Residents of the busy Anguwar Ngas in Yelwa area of Bauchi metropolis were thrown into confusion Tuesday morning when they woke up to discover a device, suspected to be a bomb, planted near a gutter in the area.
The discovery of the device came two days after a bomb was detonated by unknown gunmen at a police check point near Central Market in the Bauchi State capital.
A resident of the area, who pleaded anonymity, said he saw the device at about 6am near the area where locally made gin (popularly called burukutu) was prepared and sold.
“We were shocked and afraid when we saw it and everybody ran away,” he said.
The eye witness said that an unidentified boy was able to de-assemble the wired device and prevented it from exploding.
When journalists visited the area at about 8am, a team of Police bomb squad attached to the Government House, Bauchi was seen fiddling with the object.
A panic-stricken crowd gathered and watched from a distance as the busy road was barricaded by police who cleared the device and took it away.
Speaking with journalists later in his office, the State Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba said it was a time-bomb device made from an air-conditioner compressor with all the components of a bomb.
Tough three days
Mr Aduba said that if it detonated, it would have caused a maximum damage within one and a half kilometers radius.
“It was dropped in a gutter in an area people normally take locally-made gin. We sent our bomb experts to the area who successfully detonated the bomb,” he added.
Mr Aduba described the last three days in the state as “tough” for the command in terms of security challenge.
The Police Commissioner recalled that his men were ambushed in a heavily populated area on Saturday while on patrol. He said his men were undertaking a stop-and-search operation when a bomb was hurled into their patrol vehicle.
“Five of our men were injured and were taken to the hospital and have been discharged,” he said.
The commissioner of police however said the command would not be deterred by what was going on, saying that he regarded those perpetuating the criminal acts as “hoodlums”.
He called on the public to help the police with vital information that would help in fighting crime.