Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu and former Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, have expressed sympathy for the victims of the bombing of the Nyanya Bus Park.
The trio, in separate reactions to the incident, decried the attack and urged the federal government to intensify its efforts in ensuring safety of lives and property.
In a statement from his media office in Abuja, Atiku however queried the sincerity in the recent claim by the government that Boko Haram insurgents have been driven out of the main centres of Nigeria.
He recalled that government had in February, spoken about its successes in pushing Boko Haram to the “fringes” of the North-east, adding that yesterday’s bombing had cast doubts on that claim.
According to him, the latest bombings by insurgents both in Abuja and the North-east should be a wake-up call to all Nigerians on the imperative of ending the trade-blame game and working together to end the insurgency.
On his part, Tinubu in a condolence message to families of the victims, said there was need for Nigeria to go back to the drawing board.
"The Jonathan administration has not devised a grand strategy against this menace, either locally or internationally," he said.
Tinubu, in a statement he personally signed, said: "There is a glaring failure of intelligence. The tempo and consistency of attacks suggest that this government's approach is not only wrong but also wrongheaded."
He urged the federal government to partner the international community on convening a security summit under the auspices of the African Union (AU) for Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun and Niger to discuss the menace of terrorism in the sub region.
While grieving with the bereaved families, Tinubu said the episode was "another gloomy chapter not only for families, but it reinforces the fear and vulnerability of Nigerians."
For Obi, the Nyanya bomb blast was a mindless war against innocent Nigerians.
The former governor in a statement wondered what the perpetrators of the act stand to gain, saying it was worrisome that innocent Nigerians were confronted by barbarians that did not have respect for the sacredness of human lives.
"The strange culture of people killing fellow humans without compunction can at best be described as atavistic throwback to the old and superseded ways. To observe those traits of barbarism creeping back to our country calls for concerted efforts to check," he said.
The National Conference was forced into an abrupt adjournment Monday following the inability of the secretariat to adequately place delegates into their respective committees and rumours of a fresh bomb attack, aside that of Nyanya. The conference is expected to resume plenary today.
The bomb attack also made security agents at the venue of the conference in Abuja to be more vigilant as they search every vehicle entering the venue while the surroundings were policed by security men.
At Monday’s plenary session, a delegate, Ishaq Kawu Modibo, while moving a motion, sponsored by 19 delegates, said the security situation in the country had been deteriorating in the last five years, while the last two months had witnessed escalation of security breaches in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States with attendant loss of human lives and property.
But before the motion was adopted, Mr. Femi Falana called for an amendment to the motion to call on the federal government to implement the reports of the committees set up by the federal government and headed by Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki and the Sheik Ahmed Lemu.
After the adoption of the motion, the conference proceeded to work, but surprisingly, the members were disappointed that the secretariat had not concluded work on the distribution of delegates to the respective committees.
Besides, members were not satisfied with the structure of committees and called for some adjustments to be made to reflect the work plan of the conference.
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) explained that there was no need for the conference to have 20 committees and called for the reduction of the committees to four.
It was at this stage news filtered in that there was another bomb blast in the Jabi District of Abuja and the delegates started leaving the venue of the conference.
But the conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, in a diplomatic manner, announced the adjournment of the conference.
According to him, “We are still working on the committee. The restructuring and allotment of delegates is not ready. We promise that the placement of members into committees would be ready tomorrow(today). The conference is therefore adjourned till 4pm tomorrow (today)”.
It was later gathered that the rumour of a fresh bomb explosion in the Abuja was false.
However, some of the delegates decried the bomb attack in Nyanya with a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Deputy Chairman, Chief Bode George, describing yesterday as a sad day for the country.
"It is a very sad day for Nigeria. I supported the motion that the government should do something urgently to address the insecurity issue. Nyanya is just next door to Aso Rock here. I believe that a wake-up call has already been on but there is need to get to the root cause of it," he said.
Another delegate, Uwajumogu Chidinma from Imo State, urged the federal government to take measures to end the wanton killings of innocent Nigerians.
She said it would amount to being insensitive if the conference did not take note of the bombings and insecurity situation in the country.
On his part, constitutional lawyer, Chief Mike Ozoekhome, said the bomb blast had vindicated his position last week when he harped on issues of insecurity and religious conflict.
"Only last week in my contribution, I left other controversial and emotive issues like federalism, regionalism, structure of government and resource control. I left all them and dwelt strictly on the issue of security because if we do not have security, nobody will be talking about sharing a national cake which is what resource control is all about.
" If we have the security problems, we won't even talk about the restructure of government. After life, the next thing is liberty and then security because if you are dead you do not need any of them. But once you are alive you need security and liberty," he added.
More reactions yesterday trailed the dawn attack on a bus park in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) with some members of the House of Representatives and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemning the bombing.
Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Hon. Emmanuel Jime(APC-Benue), while condemning the attack, called on the federal government to investigate and expose those behind it.
"Our hearts and prayers go to the victims and their families and loved ones. Once again the enemy has struck, maiming, killing and destroying. At a time like this, we are called to stand as one people with a shared destiny. We must resolve to defeat our enemies. Those who perpetrate this devilish acts must have no peace, no hiding place," Jime said.
His colleague in the House, Hon. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, described the incident as a callous act and urged the federal government to find ways of curbing, once and for all, the spate of insecurity in the country.
According to him, innocent people who set out in search of their daily bread, should have been spared the agonies.
He said with the level of insecurity in the country, government should vote a lot of resources towards ending the crisis.
"I think a lot of money needs to be put into security. No amount of money would be too much for security issues. It is high time that government give it the attention is requires," he added.
PDP's National Vice-Chairman (South-east) Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), in his reaction, expressed grief over the killing of innocent Nigerians and described those behind the blast as "enemies of humanity, democracy and good governance."
He urged security operatives to rise up to the challenge by wiping out terrorism in the country