Bomb explosions in Nigeria's cities, villages and the rage of gunmen

Bomb explosions in Nigeria's cities, villages and the rage of gunmen

Saturday, June 28, 2014 3:18 pm

  Abuja shopping mall bombed

EMAB shopping plaza following the bomb explosion in Abuja on Wednesday, June 25, where a bomb explosion killed 22 persons on Wednesday, injuring many others and destroying properties worth millions of Naira

by Eromosele Ebhomele

In the last one week, Nigeria, Africa’s fourth fastest growing economy according to recent World Bank rating, has witnessed  horrendous attacks, killing many and leaving others in critically injured.

No doubt, resulting in unusual depletion of  the nation’s productive population and creating fear of insecurity.

Monday  June 23 , started like an ordinary day in Kano, until suspected members of the Boko Haram sect struck, wreaking havoc on the School of Hygiene located along Sabuwar-in Kofa, north-central region.

By the time the haze settled, eight people had been killed while 25 others were rushed to the hospital, suffering various degrees of burnt from the blast, carried out by a suicide bomber who witnesses  said posed as a new student.

On that faithful day, the suicide bomber laden with explosives, unknown to others, enquired about the registration going on as other students made haste to conclude the documentation process.

According to some of the guards at the institution, the suicide bomber, drove into the premises of the school clutching registration papers and believing he was a student, the guards allowed him into the school’s parking lot.

One of the guards said: “We allowed him in, and I told him where to park because we had challenge with parking space, due to the in take of new students.

“So it was strange when he went the other way. I  went after him and instructed that he parks at the appropriate place.  We argued over that for a while before he agreed to park his car as  instructed.

“A few minutes after, the bomb went off, but by that time we had seen his face and could identify him. And as he hurried past the gate, we ran after him, pinned him down, and realised he was also carrying some explosive devices but still we wrestled and  brought him down,” the guard who craved anonymity said.

Night of the same day, gunmen on rampage invaded seven villages in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state, leaving 123 people dead.

This attack came after the invaders had earlier killed 38 people in attacks on Kabamu and Ankpong villages in the state.

According to Christopher Chisom, a vigilante leader in Gwantu, villages in Kobin were invaded and 38 people killed. In Dogon-Daji 21 people lost their lives, while 16 others were killed in Naidu.

In Kabamu 30 residents were killed, five persons lost their lives in Hayin-Kwanta,  four in Kabani and nine others in Gani.

As a result, the state government imposed a curfew on the affected areas.

A day after the Kano explosion,the insurgents again attacked soldiers at a military post at Bulabulin Ngaura located in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, killing 16 and abducting some of the soldiers.

A soldier, who escaped from the scene of the incident said the intruders came in about 30 vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns, catching the soldiers who were not as armed, off-guard.

“I was at the checkpoint when the terrorists came, we tried our best but they had more advantage over us. They had AA and we had Ak47 rifles that are not fully loaded. When we realised that they had taken over the place, some of us escaped to Maiduguri and other places but many could not make it.

“As I am talking to you, 16 bodies of our colleagues have been brought to Maiduguri, this is apart from those that sustained injuries and many others that are missing,” the agitated soldier said”.

Wednesday’s  attack on the busy EMAB shopping Plaza, Central Business District in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, left many Nigerians including the President in shock. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan following the blast cutting short his meeting at the AU Summit in Malabo on Thursday.

A suicide bomber according to eye witnesses drove a car loaded with improvised explosive devices to the plaza, but was prevented by the guards from entering  the premises. While interrogations went on, the bomb was detonated resulting in the death of many petty traders who daily take positions around the entrance of the mall .

The petty daily sit around with their wares, which include groundnuts, oranges and banana. 21 people were killed at the following Wednesday’s attack, according to the police  many others were badly injured, but some witnesses said the figure could have been understated. One person later died at the hospital a day after.

One of the witnesses who works at the plaza, said he was in the office when he heard a deafening sound from the explosion.

“The effect of the explosion shook the entire building and everyone ran helter-skelter. I ran too, towards the back of the plaza because the explosion occurred in front of the gate.

” I ran through another path to get to the front of the plaza to see what had happenened. I saw people burning. One of those on fire was Christopher by name. He was burning on top of the bonnet of his Toyota Camry Car. He was eventually burnt beyond recognition. He was the driver to my boss Peter Akande. I don’t know where he has been taken to.”

Alhaji Suleiman Bisalla, also one of the casualties was a Managing Editor (North) of the New Telegraph newspapers. His body was found in the mortuary by his family after the incident.

A senior colleague of Bisalla at the New Telegraph recounting an earlier discussion with him before his death, a posted these words on his FaceBook page: “This is a man we discussed story ideas together early this morning. Editor, I’m working on the piece. You’ll soon get it.’  That was the last thing he told me. Friendly and humble! For years, we were both Political Editors. What a life! Rest in peace.”

The International Press Centre (IPC), speaking through its Director, Lanre Arogundade said with the alarming number of causalities recorded within three days,  it was time tohold accountable those whose responsibility it is to secure lives and properties of Nigerians.

He said the  recent bomb explosions  in Abuja and Kaduna, the nations northern region, shows lack of genuine commitment to check the menace.

“The media must now give voice to all and set in motion, a  national debate on collective actions that can be taken, as it is unacceptable for a few to be using acts of individual terrorism to hold the majority to ransom,” the IPC stated.

President Jonathan with security officials and media men at the EMAB shopping centre, where a bomb explosion left 22 dead on Wednesday, injuring many others and destroying properties worth millions of naira

President Jonathan with security officials and media men at the EMAB shopping centre Friday, after cutting short his trip to the AU Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The  Federal Government, however believes that the activities of  insurgent is calculated to frustrate the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, while noting that the recent Abuja blast coincided with another of such incident in Mubi, Adamawa State, said it was aimed at distracting and intimidate the President and his government ahead of 2015 elections, holding in April.

“Every time there is any major positive development in the country, it is quickly greeted with bombs and attacks on defenceless citizens. Every milestone recorded by government is followed by explosions and attacks to discourage the citizens and to turn them against the government,” he lamented as he called advised citizens to be more vigilant.

President Jonathan visited the site of the blast that claimed 22 lives early Friday after his return from the Equatorial Guinea capital, at the meeting of  African Heads of States and Government where he addressed media men.

Dr. Jonathan said while the situation is “regrettable”, the country will “surely overcome it.

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