Update on Nigeria Bombings

Nigerian police have released the names of two suspects for the dual car bombings that took place during the independence celebrations in Abuja on Friday. Speculation continues about whether the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta is truly responsible for the attacks.

The police said Chima Orlu and Ben Jessy were Nigerian but gave no further details about the men.

President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier blamed “a small terrorist group that resides outside Nigeria” for the blast.

His comments cast doubts on an earlier claim of responsibility by the militant group Mend.

A statement, claiming to speak for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend), had claimed responsibility for the bombings during celebrations in the capital on the 50th anniversary of independence.

The group apparently sent a warning shortly before the blasts, saying “several explosive devices have been successfully planted in and around the venue by our operatives working inside the government security services”.

A former leader of the militant group, Henry Okah, has been arrested in South Africa in connection with the bombings.

Mr Okah told the BBC on Friday that his group, which says it is fighting for a fairer distribution of Nigeria’s oil wealth, was not responsible.

An editorial at 234 Next urges a restructuring of the country’s security forces. What reactions have you seen to the bombings, either in the Nigerian or the international press?


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