Schools in Nigeria capital closing for security

Comment: Off

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — All schools and government offices will close in Nigeria’s capital during a three-day international conference next week, according to a presidential order that followed two bomb attacks in three weeks that killed nearly 100 people in Abuja.

A statement Friday night said the measure “is to ease the flow of traffic” during the May 7-9 World Economic Forum on Africa at which hundreds of international personalities, business and African leaders are invited. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is the guest of honor.

The government has said it is deploying 6,000 police and troops to help secure the event, and President Goodluck Jonathan has assured delegates they will be safe.

Also Friday, the U.S. Embassy warned Americans in an email that extremists were planning “an unspecified attack” on a Sheraton hotel in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.

The chain has two locally owned franchises in the southwestern city of about 20 million people.

Explosions on April 14 and May 1 in Abuja, in the center of the country, are blamed on the Islamic extremists Boko Haram terrorist network that has targeted schools and slaughtered hundreds of students.

Militants of Boko Haram — the nickname means “Western education is sinful” — are holding some 276 teenage girls abducted from a northeastern school April 15.

The attacks and the military’s failure to rescue the girls has gravely undermined confidence in Jonathan and his government as the country prepares for February 2015 elections.

Nigeria is fighting a 5-year-old Islamic uprising by extremists whose stronghold is in the remote northeast but who are threatening attacks across Africa’s biggest oil producer.

Associated Press



About the Author