Overwhelmed by the devastating loss of lives and property in the Friday coordinated bomb attacks by Boko Haram members on several security units in Kano, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, yesterday wept as President Goodluck Jonathan visited his palace to condole with him and the people of the state over the tragic incident.
The revered royal father, who could not control his emotions when he was delivering his speech, repeatedly wiped away tears from his face even as his voice was cracking intermittently.
The emir also called on the federal government to look into the possibility of increasing the number of security personnel in the state to beef up security in consideration of the size of the state.
Responding to the president’s speech, the emir said, “The security personnel in Kano State are not sufficient to give the state the necessary protection in crisis situation.
The royal father added that the state was under policed; the state has only 8,300 police officers to provide security for over 9million people
According to the emir, security is a very fundamental thing that should be given adequate attention. He further assured Jonathan of his readiness to cooperate with the federal government to achieve this desired mission.
Bayero also appealed “to everybody to has the fear of God in his heart and know that whatever he or she does here, he or she will account for it thereafter”. He further said, “We will join hand swith the government to tackle this challenging situation and, by God’s grace, we will solve it diligently.”
We’ll wipe out sect – Jonathan
Jonathan has said that his administration will take measures to wipe out the Boko Haram phenomenon in the country. The president stated this at the Emir of Ado Bayero yesterday while condoling with the emir and the people of the state.
He said: “We will not rest on our oars until terrorism in whatever form is wiped out, and that is why we are fortifying our security network to face these challenges all over the federation and we are certain that we will defeat them.”
Jonathan said it had become imperative for everybody in the country to remain security conscious and police himself to avoid tragic happenings. He therefore urged Nigerians not to give up in the fight to wiping out Boko Haram from the country.
“Since the terrorists live among us and they are not spirits, we must team up to defeat them”.
The president, who arrived Kano in company of national security adviser Gen. Andrew Azazi (rtd), defence minister Dr. Bello Haliru, and the national chairman of the PDP Abubakar Kawu Baraje, later visited the AIG Zone One’s office and Gamji Military Hospital,along the Airport Road, to sympathise with some of the survivors hospitalised as a result of last Friday’s serial bomb attacks.
Fresh shootout in Kano
A lone suspected member of the dreaded sect, yesterday opened fire on the Bompai Police Barracks around 3pm, causing hundreds of people living in the barracks to run helter skelter. In the process, many of them were injured.
Sources in the barracks said the gunman operated from a big drainage that passed through the barracks, from opposite Chinese Perking Restaurant on Umaru Babura Road in Bompai GRA.
Soldiers were quickly drafted and they responded with superior fire power to get at the gunman. The whole area was then surrounded by armed policemen from the Kano High Court Annex on Miller Road up to the Chinese Restaurant.
Residents of the area were turned back and denied access to their homes, with many opting to stay with relations or hotels far from what has come to be seen as a war zone
12 killed in Bauchi
Despite the public outcry that has trailed the devastating terror attacks on Kano State on Friday, members of Boko Haram have continued to sustain their onslaught in the northern part of the country as the sect engaged in fresh shootout with security agencies in Kano and Bauchi states.
No fewer than 12 people were killed yesterday when gunmen attacked a police station and military checkpoint at Bununu district in Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.
The gunmen were said to have launched a massive attack in the area at about 3am with guns and locally made bombs.
Confirming the incident to journalists, the commissioner of police, Bauchi State Command, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, explained that, apart from the police station and the military checkpoint, the hoodlums also raided a hotel and a new generation bank in the area where, he claimed, they succeeded in killing 11 people including a divisional police officer (DPO), a deputy superintendant of police, an army lance corporal and eight civilians.
He added that a team of military and police personnel responded immediately, which forced some of the hoodlums to retreat while six suspects were arrested.
Aduba, who claimed that 10 unexploded locally made bombs were recovered from the gunmen, described the incident as that of an attempted robbery. He added that the arrested hoodlums were being interrogated, saying that efforts were being intensified to fish out the fleeing culprits.
The police commissioner also confirmed that three other explosions had occurred at the early hours of yesterday, in two churches at the Railway Quarters and Fadaman Mada in the state capital, which caused minimal damage to the parts of the worship places. He said that no casualties were recorded as a result of the incident.
But some of the residents of Tafawa Balewa stated that about 10 houses were also demolished during the operation in the area.
