…My escape was divine, says motorist who went for car keys at drinking bar
More details emerged yesterday on Monday’s twin explosions by Boko Haram in Kano metropolis even as survivors recounted how they cheated death. The Joint Security Task Force (JTF) and the police said 12 people died while 12 others were injured. Ohanaeze Ndigbo disagreed with the figures, saying 45 people lost their lives.
It was confirmed yesterday that the lone bomber hid the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in a wheelbarrow, disguising as a fruit seller before they were detonated at New and Enugu/Igbo Road, all in Sabon-Gari, populated by non-indigenes, mostly the Igbos. One explosion went off at 41 New Road, the Christ Salvation Pentecostal Church at the peak of evening worship.
An eyewitness, Mazi Columba Ndubuisi, told Daily Sun that the Boko Haram bomber arrived in Enugu Road, with a wheelbarrow, adding that the terrorist pretended to be selling watermelon, oranges and bananas. According to him, the attacker hid the IEDs inside the wheelbarrow under the bananas and oranges, adding that after roaming innocently for a while, he parked the wheelbarrow near the shop of one Mama Ejima by the side of a parked Mercedes Benz car. Ndubuisi said he trades on fire -fighting equipment very close to the scene of the blasts, when the boy parked his wheelbarrow casually, some people were actually calling him to come and sell to them, but they surprisingly noticed that the boy, rather than selling, made his way to the main road, leaving his wares.
He said barely a few minutes after, the bomb exploded killing the woman (Mama Ejima) and several other people. Another witness, who is simply called Mr. Eddy, said typical of the fellowship, worshippers separated themselves from their children, adding that the kids were roaming about the scene when the first device exploded near their play-point. The witness, who was watching football in a nearby bar when the first blast occurred, recalled that following the shocking explosion, the whole scenario was thrown into confusion, with several people sustaining injuries, while many more died of the first blast.
He said that just minutes after the first blast, when they were trying to escape, the second exploded, trapping some people who had dared to run in the direction of the first blast.
Mr. Eddy, who resides in the same building where the church is located, said several people died on account of the blasts, including three persons who sat close to him at their drinking table.
“There was smoke everywhere. People were running everywhere, people were lying on the ground, many motorists jumped inside their cars and sped off. They came here with four pick-up vans to carry the bodies. I did not count them, but I know that they were many,” he added. Meanwhile, several families were yet to discover the whereabouts of their relatives. Daily Sun learnt that at least, eight wounded persons were hospitalized.
Speaking from his hospital bed at the Emergency Unit of the Armed Forces Hospital in the state capital, Mr Chika Ekenne said the blasts took them by surprise, adding that but for the mercy of God, he would have died from the explosion. Ekenne, who had deep wounds on his left shoulder in addition to several sharp cuts, said that he was hit by the second explosion that occurred in New Road area of Sabon -Garri Area.
According to the victim, who was wreathing in pains at press time, he was a resident of Abuja, who had come to the state to finish a business, adding that he went to the particular scene in the company of a friend to give some money to his daughter, who was to transfer the same to another of his children, who is in school.
Mr. Ekenne, who hails from Etiti in Mbaino in Imo State told Daily Sun that when the first bomb exploded by the side of the church, a number of people at the drinking bar escaped, adding that unfortunately, he forgot his keys when he fled in fright.
He recalled that in the midst of the thick billowing smoke, thinking that it was a single blast, he ran back, only to be hit by the second explosion which stuck him and threw particles at him.
While pleading that they should not tell his wife about his current state and tragedy, he noted that his wife may not be able to stand the shock.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by JTF spokesman, Capt. Ikedeche Iweha, said Boko Haram detonated the bombs which killed 12 people and injured 12 others, while 19 vehicles were destroyed.
According to the JTF, the incident could have been avoided if the residents had maintained vigilance by reporting to the authorities, strange objects. Capt. Iweha recalled that the task force had urged people to keep an eye on their environments as there was a tip-off that the terror group had planned to attack Kano.
Also, the state police command, in a statement by Mr. Magaji Magiya, confirmed the JTF’s casualty figures.
Reacting to the attack, president of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano State Chapter, Chief Tobias Michael Idika, claimed that 45 people were killed even as he called on President Goodluck Jonathan to take urgent steps to strengthen security of lives and property of residents in the northern parts of the country.
In a statement, the apex Igbo group said: “Ohanaeze account can confirm 39 deaths in New Road and six in Enugu/Igbo Road, and an unspecified number of people who got injured. The terrorists invaded Sabon-Gari, an enclave carved out for non-natives and planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which exploded almost simultaneously at Enugu/Igbo Road, near International Hotel and on New Road, directly opposite the popular Ado Bayero Square precisely at Nos 38, 39, 40 and 41.
“At 41 New Road, the Christ Salvation Pentecostal Church was also bombed at the peak of evening worship.” The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), through its state chairman, Bishop Ramos Bello, condemned the attack. He prayed God to receive the departed souls and comfort the wounded. He appealed for deployment of more troops in the state.
Meanwhile, the state government has condemned the attack. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who visited the scenes, described the attack as devastating. He promised to pay for the treatment of the injured victims.