Jos blast victims recount ordeal
Three die in Boko Haram serial strikes
Three sect members killed in Borno
THE timely intervention of Joint Task Force (JTF) operatives in Kano yesterday averted a possible bloodbath as the security men discovered a car laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) parked by the roadside at the ever-busy Zaria Road bypass in the metropolis.
Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha, disclosed that the bomb-laden car would have been detonated by a remote control by someone standing nearby.
Iweha stated that moments after the discovery, JTF operatives cordoned the area until the bombs were defused by experts.
“A car loaded with IEDs was discovered by our operatives at the Zaria Road bypass. We thank God our eagle-eyed operatives uncovered it and averted danger to residents of Kano,” Iweha said.
The incident occurred barely 24 hours after a car laden with IEDs went up in neighbouring Kaduna State, killing 38 people.
Meanwhile, the five people injured in Sunday’s bomb explosion at Tudun Wada area of Jos North Local Council, Plateau State, have been treated and discharged from hospital.
The victims, who sustained minor injuries, were taken to the nearby Jenvak Hospital where five of them were treated and immediately discharged.
The explosion occurred in a local pub and involved an improvised explosive device (IED), which thankfully did not go beyond five metres radius.
Recalling how the incident occurred at the scene, one of the treated victims, Mr. John Ajang Sambo, said: “I work in Abuja. I came from Abuja that day of the incident. We have a thanksgiving for our late father. After the remembrance, we went to see our brothers, sisters and other relations. We now decided to meet at this joint yesterday (Sunday). After we gathered here, the husband of my sister called her.
“She was answering the phone call. After she finished the call, we wanted to go but then the bomb exploded. I was standing here (pointing) this way. My brothers were standing here. We were five. So, it affected me and our last-born. That was how it happened.”
Spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), Capt. Mdahyelya Markus, said yesterday: “Apart from what I told you yesterday (Sunday), there is no update yet. The situation remains the same.”
An eyewitness, Mrs. Hannah Dung, said: “Honestly, I don’t suspect anybody because nobody was moving around in a suspicious manner. Even we don’t suspect Muslims because the security agencies banned the use of any motorcycle from 7.00 p.m. of Thursday, April 5 to 6.00 a.m. of Tuesday, April 10.
“Since then, the Muslims have not been coming to this area because they depend on motorcycles to move. So, I don’t know who to blame for the incident.
“Again, because of the polarisation of the state, no Muslim is living in Tudun Wada. The inhabitants are wholly Christians.”
And four days after killing 12 people at the Maiduguri Monday Market, a gang of suspected Boko Haram gunmen yesterday attacked the Divisional Police Headquarters, Unity Bank, and Freedom Hotel at Dikwa in Borno State, killing a former council chairman, Babagana Ali Karim, police sergeant and a civilian caught up in the cross-fire.
But the JTF moved swiftly and confronted the alleged attackers and in the process, killed three of the suspects. Many others escaped with bullet wounds as the JTF and the 202 Battalion troops as well as policemen foiled the gunmen’s attempt to bomb the council secretariat complex.
Dikwa is a border council with Chad Republic in the North-East sub-region, and 185 kilometres east of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where the sect’s destroyed enclave was located.
Confirming the attacks, spokesman of JTF, Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa, said the suspected bombers took the military and police by surprise by launching their attacks and bombings in the wee hours of yesterday (Monday), instead of the incessant daylight attacks and killings in Maiduguri metropolis and its environs.
According to Musa, the gunmen could have torched the council secretariat complex but for the quick intervention of security agents to repel the terrorists that came in groups with their arms and ammunition.
He said even though many of the gunmen escaped with bullet wounds while the soldiers were protecting the council secretariat from being set ablaze, the soldiers were able to recover three rifles, a box loaded with ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, crash helmet, DVD player, 19 empty magazines for Kalashnikov rifles and an unmarked pickup van.
He said despite apprehension and fears among the residents of Dikwa, normalcy had been restored in the area bordering the Chad Republic, adding that security situation had been put under control and that people could go about their legitimate businesses.
Meanwhile, a constitutional lawyer, Uwemedimo Nwoko, has urged political and religious leaders in the North to jointly find a lasting solution to the menace of Boko Haram.
Speaking with The Guardian in Uyo, Nwoko said the lasting solution lay with the northern elite calling their youths for dialogue.
“Boko Haram is a creation of the mischievous northern political class, what they did not know is that the rules of engagement are radically different from the rules of disengagement. It started as a mere political thuggery group and now it has exploded and got out of their control. Those who started it are in a better position to know how to diffuse this explosive that they created, otherwise it is a time-bomb. They created it for local use, it has become of national relevance and now it is of international relevance. It is for the northern elite, both their political and religious leaders, to come together and find a lasting solution, otherwise they themselves will sooner or later become victims.”
Similarly, a member of the National Assembly, Mr. Dan Akpan representing Etina Federal Constituency area of Akwa Ibom State, has condemned the Easter Day bombing. He said bombing would no solve any problem, urging the perpetrators to come out if there are issues to be discussed.