A bomb scare at the camp ground of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Ebonyi State on Tuesday, forced the authorities to call of the end-of-camping parade for corps members participating in the 2015 Batch B stream two exercise in the state.
The parade was slated for the Old McGregor College orientation camp Afikpo, Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state but had to be called off after security operatives raised the alarm of suspected explosive device in the orientation camp.
The alarm led to panic and confusion as corps members and officials ran in different directions for dear life.
The security operatives attached to the camp ground combed the hostels of the corps members looking for a possible place the device was hidden all to no avail.
A corps member, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said apprehension heightened in camp when some unknown faces were spotted on the camp ground during the bonfire night, the eve of the end-of-camp parade.
Following reports by some corps members that they indeed saw unknown faces entering one of the hostels, the security operatives had to search thoroughly for the presence of any explosive device in the hostels.
As panic spread at the camp ground, the NYSC management hurriedly distributed posting letters to corps members to proceed to their places of primary assignments.
Confirming the development, the Ebonyi Police Command spokesperson, George Okafor, said the camp ground was safe as no bomb device was found by the anti-bomb squad deployed to the NYSC orientation camp.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Okafor, however, disclosed that a cable was found, which he said was being screened by the anti-bomb squad.
He added that security had been beefed up in camp ahead of the posting of another batch of corps members to the state.
The Chairman of NYSC governing board, who also doubles as the Ebonyi State Commissioner for Sports, Charles Akpuenika, said he got a call from a security agency in the state alerting him of the bomb scare.
Mr. Akpuenika said he immediately alerted Governor Dave Umahi, who ordered that the terminal parade be called off.
Mr. Akpuenika said, “I got a call from a security agency in the state that briefed me on what was happening at the camp ground and the panic the bomb scare created among corps members”.
“I immediately placed a call to the Governor, he ordered that the terminal parade be called off. The governor is so interested in the safety of every Ebonyi indigene and visitors to the state. He would not desire that anybody be hurt and that was why it was called off.
“Actually, from the information I got from the security agency, a cable allegedly usually used to construct bomb was discovered by the security agency at the camp ground.
“The cable has been taken by the anti-bomb squad and I believe that they would be in a better position to inform us if the cable was actually intended to be used by some miscreants to construct bomb in the area.
“Ebonyi is a safe ground for visitors, there has never been any fear of terror attack in the state and we don’t hope to have one. People should feel free to come to the state and there security is assured”.