17,000 live bombs reportedly found: The Nigerian Army has deployed soldiers to take over security of the premises housing 17,000 live bombs in Owerri, the Imo State capital. The soldiers from the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, were said to have taken over the premises few days ago. Similarly, a team of bomb experts from the 34 Artillery Brigade have been dispatched to the site where the explosives are being stockpiled at No. 109, Achike Udenka Avenue in new Owerri, a densely populated area, to get a first hand information of the situation on the explosives, with a view to reporting to the authorities on the next line of action.
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The decision, to deploy soldiers to provide security for the premises, followed Daily Sun’s, publication of August, 9, after Professor Yakubu, an explosive expert and a stockpile manager who is also the Managing Director of Demining Concept Nigeria, raised the alarm over the huge number of explosives stockpiled in the state. This is even as Professor Yakubu, has raised fresh alarm over the presence of another 44,000, bombs in some uncleared locations across the southeastern part of the country, saying some of these explosives are located in schools, churches, markets and other public places.
Prof. Yakubu, who spoke to Daily Sun, in a telephone interview on the updates of the state of the bombs, listed some of the marked 107 uncleared locations to include Imo Etiti-Ihitte Uboma – Madonna High School, former Ojukwu’s logistic base, Ohoba/Ahoada Road Owerri West, Holy Rosary Pry School, Anambra, Abaganana/Ukpo Road side, Residence of Michael Okechukwu
Rivers Ayama Central school Oyigbo -Ayama Town and Ozuzu Central School, Etche Local Government Area, among others.
He said the army authorities had contacted him after the story was published in Daily Sun and offered to provide security for the premises to prevent unwanted persons from gaining access into the premises. He said a team of soldiers led by one Major Bulus, from the 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, had contacted him after reading the story in Daily Sun. He said: “The soldiers, on getting to the premises, met my staffs who gave them my number, and one Major Bulus called me over the matter, saying he read about it on Daily Sun, and came to find out if the report was true.
“He told me they were there on the orders of the army authorities considering the sensitive issues I raised in the report over security implications of the explosives, given the current security situations in the country, and that they would provide security for the premises, which is my greatest fear, to prevent unwanted persons from gaining access there.”
The explosive expert who expressed delight over the concern of the army authorities, especially with the security challenges in the country and the establishment of a Biafran Secret Service recently, said “the soldiers would guard the place until we are ready to destroy the bombs.”
Beside the military authorities, Yakubu, said he had also been contacted by officials from the Department of State Security Services(DSS), who he said have been providing security for the premises after he contacted them over the issue during the 2015 general elections.
When contacted over the security of the premises by soldiers, the Public Relations Officer in charge of 34 Artillery Brigade, Captain Haruna Tagwai, said “the army has already provided security on the premises, but the property belongs to the Ministry of Defence.”
He said “if you want to get more fact about it, you can contact the press’s secretary in the Ministry of Defence.” However, when contacted, the Director of Press in the ministry, Charles Nwoye, did not pick his call.
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