The National Assembly complex was thrown into pandemonium yesterday following a bomb scare, which came against the backdrop of the terrorist attack on the Nyanya Motor Park, Abuja that led to the death of over 70 lives.
Members of staff were seen trooping out of the complex in droves following a rumour that an object that looked like a bomb was found in the new Senate building which houses the offices of senators.
The rumour prompted some of the banks operating in the complex to quickly shut down their operations and dispersed their staff.
Officials responded immediately by beefing up security at all the gates leading to the National Assembly.
The pandemonium occurred around 1.30p.m. minutes after Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, visited victims of the blast at the National Hospital, where he donated blood for those who may need it and cautioned against politicising the incident.
Although security officers were swift to dismiss the claims as mere rumours, members of the State Security Service (SSS) deployed a security van to sweep the entire National Assembly complex to be on a safe side.
As part of the new security measures put in place yesterday, entry into the National Assembly was restricted to only staff and others who possessed accreditation tags.
National Assembly's acting Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr. Ibrahim Ndako, while briefing reporters on the incident, described it as a rumour that should be disregarded.
But an SSS officer who did not want to be named, differed saying that it was not a mere rumour but rather a "strong rumour."
Also yesterday,Tambuwal visited victims of the Monday bomb blast and cautioned political leaders and other stakeholders against politicising the current incessant wave of terrorism.
"From what I have seen among the victims, I doubt if they are members of any political party. We should stop playing politics. We should address the issue. And it is not about any religion.
"It is unfortunate. We must come together. We must rise to the challenge and address this challenge," he added.
The speaker during his visit to the National Hospital, Abuja was conducted round the emergency ward to see the victims by the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu.
He later went to the National Blood Transfusion Centre to donate blood to the victims.
On what motivated him to donate blood to the victims, the speaker said he was moved by “humanity in him and by what he saw.’’
Meanwhile, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Bukola Saraki have decried the bomb attack on the motor park in Abuja.
Ekweremadu, in a statement, urged Nigerians to unite against terrorism as he described the Nyanya blast as “the height of depravity and inhumanity.”
The deputy senate president, according to the statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, gave the advice in the United States where he delivered a speech yesterday on Nigeria's electoral process.
According to him, the incident was “blood-chilling and unjustifiable.”
He condemned the wanton waste of lives and negative profiling of Nigeria by those he said see violence and bloodletting as their sole engagement.
Also, Saraki, who like Tambuwal donated blood to the victims, condemned the attack on the bus station.
In addition, he warned against politicising the incident, adding: "We should all come together whatever side of the political divide we find ourselves. This is a challenge to all of us and not only a challenge to the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration."
In another reaction to the bomb attack, spokesperson of All Progressives Congress (APC) Senate Caucus, Senator Babafemi Ojudu canvassed for bipartisan approach as a strategy to stem the spate of insurgent attacks on the country.
Ojodu, in a statement yesterday, said if Nigeria must survive the current onslaught unleashed on it by insurgents, all its leaders would have “to selflessly drop their partisanship and come together to chart a path out of the present bleakness engulfing the whole nation."
He condemned the partisanship approach of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the insurgency, saying the ruling party “cannot do it alone and if this is not done urgently, we all may be heading to Golgotha.”