Blast hits govt building in Nigerian oil delta


An explosion rocked a government guest house in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta, a month after twin car bombings in the capital Abuja, a local government official said.

The explosion damaged two upstairs rooms of the guest house in Asaba, the capital of Delta state, but there were no injuries, Sunny Ogefere, spokesman for the state governor said.

The cause of the blast, which happened close to Delta State Government House, was not immediately clear and there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Reuters reports.
“Security agencies have already moved to the scene of the incident and they have cordoned off the premises and commenced investigations to ascertain the nature of the explosion,” Ogefere said in a statement.

The car bombs in Abuja on October 1, which killed at least 10 people close to an independence day parade, were claimed by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the main militant group in the Niger Delta.

In an emailed statement, MEND subsequently threatened to carry out more attacks although the security services have said the main perpetrators of the October 1 bombings have been caught.

The Niger Delta, home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry, was hit by years of attacks on industry facilities until an amnesty — brokered by President Goodluck Jonathan — was agreed with the main militant field commanders last year.

Jonathan is the first head of state from the Niger Delta and a resurgence of unrest in the region would be an embarrassment in the run-up to presidential elections expected next April.