Leadership (Abuja)

29 July 2014

Nigeria: Fresh Kano Attacks - Two Teenage Female Suicide Bombers Kill Three

Photo: Vanguard
Kano multiple explosions (file photo).

Two female suicide bombers blew themselves off and killed three people, injured seven people and two policemen at separate bomb blasts in Kano yesterday.

Kano Police Commissioner, Aljaji Adenrele Shinaba, confirmed that a female wearing explosives detonated it at Hotoro NNPC mega filling station which killed three people and injured seven others.

He added that the incident occurred when innocent citizens queued up to purchase kerosene.

Alhaji Shinaba also confirmed that a 19-year-old girl suicide bomber blew herself up and injured two policemen at the entrance of the multi-billion naira Ado Bayero Mall near Kano Trade Fair ground in metropolitan Kano.

Shinaba said the teenage girl hid the bomb in her hijab and detonated it as policemen at the gate were about to search her. He said she blew herself off while policemen asked her to spread her hands for scanning and searching.

Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Magaji Musa Majiya, who confirmed the incident in a press statement he made available to LEADERSHIP, said that the blast occurred at about 10am, adding that the force's anti-bomb squad had cordoned off the area.

Management closes Ado Bayero Mall

The management of the Ado Bayero Mall has shut the mall following the blast that occurred at the place.

The management of the mall, which disclosed this in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said it was taking the measure in the interest of public safety, noting that the situation was being monitored closely for further action when necessary.

Boko Haram: Jonathan Condemns Kano, Adamawa, Cameroon Attacks

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday expressed shock over the random bombings in the northern states of Kano and Adamawa, including the kidnap of Lamido of Kolofata in northern Cameroon, Lamido Seini Lamine, and wife of Cameroon vice prime minister.

In a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the president condemned the gory activities of Boko Haram, saying they are not only "callous and reprehensible" but a descent to an inhuman campaign by and total disrespect for the dignity of the feminine gender.

According to Abati, the president, while imploring the security operatives to be bloody bold, lauded the decision taken by the defence ministers of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Benin and Niger "to further strengthen existing partnerships in order to forestall the desperate attempt by misguided elements to turn the sub-region into a battleground for terrorism and radical extremism".

The statement made available to LEADERSHIP last night reads in part: "President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan wholeheartedly condemns the recent terrorist attacks in Kano and Adamawa states as well as the kidnap of the Lamido of Kolofata in Northern Cameroon, Lamido Seini Lamine and the wife of the Vice Prime Minister of Cameroon.

"The President describes as shocking, callous and reprehensible the multiple bomb blasts that occurred in Kano within 24 hours, and the unrelenting attacks by the Boko Haram at a time the Muslim faithful are observing the holy festival of Eid el Fitri. He commiserates with the families of all those who lost their loved ones in the Kano and Adamawa attacks and wishes the injured speedy recovery.

"President Jonathan further notes that the deployment of young women as suicide bombers represents a new low in the inhuman campaign by these terrorists and an expression of utter disregard for the dignity of the female gender as well as a wicked exploitation of the girl-child.

"The President states that the abduction of the Lamido of Kolofata and the wife of the Vice premier of Cameroon clearly underscores the regional security threat that Boko Haram has become.

"He welcomes the recent resolve by the Defence Ministers of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Benin and Niger to further strengthen existing partnerships in order to forestall the desperate attempt by misguided elements to turn the sub-region into a battleground for terrorism and radical extremism.

"President Jonathan urges the security forces to remain resolute, and not be discouraged by the desperation of the agents of evil. He believes that with the continued cooperation between Nigeria's security forces and their counterparts in neighbouring countries, the war against terror will surely be won."

Boko Haram kills 4 soldiers 46 others in fresh Adamawa attacks

No fewer than 50 people including four soldiers were killed on Sunday by members of the terrorist group Boko Haram in coordinated attacks across three local government areas of the state.

The attacks on Madagali, Hong and Gombi local government areas have caused serious anxiety across the length and breadth of the state. Local sources said four soldiers were killed in Garkida, Gombi LGA, during a fierce gun battle that lasted many hours between the members of the sect and soldiers while many civilians who were caught up in the crossfire were also killed.

Those feared killed by the sect in Madagali LGA where the incumbent acting governor of the state, Hon. Umaru Fintiri, hails from were many, while food items and cows were taken by the insurgents.

The hoodlums also visited mayhem on three communities in Hong LGA: they killed about 30 people.

