No fewer than 100 soldiers and police officers were on Saturday evening sighted keeping watch at Nigeria’s largest computer market, the Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos State.
It was learnt that the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, ordered the deployment of the security personnel after the Department of State Services uncovered a plot, on Friday night, to bomb the market.
“The number of soldiers and police officers within and outside the market has risen from about 50 in number on Saturday morning, to more than 100 by this (Saturday) evening,” a trader said told our correspondent on phone.
The trader, who simply identified himself as Nonso, however, said that the presence of the soldiers had led to the harassment of passers-by, traders and unsuspecting customers, as well as threats of arrests from the security agents.
“With these harassment and threats by the soldiers and police officers, the roads around the market suddenly became calm, when compared to other Saturdays, and most of us were forced to close shop as early as 2pm today,” he said.
Meanwhile, some members of the traders’ union – the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria – told our correspondent that the presence of the security agents had restored normalcy to the market after the bomb scare.
“Although they might have been aggressive in their approach, we are very happy now that there is no more fear and tension in the market. Everyone is going about his or her normal duties,” a presidential candidate in CAPDAN’s July 12 election, Mr. Ahmed Ojikutu, said.
He said the traders had also secured the services of special security groups, who were familiar with the market terrain, to assist in guarding the market.
“Aside the presence of vigilance and special security groups, the police have also made available sniffer dogs and armored tanks to aid in surveillance activities around the market and environs,” Ojikutu added.
Also, the Secretary of CAPDAN’s Electoral Committee, Mr. Okogua Obasuyi, said that seven persons had been arrested in connection with the plot to bomb the market.
A statement from the DSS had read, “Sequel to increasing threat posed to public peace by the activities of the Independent People of Biafra, this Service arrested one Chidiebere Onwudiwe, a graduate of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and known member of IPOB, on June 22, 2016.
“Onwudiwe and his associates, within and outside the country, were planning to carry out coordinated attacks against religious bodies/edifices, police checkpoints and the Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos State, with Improvised Explosive devices. The suspect was apprehended while making logistics supplies for their nefarious plan.”