Reacting to the development, the chief press secretary to the state governor, Mr Ishola Adeyemi, condemned the dastardly act, saying that the remains of the deceased were deposited at the mortuary of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
Why We Attacked Kano – Boko Haram
Meanwhile, the spokesperson for Boko Haram, Abul Qaqa, has explained why the group attacked Kano on Friday.
He told journalists in a telephone interview yesterday that the Kano State government should be held responsible for the continued incarceration of its members and innocent persons.
He added that the group gave the government enough time to set free its members to no avail, hence its decision to strike and prove its worth to the government and security agencies.
Qaqa added that Boko Haram would not relent in fighting for the rights of its members, many of whom he claimed were innocently held.
According to him, the Nigerian government will continue to pay for the continued oppression and killing of innocent Muslims in the country: “We are only scared of Allah but no one. We must regain our faith and freedom soon. No amount of propaganda against us will deter us. We are guided and strengthen by Allah as you can see.”
Suspects arrested in Kano
The president has said that arrests had been made over attacks in Kano, while the masterminds of the Islamist group Boko Haram were being pursued.
In an interview with a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter in Kano, Jonathan said, “Some arrests have been made. Some died in the process. Some were suicide bombers. There must be people who are sponsoring them. Terrorists all over the world have their source of income. “We are also looking into those areas to make sure that the so-called Boko Haram - those who are encouraging them, those who are sponsoring them, shall be brought to book.”
When asked about the number of Boko Haram members involved in the attacks, he said, “Nobody can say for now, because you know that they are not organised armed forces.”
3 Indians killed, 7 injured in Kano attacks
A 23-year-old Indian national was killed along with two others while six of his compatriots, including two children, were injured in the coordinated bombings and gun attacks in Kano by Boko Haram on Friday.
A statement issued by the High Commission of India in Nigeria yesterday, said that Kevalkumar Kalidas Rajput from Dahod in Gujarat, who worked for Kano-based firm M/s Relchem, was among those killed in Friday’s deadly attacks.
It said Rajput and two of his co-employees from Nepal, Hari Prasad Bhusal and Raj Singh, lost their lives when their car entered a zone of hostilities.
The high commission added that six other Indian nationals, including two small children belonging to two families, had received injuries from falling shrapnel and debris and are being treated in Kano hospitals.
According to the high commission, the families of the Indian killed and those injured in the attacks has been contacted by the authorities.
Stop killing innocent souls – ACF
The northern socio-cultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday told members of the Boko Haram to stop killing innocent people in the name of God or revenge “Enough is enough of the killings in the name of God or revenge” it said.
The forum, which was reacting to the multiple explosion in Kano metropolis, said: “Such dastardly acts must stop forthwith in favour of the universally recognised due process of law that is already in place for purpose of addressing perceived injustice.”
The ACF state this in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday by ACF’s spokesman Anthony Sani. The statement reads in part: “Violence as means to address perceived grievance has never worked anywhere in the world; it is often counter-productive.
“Only constructive engagements and dialogue have proved useful in delivering peaceful coexistence and that may explain why the heavy losses of lives, properties and untold hardship which Boko Haram has so far unleashed on the nation and on the northern parts of the country in particular have failed to address their concern and perceived grievances.”
“It is very disheartening for the nation to be revisited with multiple bomb explosions in Kano and Bauchi states, which have claimed about one hundred and thirty one people, as well as properties in Kano and unknown losses in Bauchi State.
“More distressing is the reported claim by Boko Haram that the sect did all these in revenge for the arrest and detention of their members by the security agencies in Kano.
“This is depressing because it is an overkill that is clearly against the tenets of any religion or faith to kill innocent people and call it revenge. There is no provision for a “head for an eye” in the scriptures of all faiths or religions.
“It is against this backdrop that ACF wishes to make it clear that violent loss of lives and destruction of properties of fellow Nigerians is not pleasing to God and against the law, and, therefore, unacceptable practice.
“Such dastardly acts must stop forthwith in favour of the universally recognized due process of law that is already in place for the purpose of addressing perceived injustice.
“ACF also wishes to call on all Nigerians to seriously assist all tiers of government in these difficult tasks of containing the brazen insurrection against constituted authorities. Maintenance of peace and national security are not tasks for governments alone. It is a collective responsibility.