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The Architecture of Fear

Tunde Agbola


Appendix Two

Bomb explosions in Nigeria

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1In the last year, a new wave of urban violence began to manifest itself in Nigeria. Like every other form of crime/violence, bomb explosions have claimed the lives and destroyed properties of many Nigerians. This terrorist approach has become a familiar occurrence, which is sending cold shivers down the spine of Nigerians.


2The Victoria Island home of Dan Suleiman, a retired Air Commodore, was petro-bombed and his personal effects set ablaze. The timely intervention of concerned neighbours prevented the house from being completely razed to the ground.


3A bomb went off at the Ilorin Township Stadium, venue of the launching of the Kwara State chapter of the Family Support Programme (FSP). Some innocent school children lost their lives.


18th January

4A bomb went off at the five-star Durbar Hotel in Kaduna, killing a man and wounding the female manager of the hotel.

19th January

5Barely 24 hours later a plane crash in Kano claimed the lives of Ibrahim Abacha and 13 others.

20th January

6Another bomb blast at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, the arrival point for dignitaries streaming into Kano to condole the Abacha family.

1996 cont’d

14th of November

7A bomb explosion at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja claimed the life of Dr. Sola Omatsola, the Chief Security Officer of the airport. This incident began a series of bomb attacks on hotels, military formations and other places in Lagos.

16th of December

8Another explosion rocked the convoy of the military administrator of Lagos State, Mohammed Buba Marwa.

18th of December

9A bomb exploded at the State Secretariat, close to the administrator’s office.


7th of January

10Another bomb explosion claimed the lives of several innocent citizens.

7th of May

11Another bomb blast at Oko-Oba, a place noted for nefarious activities in Lagos. This last incident left many people, including military officers, injured.

12The general effect of these series of bomb blasts is the heightened fear generated in people and the debilitating effects of an unsafe society. Psychologists agree that such situations are capable of destroying the psyche of Nigerians. This could be manifested in regressive behaviour, inappropriate mood, lack of impulsive control, delusions, hallucinations, loss of contact with reality and disintegration of personality. Insecurity could also bring about hypertension, migraine and permanent shock to people susceptible to psychiatrie ailments.

13The situation is also said to be debilitating to the business, economic, social and political climate of the whole country.

14Sources: Tell Magazine, No. 6, Feb. 5, 1996

15The Guardian, Dec. 22, 1996

© IFRA-Nigeria, 1997

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