Goodluck Jonathan has said that the perpetrators of the bomb explosions in Abuja earlier today will surely be found and dealt with. The incident has so far claimed about eight lives in the Federal Capital Territory, according to police reports.
"To those behind these vicious acts, the president wants you to know that you will be found, and you will pay dearly for this heinous crime," a statement from the office of the president read.
The presidential spokesman, Ima Niboro, described the bomb explosion which occurred near the Ministry of Justice in Abuja as ‘a low, dirty and wicked act of desperation by criminals and murderers, who do not wish Nigeria well.
"Coming at a time that the world had gathered together to celebrate Nigeria at 50, these bomb attacks are the worst anniversary gifts any nation can get," the statement said. "Their purpose was to ensure that the celebration at Eagle Square was cancelled by all means. It is sad and unfortunate.
"President Goodluck Jonathan grieves with the families that have lost loved ones in the incidents. The president shares their consternation and understands their confoundment, as they mourn while the nation celebrates.
"The president wants these families to know that their loved ones have not died in vain. Rather, they have paid the supreme price for our unity; and in their death, they have watered the tree of our freedom."
According to a Federal Road Safety marshal who spoke with NEXT, there were two explosions, probable timed to follow each other.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the first explosion came from a commercial bus parked along Shehu Shagari Way, near Bayelsa House. This explosion drew a crowd towards the scene when a more powerful explosion went off, this time, from a smaller car. As a result of the two explosions, other cars parked around the area immediately caught fire. The marshal said the fire affected between 10 and 20 cars.
He added that he counted at least 15 people hauled into the Civil Defence trucks that were first on the scene, but could not confirm their status.
He,however said the victims were security guards, policemen and some children selling sachet water on the street. An SSS official was also mentioned as one of the victims, as well as a family of four in one of the cars.
Victims were first rushed to the State House clinic, but when facilities became strained, were moved to other locations.
The situation is now under control, as the fire service has put out the various fires. People have resumed normal activities but the area is still cordoned off.