• Maiduguri blasts, routine equipment test, says Army

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged Nigerians not to despair and give in to terrorists’ blackmail, which he said was the Boko Haram’s psychological tool for intimidating and forcing citizens into surrender and inaction.
Reacting to the latest multiple bomb blasts in the suburbs of Abuja, which killed about 21 people and injuring 40 as at the time of filing this report, and the second after the April 2014 bombing of Nyanya, the former vice president said it was clear that by targeting suburban Abuja, the Boko Haram terrorists wanted to persuade Nigerians to believe they were invincible, and thereby paralysing the country with fear and force it into submission.
Atiku, however, urged Nigerians not to be deceived by such desperate tactics by the Boko Haram militants that primarily target non-combatants and defenceless civilians.
According to the former vice president, the Boko Haram terrorists have been militarily degraded by the new offensive strategy adopted by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has sent the militants packing from towns and villages they previously captured and occupied.
He said the terrorists were bitter and frustrated that the Buhari administration was now taking the war to their camps, which had forced them into disarray.
Atiku explained that the massive territorial losses suffered by the terrorists and the blockade of their weapons supply lines had significantly reduced their operational capabilities in terms of direct confrontation with the counter-terrorism forces.
Atiku maintained that the obvious intention of the Boko Haram militants was to unleash their frustrations on innocent civilians to whom they had easier access, adding that by targeting civilians, the terrorists’ main propaganda objective was to instill paralysing fear into the hearts of Nigerians in order to turn public opinion against the government’s genuine and robust efforts to neutralise and defang them.
The Turakin Adamawa explained that the Boko Haram bandits were offering a last ditch resistance in desperate move to deceive Nigerians that they were invincible, adding that he was fully satisfied with the new rigorous and no-nonsense strategies introduced by the APC led Buhari administration.
He therefore appealed to Nigerians not to despair in the face of the latest terrorist intimidation and harassment through the deliberate and indiscriminate destruction of lives while conveying his condolences to the grieving families of the victims, and his sympathies to the maimed and injured.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said that explosions heard within Maiduguri was a routine equipment test and urged residents not to panic or flee.
Borno is the most hit in the last six years of Boko Haram unrest in the North-East Nigeria, and according to reports by AFP, loud explosions were heard from the areas of Kayamla and Dalori.
The explosions, which the army said were due to routine equipment test, are coming three days after Maiduguri was attacked by the insurgents, leaving 10 dead and many more injured and two days after Abuja was also attacked once again in Nyanya and Kuje areas of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
Spokesman of the 7 Division of the army in Maiduguri, Col Tukur Gusau told newsmen that residents of the area should not panic while dispelling the bomb blasts insinuations, stating that “it is a routine test firing of our weapons to ensure that they are in a state of readiness.”
An employee at the nearby University of Maiduguri, Kursi Yusuf told AFP that the sound of bomb explosions was heard from Kayamla and Dalori along Bama Road around 7am yesterday and that they were not sure whether the terrorists were planning to invade the town.
Similarly, a military officer who did not want to be named confirmed the series of blasts but said troops were on top of the situation.
“The terrorists will not have their way,” he told AFP.

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