Kano — Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero was yesterday flown out of Nigeria to a hospital in the United Kingdom for medical checkup, following an unsuccessful attempt on his life by gunmen on Saturday.
Bayero flew out of the country shortly after 1pm on board a chartered Barbados Group aircraft along with his two sons, who were injured in the attack, through the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.
He was accompanied to the airport by Kano State deputy governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and other state government officials.
In the attack on Saturday, three of the emir's staff were shot dead when gunmen ambushed his motorcade which was pulling out of Hausawa area of Kano where he had attended a Qur'anic graduation ceremony and commissioning of Islamic school at Masallacin Murtala.
Witness accounts said about a dozen attackers fired at the emir's car and other vehicles on the convoy, causing the death of his driver, orderly and a personal guard.
Also killed in the attack was interim chairman of Kumbotso Local Government Area, Alhaji Salisu Abdullahi Kura, and two others.
Bayero's sons, Ciroman Kano Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero and Turakin Kano Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, sustained gunshot wounds in the attack.
Reports also indicated that the monarch had been slightly injured by broken glasses, though Governor Rabi'u Kwankwaso and spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) Captain Ikedichi Iweha said the emir escaped unhurt.
Speaking to newsmen at the Kano airport before the emir's departure to the UK, Ganduje said Bayero was only traveling for routine medical checkup which had been scheduled even before the assault.
The deputy governor, who expressed gratitude to God for saving the life of the 83-year-old monarch, said the attackers had wished to kill him.
"However, they got those who protected him. But as you can see, he is flying to London not because of the incident, he is flying because it is time for him to go for medical checkup," he said. He disclosed that security agents had arrested some persons suspected to have hands in the attack, and that some of the perpetrators were foreigners.
"While chatting with the emir, he recalled how the attackers appeared and started shooting, saying that from their looks, they comprised of people who are not from Kano and non-Nigerians," said Ganduje.
"The situation is under control. I urge the people of the state to continue offering prayers and to continue cooperating with the security agencies, so that those people who are committing these crimes can be fished out."
Also, the special adviser to Kano State governor on Emirate Council, Alhaji Tijjani Mailafiya Sanka, condemned Saturday's attack and called on the people of the state to pass useful information to security forces.
Meanwhile, a security source informed Daily Trust that about half a dozen insurgents commanders came all the way from Bama in Borno State to coordinate the attack. The source added that five people had been arrested, out of which two were killed.
But when contacted, Captain Iweha said the JTF was still conducting investigations.
Before seeking medical attention abroad, Alhaji Ado Bayero attended prayers for peace in the state at the Kano Central mosque.
The prayer, which was led by the Chief Imam of Kano Prof Sani Zahraddeen, was also attended by members of the Emirate Council and other traditional rulers from the local government areas of the state.
The Chief Imam prayed God to prevent a recurrence of Saturday's incident, and urged the people to continue to pray for peace.