This Day (Lagos)

20 January 2013

Nigeria: 4 Dead As Gunmen Attack Emir of Kano

Photo: This Day
Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero

Four persons were killed yesterday as gunmen, believed to have laid ambush, opened fire on the convoy of the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero who was on his way back to the palace after attending a Quranic competition in the city.

Though Bayero, a highly revered traditional ruler in the North, survived the attack, but apart from those who died several others also sustained serious injuries.

Among those who lost their lives is the interim Chairman of Kumbotso Local Government in the state, Alhaji Muhammad Kura.

The three others are said to be palace guards. Their names were not disclosed.

Bala Salihu, Director of Press to the state's Deputy Governor Abdullahi Musa Ganduje, said Kura's remains, taken to the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital Kano, had been collected for burial.

Eyewitnesses told THISDAY that immediately the emir left the venue of the Quranic competition, a suspected bomb was reported to have gone off in an SUV vehicle before the emir's vehicle could reach the main road.

This was followed by gunshots from the suspect assailants.

The eyewitnesses said after shooting at the emir's convoy, the gunmen began shooting sporadically into the air to scare away people.

According to them, it took the courage of the policemen attached to the emir to repel the attack and conveyed Bayero to safety.

Confirming the attack, Spokesman of the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) Captain Ikedichi Iweha said, "Its true the emir's convoy was attacked but the emir is safe and healthy".

Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, however, confirmed three persons dead.

The governor who made a broadcast to the people of the state on the incident also confirmed that the emir is hale and hearty.

He asked the people to continue to go about their normal businesses.

Kwankwaso denied speculations going round the city that the government had imposed curfew on the state from 6 pm to 6am, stating that no curfew was imposed, as such, people should carry on with their normal businesses.

The sudden pandemonium that followed the attack made some road users especially those plying Zoo Road and other adjoining roads in Kano to, out of the ensuing confusion and fear for their lives, be involved in accidents.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack at press time but security operatives have swung into action.

Meanwhile, though the dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram has been on rampage in Kano lately, security agents may look not only in the direction of Boko Haram in the search for the attackers of the highly revered Bayero.

A dependable security source told THISDAY in Abuja that there could be more to the attack than the notorious religious sect.

When asked if they were suspecting any group outside Boko Haram, the source said, "in a situation as we are in some Northern states, virtually all crimes are subsumed in Boko Haram but it is our work to identify and separate them."

House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal condemned the attack, describing it as callous and inhumane.

He said from all indications it was meant to shatter the resolve of peace-loving persons in the federation.

Also, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda described the attack as barbaric and unfortunate.

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