Written by Saliu Gbadamosi and Chris Agbambu, with Agency Report Thursday, 12 July 2012
THERE was panic across the country, on Wednesday, as the rumour mill went abuzz that the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, had struck at the camp of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Bauchi, killing over 50 graduates in a bomb blast.
Parents of graduates undergoing the compulsory one-year service period had been making frantic calls to relevant authorities to find out the situation of things. This is even as social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, were busy, with interested persons trying to confirm the authenticity of the information.
A check on the camp also confirmed that both the officials of and participants in the scheme also heard the rumour, just as those outside the camp.
Meanwhile, the Bauchi State government, in a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ishola Michael Adeyemi, denied the rumour, describing it as “baseless and unfounded.”
According to the statement, the rumour was the handiwork of a few people who were enemies of peace and who wanted to cause unnecessary panic among the people.
When contacted, the state cordinator of the NYSC, Nuhu Kwaghe, also denied the rumour of the bomb blast, saying the orientation camp was safe and peaceful.
Also, the police, on Wednesday, speaking through its spokesman, Frank Mba, said there was no truth in the rumour.
Meanwhile, the Sokoto State coordinator of the NYSC, Alhaji Salisu Taura, on Wednesday, said sufficient security personnel had been deployed, to ensure the safety of corps members at the Sokoto orientation camp.
Taura told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto that additional measures had also been taken to effectively provide security services at the camp.
In another development, the Defence Headquarters, on Wednesday, said there were no fresh attacks on Tse and Shong villages in Plateau State on Tuesday, which allegedly claimed 140 lives.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, who announced this while briefing newsmen in Abuja, said the report in its entirety was false and reassured Nigerians that there was no such attack as claimed.
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