President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the coordinated assault on ThisDay offices today in Abuja and Kaduna.
In Kaduna, a suicide bomber detonated a massive bomb he had dropped off near the offices of the newspaper on Kano road, around Ahmadu Bello way. Unconfirmed reports said at least 10 people were killed, and several others were injured. The bomber was captured and handed over to the police.
In the Abuja attack, the suicide bomber drove a car through the gates of the newspaper’s warehouse, resulting in a massive explosion that that shook buildings over 1 kilometer away.
Mr. Jonathan received the sad news in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, where he is attending an Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the situation in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. According to Mr. Reuben Abati, his spokesman, the Nigeria ruler described the attack as “ignoble, misguided, horrendous and wicked.”
“President Jonathan reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government (FG) to continue to uphold the constitutional right to freedom of expression in general and of press freedom in particular, pledging that criminal elements bent on instilling fear in the minds of Nigerians and foreigners will not succeed,” he said.
He also urged media practitioners not to be dissuaded from carrying out their fearless campaign for peace, justice and equity as democracy cannot flourish without press freedom.
Ima Niboro, President Jonathan’s former media aide who lives less than a kilometer from the scene of the Abuja attack, similarly condemned the violence. “This is no doubt another affront to our collective freedom and way of life,” he said. “It stands against all that we believe in and hold dear as a people, disparate and different though we are.”
Mr. Niboro called on all well-meaning Nigerians to rise against this threat to Nigeria. “We must speak in one voice to condemn these acts of terror. We must unite against those that seek to rein in our freedoms; our destined greatness as a nation.”
Mr. Jonathan has previously promised to defeat Boko Haram within the next few months.
Article culled from Saharareporters