. He said the team comprised top officials of Federal Capital Development Authority; FCT departments of Urban and Regional Planning, Survey and Mapping; Abuja Metropolitan Management Council; the Transportation Secretariat; the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC); security officials and other relevant professionals
The minister further disclosed that an integrity test would be carried out on the Nyanya interchange (flyover bridge) to ascertain its current structural strength in the aftermath of the two successive terrorist bomb attacks near the foot of the bridge.
There had been indications that following the two deadly car bombings at the Nyanya motor park, the space might be closed to motorists and reverted to its original purpose in the Abuja Master Plan as a green area.
This came as the FCTA, allegedly, designated the boundary towns within the Maraba-Masaka axis of Nasarawa State and Suleija area of Niger State as breeders of terrorism. The aim was said to be to direct special security attention to the areas to try to prevent further terrorist attacks on the country’s capital.
The Defence Headquarters said at the weekend that a Chadian working with the Boko Haram terrorist group had been arrested around Lake Chad.
It said eight persons, mostly foreigners, were being detained and interrogated following joint surveillance and patrol missions by the security agencies in areas around the site of the Nyanya bomb blast in Abuja.
The chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon. Micah Jibah, was recently quoted as saying that the troubled park would be relocated to a more permanent site. Though, officials of the FCTA were wont to refer to the Nyanya Park as temporary.
Chief Press Secretary, AMAC, Mr. Ephraim Audu, clarified the statement attributed to Jibah to mean that motorists would be directed to a designated motor park located immediately after the Karu flyover.
Audu explained that the original motor park, which is currently not up to standard, “is only located 100 metres to the Nyanya flyover, through which people going to the city centre can follow. Actually, that place being used today as Nyanya Park is for recreation and beautification of the city. AMAC has a designated Nyanya Motor Park immediately after Karu Bridge by the right hand side.”
There was a car bomb attack at the Nyanya motor on April 14, which killed over 70 persons and injured hundreds of others.
A second blast on May 1 led to the instant death of at least 12 persons, but the number rose to 20 by yesterday.
There were no other records of dead persons after visits to hospitals in Asokoro, Maitama, the National Hospital, Wuse, Nyanya General Hospital, and a private facility, Pan-Raf Hospital in Nyanya.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the visits, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, said everything had been put in place to ensure that victims were given adequate treatment.
Asked to estimate the amount of money spent so far on the treatment of the bomb victims, Alhassan said, “It is virtually impossible at this moment to quantify the amount of money that has been expended on them because it is an ongoing thing. You need to know that the first cases are still here, we cannot say now how much has been spent, but it is going to run into millions, unfortunately.”
He said all expenses incurred by patients from the bomb explosions were to be borne by the FCTA.
However, in Abuja, the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, denied media reports yesterday about an alleged attack on Maiduguri metropolis on Friday night.
He said troops had only responded to a distress call and launched a counter attack, using mainly mortar shells, on a group of terrorists who had attacked and killed four persons at Margimari village and other settlements on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
But Olukolade disclosed that a Chadian, Usman Mecheka, operating with the Boko Haram terrorists around Lake Chad had been taken into custody by the Multi-national Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
He said Mecheka was apprehended by the taskforce while trying to extract a ransom from herdsmen and farmers in the area, after an earlier attack on a community.
The Defence spokesman said about eight persons were being interrogated following operations by the security agencies on joint surveillance and patrol missions in the federal capital yesterday.
He noted that the arrested persons were helping ongoing investigations with useful information after the operation, which was sequel to intelligence reports.
Olukolade said, “Most of those arrested are foreigners who were picked up around Kugbo and areas adjoining the Nyanya site of the recent bombings in the federal capital.
“Those confirmed to constitute a threat to security will be handed over to appropriate prosecutorial agency on conclusion of the preliminary investigations.”