Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
A suicide bombing on Thursday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, claimed two lives and caused injuries to 19 others.
The information officer of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA), Abdullahi Umar, who spoke to THISDAY on the phone, said the incident occurred at about noon at the state secretariat at the post office area of the town.
The post office area is in the central business district of the troubled city.
Umar said the suicide bomber pretended to be one of several employees of the Borno State Government who had been ordered to make themselves available for biometric verification currently being carried out in the state to fish out ghost workers.
He said the suicide bomber had a file with him, which he showed to the police personnel at the gate of the secretariat that he was an employee of the state government.
But he was turned back by the policemen when he could not present a staff identification card.
Umar said the bomber then walked some metres away from the security post and detonated the bomb strapped on him, which led to his immediate death and claimed the life of one of the policemen.
He added that the explosion equally caused injuries to 19 other persons who were rushed to the Borno State Hospital, Maiduguri for treatment.
He said the corpses of the two deceased were deposited at the morgue of the hospital.
Confirming the attack, the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sano Kukasheka Usman, said troops immediately cordoned off the area and evacuated all workers from the secretariat and reinforced security.
“In addition, the Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) and K9 teams have been mobilised to the secretariat for screening until it is declared safe.
“This unfortunate incident has reinforced the need for more security consciousness and awareness on the part of all of us as the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists and their sympathisers still mingle with the society.
“It therefore behoves all and sundry to ensure that they are detected and prevented from carrying out their dastardly acts,” he said.