Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:18 pm
As the world concentrates on rescuing the Chibok school girls, Boko Haram strikes again in Kano
At about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, 18 May, hundreds of people had gathered at Gold Coast/Middle Road, a busy axis within Sabon Gari, in Kano. What they came to do was to do merry at a new hotel—Royal Palace. Hundreds of night crawlers were already inside, enjoying themselves when a Toyota Sienna car, with only a driver, drove in looking for a space to park. But a security man at the new hotel stopped him, telling him that there was no space to park.
“At that point, the driver quietly reversed; parked the car at the centre of the road. He came out and pretended to be answering a call. After a few minutes, the car blew up and there was confusion. The sound was deafening and the whole Sabon Gari community was gripped with panic and apprehension as people ran in different direction,” an eye witness told TheNEWS.
The shrapnel of the bomb went far, even wounding people sleeping in their houses in neighbouring streets. Though security agencies gave the figure of the dead as five, residents who witnessed the blast insisted that over 10 people lost their lives and many got injured.
Governor Musa Kwankwaso promptly responded to the tragic incident. He condemned the bomb blast and commiserated with the people and families of the deceased and the injured when he paid a visit to the scene of the incident. Kwankwaso described the incident as criminal and unholy. According to him, the perpetrators of this heinous act have now found a profession in the destruction of lives and properties.
“We should continue to pray to Allah to continue to protect the citizens of Kano. For the past one year, such incident has not happened, so there is need for us to pray for divine intervention,” Kwankwaso noted, adding that the State government would also support the families of those who lost their lives. They further urged security agents to forward to his office, the names of those who lost their lives and those who were injured.
He charged the security agents to redouble their efforts in the protection of lives and properties, pointing out that, times have changed and people should be more careful and vigilant by reporting suspicious persons with questionable characters to the appropriate authority for prompt action.
According to Kwankwaso, “Sabon Gari is a critical place that harbours people from all Nigerian tribes, including foreign nationals. Sabon Gari is a mini Nigeria, and anything that affects the place affects all of us, because you have the Yoruba, the Igbos, the Tivs and all other tribes that you know with different religions.” Kwankwaso also urged landlords, car dealers and other stakeholders to be cautious and vigilant, in order to forestall further eventuality.
While inspecting the scene of the incident, Kano state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adenrele Shinaba revealed to journalists that earlier before the latest blast, police intercepted a bomb-laden vehicle that was primed with explosives at Tafawa Balewa Road in Nassarawa quarters of Kano.
Shinaba said items recovered from the abandoned vehicle include two gas cylinder, a jerrycan of fuel and wires. The Police boss said the primed vehicle might have been abandoned by the terrorists on sighting security agents.
TheNEWS reports that a woman frying fish near the scene of the explosion whose two young daughters died in the blast, later died of shock two days after the incident. According to one of her neighbours who does not want his name on print, “The woman is from Ogoja in Cross River State. She fries fish by the side of the road and her two daughters always come out to help her serve customers. Unknown to her that something tragic was about to happen, just few minutes before the incident, she left to pick someone from the house; but before she could come back, she had lost her two daughters and her business. She could not bear the pains as she slumped and died on Tuesday.”
On Monday, 18 March 2013, at about 4:30pm, a Volkswagen Golf car casually drove inside the park, beating all security suspicions. The occupants were not mean-looking; rather, they waved to the park security at the gate and drove past. As the park touts made attempts to rush toward the car for inquiries on the needs of the occupants, who they all believed were about traveling or to deliver a parcel for courier, hell was let loose! The big sound from the Golf car which had already made its way close to the fully loaded Lagos-bound Gobison bus, was followed by several other booms in four other buses that set the luxury park on terminal fire. Within the wink of eye, scores of human beings at the New Road Park were charred. On the whole, two buses owned by Gobison Transport, two buses marked Ezenwata Transport Limited and one other owned by Chimezie Transport Limited, were burnt.
Also in July 2013, on a fateful Monday, a twin-bomb blast occurred in the same Sabon Gari, precisely at Enugu/Igbo Road and New Road, killing over 12 people and injuring many others. Residents of that area continue to live in panic and fear of the unknown.