- As fear grips Abuja residents
Suicide bombers and gunmen yesterday killed 39 people and injured 32 others in separate attacks in Zaria, Kaduna State and Sho village in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. This is a tension as the incidence has sent panic in Abuja over possible attack by the dreaded sect.
While 25 people, including a two-year-old child lost their lives in a bomb blast at the Sabon Gari Local Government secretariat in Zaria, 14 others were killed by gunmen in Plateau while 32 sustained several degrees of injuries in the explosion.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, confirmed the incident in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwa.
El-Rufai said the bomb blast went off as the residents welcomed the new chairman of the interim management committee of Sabon Gari Local Government to his office at the secretariat and while some council workers from Lere and Ikara were undergoing biometric verification at the venue.
According to him, “The city of Zaria today (yesterday) suffered a terrible act of infamy because terrorists detonated explosives that killed and injured several persons at the secretariat of the Sabon-Gari council. The casualty count as at 12 noon is 25 fatalities, including a two-year-old child. Thirty-two injured persons are being treated at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and other hospitals in the city.
“The Kaduna State government has expressed its sadness at this mindless attack on our citizens. It has condoled with the victims and is coordinating the treatment of the survivors,” the statement reads.
At the scene of the blast, El-Rufai sympathised with the direct victims and the residents of Zaria. He prayed Allah to grant the souls of the deceased victims peaceful repose. He condemned the attack as an inhuman act of terror, and he urged the people of Kaduna State as a whole to be vigilant, even as they preserve the peace.
The governor said residents of the state should promptly report all suspicious persons and activities to the security agencies and community leaders.
The government announced measures to enhance security in the state.
The measures included the banning of beggars and hawkers from the streets until further notice.
“The government hereby urges all citizens to report all suspicious persons and movements to the security agencies, and to afford these agencies their maximum cooperation,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, the bomb blast generated pandemonium and confusion in the state and the major road leading to Kaduna State Secretariat, along Independence Way as civil servants
deserted the verification centre on hearing the news of the bomb blast at the Zaria verification centre as early as 9am.
Some of the civil servants threw courtesy to the wind as they jumped into their cars and drove against the traffic. This led to traffic jam on the ever-busy Yakubu Gowon by Independence Way, Muhammadu Buhari Way and Golf Course Road.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the gunmen stormed the Plateau communities at about 12 noon yesterday and shot innocent residents.
A member representing Barkin Ladi constituency in the state House of Assembly, Peter Gyendeng, confirmed the attack to newsmen and decried the situation where on a daily basis, his constituency members were being killed.
He called on the Federal Government to do everything possible to nip in the bud the activities of terrorist in the country.