The Events of February 3, 1976 & 2003

February 3, 1976

On this day, after a successful take-over of government, General Murtala Ramat Muhammed created additional states in the federation of the Republic of Nigeria, namely: Imo, Bauchi, Gongola, Bornu, Plateau, Benue, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Niger and Sokoto.

From the old East-Central State were created Imo and Anambra States.

From the old North-Eastern state were created Bauchi State, Gongola State and Borno State.

The Western State was separated, and Ondo, Ogun and Oyo states were created from it, while Niger state and Sokoto states were brought out from the old North-Western State.

The creation of new states thus brought the total number of states in Nigeria to nineteen.


February 3, 2003

On this day, at about 12.30pm, at least 30 people were killed in an explosion that destroyed a bank and an apartment block in Nigeria’s city of Lagos. The cause of the blast could not be established on this day but the police were considering the possibility that someone was using explosive in an attempted bank robbery. Looters were seen leaving the scene with piles of cash and computer equipment as rescue workers struggled against the greedy tide in order to pull bodies from under the rubble. Police fired into the air to prevent further ransacking.

The Nigerian Red Cross president, Emmanuel Ijewere, said that 30 bodies were found in the rubble on that day, but added the death count could rise further. Lagos State Commissioner for Information at the time, Mr. Dele Alake, said that it was still possible that survivors might be found in the destroyed building. Rescuers worked through the night searching for survivors as armed police guarded the site.

Speaking to reporters at the scene of the explosion, the Lagos State governor at the time, Bola Tinubu, was careful to note that the cause of the blast had yet to be determined. Also, President Olusegun Obasanjo flew into Lagos from the Federal capital, Abuja to visit the blast site.

 A vehicle loaded with some currency at the explosion

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