29 April 2012

Nigeria: Kwankwaso Slams BUK Attack, Two Profs Feared Dead

Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has described the attack on Christian worshipers Sunday morning at the old campus of the Bayero University Kano, as an unfortunate and sad incident that has breached the peace in the commercial city, even as reports indicate that two professors where among those killed in the attack.

The governor, who cut short an official trip to Abuja, to visit the scene of the incident lamented that such a painful thing is happening at a time peace was gradually returning to the state capital following sporadic attacks by suspected militia men.

Governor Kwankwaso assured that the state and Federal governments will continue to work hard to ensure that peace and harmony prevailed among residents of the state.

He said that the state government has made arrangements with public and private hospitals in the state to ensure that victims of such incidents are treated satisfactorily, while the government will foot the medical bills.

Governor Kwankwaso, who lamented the loss of lives and property as a result of the attack, commiserated with the university authorities and its community over the incident, saying that he hoped there would not be another such occurrence.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Yahuza Bello, who conducted the governor round, explained that some of the worshippers were attacked in an indoor sports hall at the old campus of the university, which they use as a temporary place of worship.

Prof. Yahuza added that another group of worshippers were attacked while conducting their Sunday service in an open space outside the Dandatti Abdulkadir Theatre, which they hitherto used, but which is currently under going renovation. He said several wounded victims were receiving treatment in hospitals in Kano city.

The two professors believed to have been caught up in the attack were named as Professor Ayodele of the Chemistry Department and Professor Andrew Leo of the Library Science Department.

The Spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the state, Lieutenant Ikedichi said military operatives had been deployed to the area to restore order while declining to give details of the causality figures.

Mohammed Suleiman, a history lecturer at the university, said security guards had to run for their lives when the violence broke out.

"For over 30 minutes a series of bomb explosions and gun shots took over the old campus, around the academic blocks," he told Reuters news agency.

Kano State Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris said that by the time police arrived, the attackers had "disappeared into the neighbourhood". A manhunt is under way.

Reacting to the blast, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Kano State Chapter Chairman, Bishop Ransom Bello described the attack on students as 'barbaric'.

"Why is this ugly attack on innocent students, while they were observing prayers and worshipping to their God?" Bishop Bello said.

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