News / Africa

Fear of Islamic Militant Attacks in Nigeria Spreads to Lagos

Shattered remnants are seen at the site of a bomb blast at a bar in the Nigerian northeastern city of Maiduguri
Shattered remnants are seen at the site of a bomb blast at a bar in the Nigerian northeastern city of Maiduguri

The fear of attacks by Islamic militants in Nigeria is spreading south to the commercial capital, Lagos, where city buses are being checked for bombs. A group that says it is fighting for a separate Islamic state is thought responsible for a series of attacks across the north.

Bomb attacks and ambushes in the northern city of Maiduguri have indefinitely closed the university there and led to an exodus of civilians, some of whom are newly unemployed motorbike taxi drivers after all motorbikes were banned in Maiduguri because Islamic militants were using them to throw bombs.

The Islamic sect Boko Haram recognizes neither Nigeria's constitution nor the federal government and says it is fighting for a separate nation in the north, ruled by Islamic law.

The group bombed national police headquarters in Abuja and a church just outside the capital, which is now under a limited curfew with all bars and movie theaters closed by 10 p.m.

The fear of Boko Haram attacks is now spreading south to Lagos, following a text message purportedly sent by the group warning people not to take government buses because they are a target.

The managing director of LAGBUS, Yemi Odubela, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the firm is aware of the threat and is asking passengers to remain vigilant and cooperate with spot checks of their bags.

At the Eko roundabout bus stop on Victoria Island, this passenger says her bags were checked when she boarded the LAGBUS.

"They have been checking us before we entered at Leventis," she said. "They checked us to see if anybody is carrying any equipment inside their bags. So they checked us before we entered. Men check men. Women check women.”

STEARNS: "Did that make you feel safer then?”

BUS PASSENGER: "Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.  We are afraid.  We are afraid. Everybody is afraid to enter, you see that blue color [bus] and this red color [bus].  We are afraid. They check under all the seats before we entered. So maybe there is something they hide under the seats. There is nothing under [the seats].”

This man, getting off the #55 LAGBUS, says he does not believe the Boko Haram threat.

"They have been operating," he said. "Even when they have been bombing, have they been giving warnings?  No. They have not been giving warnings. They do it. So I want to believe that people are just trying to use that to cause confusion.”

With heavy rains in Lagos, this woman says her car will not make it through the flooding, so she has to take the bus, despite the threat.

"I have no choice," she said. "Because of the rain, I have no other transport means to get to this place.”

This passenger says Boko Haram will find it far harder to operate in the south.

"We will continue to take the bus because there is security in Lagos," said the passenger."I don't believe they will come to this place. I just call it a threat. They can't come down to the south. We will check them here. LAGBUS is even better because at LAGBUS you queue. So you can check anybody who enters that LAGBUS. So if it just an ordinary bus like this one that everybody jumps inside it is a different thing.”

President Goodluck Jonathan has offered to open talks with the group, but Boko Haram leaders have so far refused, saying they cannot meet with security forces that are trying to destroy them.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs