Pandemonium yesterday broke out at Tom Jones area, near Azikiwe Street, Lagos Island, after some sealed suspicious items were discovered in the area, inciting panic among traders and residents alike.
As the news spread like wildfire, there was palpable fear as people scampered for safety, alerting their loved ones too of the possible danger of the content of the suspicious package.
While some immediately closed their shops for the day and headed home, others abandoned their wares and fled, while yet others who were somewhat curiously watched the package with bathed breathe, albeit from a safe distance.
Hours later, the situation was brought under control by a team of policemen from the Explosive Ordinance Depot (EOD) of the Nigeria Police Force, who after preliminary examination of the package, allayed the fears of the onlookers.
The team had also picked up the package, urging traders and customers to continue their various business transactions as they had no reason to fear.
Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, said the information was false and was just designed to incite panic in Lagosians.
He said: "There was no bomb anywhere in Lagos. The information is false. Lagosians should go about their businesses without any fear.”
Also, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent (DSP), said the content of the package was not explosives rather sealants used in mending rusted part of ships.
Braide, who commended the residents for being security conscious and for reporting to the police, said operatives from the Anti-bomb unit were deployed to the scene immediately the report reached them.
She said: "We deployed operatives from the Anti-bomb unit who went to the scene, cordoned off the area and recovered the bag. It was taken for analysis and discovered it was just fillants.
"That place is a market place and it could have dropped by anybody. Lagosians should remain calm, as there is no cause for alarm. The security of lives and property is important to the CP and he is leaving no stone unturned to achieve it."
As at press time when THISDAY visited the area, it was calm as the traders had obviously returned to their businesses.