Heavy blasts have rocked the Abuja office of Leaders and Company publisersh of ThisDay newspapers. The office opposite the Jabi motor park in Nigeria’s federal capital territory has become a major attraction, not for its captivating structure, but for the smoke, and ruins that have become the aftermath of the bomb blast.
The Kaduna office of ThisDay newspapers was also not spared, as there were also bomb attacks targeted at the company’s office, there. The offices of The Sun and The Moment newspapers in Kaduna were also not spared. The bomb blast occurred only a few minutes after the Abuja explosions.
Eyewitnesses said the suicide bomber drove into the Abuja office of ThisDay, before detonating the bomb, which shook nearby buildings to the chagrin of passersby. According to eyewitnesses, more than 20 people have been confirmed dead in the Abuja and Kaduna bomb blasts, while properties worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
The well-coordinated bomb attacks on the Kaduna and Abuja offices raise speculations of a deliberate attack on media houses. In one of his tweets, Nasir el-Rufai, former minister of the federal capital territory, wrote that ThisDay got a telephone warning from the dreaded Islamist sect, Boko Haram sect in January.
The Kaduna bombing was targeted at an office block housing ThisDay, The Sun and The Moment Newspapers, at Ahmadu Bello Way, by Bayajida Street.
Ismail Omipidan, northern bureau chief of The Sun Newspaper, while confirming that the zonal offices of the three newspapers were affected, noted that no journalists lost his or her life, nor was injured.
Indeed, the dreaded Boko Haram sect has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying that the media was targeted because it had in recent times "misrepresented" its views. The sect has also in recent times, threatened to make journalists its target.
Since late last year, the focus of the sect shifted to media practitioners, after the group threatened to target journalist. The sect claimed that the media was quoting men who claimed to be spokesmen of the sect thereby crediting comments to it which are actually not from its members.
In January 2012 Enenche Akogwu, Kano State correspondent of Channels Television was killed in the northern city while carrying out his duty. Zakariya Isa, a cameraman with the Nigerian Television Authority in Maiduguri was also murdered by men suspected to be members of the sect.
It will be recalled that the sect carried out the bombing of the United Nations, UN, headquarters in August last year, in Abuja.