The affected villages that came under attack of the Boko Haram include Zar, Lube and Mubeng, just as the village head of Zar community, a retired wing commander, Dauda Daniel, was abducted.

It was gathered that 20 people were similarly slaughtered at Mubeng village while the attacks lasted as many scampered into nearby bushes to avoid being killed by the marauders.

Some relatives of the head of Zar said the community leader was yet to be found after the raid and that he might have been abducted by the gunmen.

The figure of those killed in Lube was yet to be ascertained, one of the villagers who fled the community as a result of the attacks said.

An eyewitness who identified himself as Markus said most of the people in his community Lubeng were able to run to safety because they learnt of the coming of the sect members beforehand.

He added that not all were lucky to escape as children and the elderly who could not escape were trapped by the insurgents.

However, the acting governor of the state, Hon. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has commiserated with the families of the victims in the affected local government areas of the state.

The acting governor who spoke through his chief press secretary, Mr Solomon Kumanga, said that the government was collaborating with security agencies to bring down the activities of the outlawed group.

The spokesman of the Adamawa State police command, Haa Michael, however confirmed the attacks just as he said information about the number of casualties remained sketchy.

Nigeria has failed at fighting terrorism - US

The United States government yesterday said that the Federal Government of Nigeria has failed in its fight against terrorism, adding that the failure was a result of the inability of the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to adequately equip and train security forces to contain violent extremist groups in the north who attacked religious freedom.

Making this known in the US International Religious Report for 2013, which was released in Washington, DC, yesterday, secretary of state John Kerry said that the federal government did not act swiftly or effectively to prevent or quell communal or religious-based violence and only occasionally investigated and prosecuted perpetrators of that violence.

"The government also failed to protect victims of violent attacks targeted because of their religious beliefs or for other reasons," the report a copy of which was sent to our correspondent in New York said.

Citing instances, the report said legal proceedings against five police officers charged in 2011 with the extrajudicial killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf did not resume during the year, adding that the court was not in session on continuation dates set in February, March, May, and June after the presiding judge transferred to a different jurisdiction in 2012.

It stated further that there were no indictments or prosecutions following three fatal attacks on high-profile Muslim leaders in late 2012.

It pressed further that local and state authorities did not deliver adequate protection or post-attack relief to rural communities in the northeast, where Boko Haram killed villagers and burned churches throughout the year.

The report also berated reported discrimination and a systematic lack of protection by state governments, especially in central Nigeria, where communal violence rooted in decades-long competition for land pitted majority-Christian farmers against majority-Muslim cattle herders.

It added that federal, state, and local authorities did not effectively address underlying political, ethnic, and religious grievances leading to this violence.

"Recommendations from numerous government-sponsored panels for resolving ongoing ethno-religious disputes in the Middle Belt included establishing truth and reconciliation committees, redistricting cities, engaging in community sensitization, and ending the dichotomy between indigenes and settlers. Nationwide practice distinguished between indigenes, whose ethnic group was native to a location, and settlers, who had ethnic roots in another part of the country.

"Indigenes and settlers often belonged to different religious groups. Local authorities granted indigenes certain privileges, including preferential access to political positions, government employment, and lower school fees, based on a certificate attesting to indigene status. The federal government did not implement any recommendations despite ongoing calls by political and religious leaders to do so" the report read.

Furthermore, the US report noted that the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, or "people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and jihad" continued to commit violent acts in its quest to overthrow the government and impose its own religious and political beliefs throughout the country, especially in the north.

"Boko Haram killed more than 1,000 persons during the year. The group targeted a wide array of civilians and sites, including Christian and Muslim religious leaders, churches, and mosques, using assault rifles, bombs, improvised explosive devices, suicide car bombs, and suicide vests.

"An attack on the Emir of Kano in January was widely believed to be an attempt by Boko Haram to silence the anti-extremist Muslim leader, although the group did not officially claim responsibility. On September 28, Boko Haram killed at least 50 mostly Muslim students at a technical college in rural Yobe State. After this and other incidents, security forces faced public criticism for arriving at the scene hours after the assailants had fled.

"Government attempts to stop Boko Haram were largely ineffective. Actions taken by security forces under the state of emergency, declared in May in the three northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa, often increased the death toll, as bystanders were caught in crossfire during urban gunfights, security forces committed extrajudicial killings of suspected terrorists, and detainees died in custody," the report noted.

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