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June 23, 2014

Nigeria Official Condemns University Bomb Blast

by Peter Clottey

A spokesman for Nigeria’s government condemned perpetrators of Monday’s bomb blast that left at least eight people dead and many injured at the Bayero University’s School of Hygiene in Kano.

Mike Omeri, the director general of Nigeria's National Orientation Agency, and Coordinator of the National Information Center also says security agents have redoubled efforts to protect the population after some of the alleged suspects were arrested by security agents following the explosion.

He hailed the quick response of police and emergency workers who he said swiftly transported victims of the blast to a local hospital, where they are currently receiving treatment.

“The government and the people of Nigeria are not happy, are saddened by this continued senseless killing,” said Omeri. “The government is concerned and has ordered all [security] forces to redouble their efforts. I want to assure that for every one blast two or three others would have been averted by the actions of the security services either at the police level or intelligence level or even the military level.”

He says the national emergency relief management agency has mobilized to provide relief services following the explosion.

“They have been mandated to move swiftly to Kano to provide relief and support to families, but especially victims who are recuperating,” said Omeri. “The security agencies have also swung into swift action and I am sure they will have some leads and also be on the trail of those who have perpetrated this heinous act of cowardice.”

He rejected media reports that described the country’s ongoing violence as escalating. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram is often blamed for carrying out the violence against civilians.

“There are growing incidences here and there but it is not escalating in a manner that you find everywhere in the cities and in the villages and so forth,” said Omeri. “Whatever the degree it is still of concern to government and citizens because everyone deserves to live in peace in the country.”

Omeri says he is hopeful the administration will soon surmount the security challenges the country faces.

“Reports indicate that some of the insurgents and people who perpetrate this [violence] are beginning to realize their actions and have decided to walk out of the group,” said Omeri.

Critics say the government has been unable to protect citizens following the increasing attacks.

Omeri disagreed, saying the administration has launched an education campaign to ensure citizens are made aware of security efforts being made to protect them.
 
Clottey interview with Mike Omeri, head of the National Orientation Agency