This Day (Lagos)

4 August 2012

Nigeria: Emir of Fika Escapes Suicide Bomb Attack

A suicide bomber Friday made an attempt on the life of the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs, Dr. Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa at the Potiskum Central Mosque moments after the Friday prayer.

It was gathered that the suicide bomber stealthily detonated an improvised explosive device just as the paramount ruler was coming out from mosque after the Friday prayers and was few distance away from him.

The incident occurred just as reports emerged that a suspected suicide bomber was killed Thursday night in Mahuta, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis when the bomb he was carrying exploded, killing him instantly.

An eyewitness, who gave his name as Salisu Musa, said: "During our Friday prayer at the Central Mosque located in front of the emir's Palace here in Potiskum town, an unknown person was initially sighted sitting among the emir's entourage and was asked to leave the place. But immediately after the prayer the same person was sighted rushing towards the emir and the police orderly had to quickly push the man away.

"Though the orderly was able to save the emir, he was not lucky enough as the bomb exploded immediately the man was pushed and he got injured on his arms alongside a dozen other people."

When the scene of the incident was later visited by THISDAY, the dismembered corpse of the alleged suicide bomber was still scattered at the scene.

Injured persons were all rushed to the emergency unit of the General Hospital, Potiskum, for treatment. About 15 persons were seen receiving treatment at the hospital.

The incident is one of several other attacks which have increasingly put the town in the eye of the storm. Few months ago there was an attack on the town's cattle market where scores of people were killed and property including cattle worth millions of Naira lost.

Meanwhile security has been intensified in the town with thorough search at military road blocks while one of the major roads in the town which pass through the divisional police office has been blocked to prevent any possible attack.

The state's police command has however not spoken officially on the attack. When contacted on the phone, the police public relations officer, ASP Toyin Gbadegesin, an assistant superintendent of police said "the police commissioner will soon brief the press on the matter".

Witnesses in the Kaduna incident claimed the suicide bomber along with three others had entered the Afaka district of the area apparently to kill the district head, Abduwahab Aliyu.

However, the youths of the area were said to have rallied some support and disarmed him. But unknown to them, he had a bomb strapped to his body which exploded as the bomber was running away from them, killing him on the spot. This was said to have occurred at about 10.00pm.

"It happened at about 10.00pm on Thursday when some suspicious persons entered the village and some residents started questioning them and discovered that they were armed.

"The youths were able to disarm one of them who admitted that they were on a mission to kill the village head for allegedly exposing their members."

The public relations officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, Abdulrazaq Balteh, confirmed the incident but added that no arrests were made. He however confirmed the death of the bearer of the bomb.

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