Controversy has surrounded the arrest of a middle aged man, John Akpabu from Nasarawa State who was found with a package of ammunition yesterday at the Radio House, Abuja. At the time of his arrest, he had in his possession a bag containing 37 rounds of live ammunition and canisters suspected to be grenades.
Ministers of Justice, Bello Adoke; Aviation, Stella Oduah; and Youth Development and Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, were at the time of the incident briefing journalists at the National Press Centre on the activities of their ministries in the past one year.
It was gathered that the man attempted to sneak into the premises of the Radio House pretending to be a photographer following a female newspaper reporter. Although he managed to get past the gate, luck ran out on him as eagle-eyed security operatives spotted him and ordered him to stop. He hesitated before complying. When his bag was searched, the deadly cargo was found on him.
Though the news has already gone viral, what is on debate on news and social media sites is whether the man is actually a terrorist or not.
The man told journalists after his arrest that the bag found on him was given to him by an unnamed woman to deliver to someone in Abuja.
“I didn’t know the contents of the bag until I got to Abuja. A woman gave me the bag and when I saw that the bag contained explosives, I decided to bring it here so the woman can come and collect it,” he stated.
He added that suspected bombs and ammunition belonged to his late brother who was a corporal with the Police Mobile Force in Bayelsa.
“I am from Nassarawa state and my brother who was a Mobile Police Corporal served in Bayelsa State. His name was Aliyu Clement and he died in November 2011.”
He claimed his late brother had brought the arms and ammunition when he travelled to their village in Nassarawa State. “When he came to the village, he fell sick and died. We sent signal to Bayelsa but the signal was said to have stopped on the way.”
He said he decided to bring the package left behind by his late brother to Abuja.
In the video below, he tried to defend himself but with so many journalists questioning him at the same time, his account is not quite clear.
However, what is being debated now is whether the man is a terrorist or not. The SSS Spokeman has commented on the NTA Network News that the canisters are not grenades but tear gas.
Also, some have argued that terrorists don’t act in such a sloppy manner and if he had any intention of carrying out a deadly attack, he would have done so. Another ongoing debate surrounds the security of the said venue. How did a man get 3 ‘grenades’ and 37 rounds of live ammunition into a place where Ministers were expected to convene?
Obviously, the man’s account is doubtful. At one point, he said a woman gave him the bag. At another point, he said it belonged to his late brother.
It is no doubt that with constant threats from the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram, people are apprehensive, especially residents of the Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The police are still conducting their investigations but if those canisters contained tear gas and not grenades, can he be called a terrorist?
On the other hand, other people have argued that his arrest was a staged ploy to disrupt the Ministerial Press Briefing or that it was a distraction from Boko Haram.
His name, John, is Christian, thereby pointing him away from the Islamic Sect, Boko Haram, that is except the group has started recruiting Christians for its attacks. However, some still argue that he could be a member of the sect, while others say that he was simply hired by the PDP to make it look like they were actually ‘doing’ something.
The whole controversy is all too confusing.
So, what do you think? Was this just a farce? Please share your thoughts
News Source: Punch | Vanguard | Sahara Reporters