By Yemi Akinsuyi and Ibrahim Shuaibu
Abuja, Nigeria – Multiple bomb explosions, targeted at security posts, shook the city of Kano on Friday January 20th, leaving seven persons dead and several others injured.
In the first incident, a suicide bomber forced his way into the Zone One Police headquarters in the city, killing himself and three police men while injuring several others.
Zone One headquarters is in charge of Kano, Jigawa, and Katsina police operations.
Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone One, AIG Mohammed Abubakar, was not in the office when the explosion occurred, but the zonal spokesman of the police, DSP Aminu Ringim, confirmed that it was a suicide bombing.
Frightened residents of the city saw smoke billowing out of the police building, windows blown out and the roof collapsed while fire fighters were seen battling to douse the flames with water hoses.
Most of the policemen who survived the attack were seen at the premises covered with dust from the rubbles, while the dismembered body of the suicide bomber was seen at the premises.
At least four other explosions echoed across the city in quick succession.
The state’s immigration office and two police stations within the city – Sabon Gari and Bompai Police Stations, as well as the SSS headquarters were affected.
Residents ran around shouting and screaming.
At the immigration office, three officers were also said to have died in the process.
A reporter with Channels Television in Kano, Mr. Enenche Akogwu, was shot and killed during the exchange of fire between policemen and the attackers at Farm Centre Police Station.
The Kano State Government has, however, imposed a 24-hour curfew in the city.
But gunshots were still being heard in some parts of the city like around Bompai Police Command headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, last night gave a list of places destroyed during the bomb blasts.
He said it was a coordinated attack on security installations.
Security posts attacked are as follows:
- Nigeria Police Zone One Headquarters on BUK Road,
- Zaria Road Police Station on Zaria Road,
- Farm Centre Police Station at Farm Centre,
- Passport Office at Farm Centre,
- SSS Headquarters at Gigiyu and Immigration Head-quarters at Bompai Road.
- Others are AIG Zone One residence at Bompai Road and
- Police State Command Headquarters at Bompai Road.
A press release signed by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Olusola Amore said seven casualties had been confirmed from different locations of the attacks.
“The police have commenced investigation and therefore use this medium to call for calm among the residents of Kano as police are doing their best to bring the situation under control.
“The Nigeria Police is appealing to members of the public to come forward with information on the identity and location of these hoodlums. Information given will be treated with utmost confidentiality,” he said.
A resident of the city, Andrew Samuel, who witnessed the bomb blast at the police zonal headquarters said:
“I was on the roadside and I just heard ‘Boom!’ As I came back, I saw the building of the police zonal headquarters crashing down and I ran for my life.”
Witnesses said the bomber of the police headquarters pulled up at the building on a motorbike then got off and ran at it holding a bag.
“We tried to stop him but he ran in forcefully with his bag. All of a sudden there was a blast. You can see for yourself the building is damaged,”
said a policeman at the scene.
Police said a second blast hit Kano’s passport office and another hit Zaria Road Police Station in the city.
“The ground was shaking with the explosion. We saw flames and smoke at the police station,”
said witness Umaru Ibrahim.
A source at the State Security Service said another bomber had tried to attack the place but was gunned down before he could detonate his bomb.
Police and military roadblocks were erected across the city within minutes.
“We are trying to reach the scenes of these heavy blasts. Security agents has blocked many of the roads. As of now, we cannot say what the casualties were,”
said Abubakar Jibril, head of the National Emergency Management Agency for Kano.
All effort to speak with state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris on the extent of damage proved abortive.
As at press time,* no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, many suspect that the dreaded Boko Haram sect is behind the blasts.
The sect has claimed responsibility for a number of bomb attacks in northern Nigeria.
A bomb attack on a Catholic Church just outside Abuja on Christmas Day, claimed by Boko Haram, killed 37 people and wounded 57.
Last August a suicide bomber blew up the United Nations Nigeria headquarters in Abuja, killing at least 24 people.
*UPDATE: The number of dead was revised to over 160 on Jan 23rd. As predicted, the group Boko Haram (Western education is sinful) has claimed responsibility for the attack.One of the group’s demands is that the Petroleum Resources Minister Mrs. Deziani Allison-Madueke should step aside until an investigation into fuel subsidy payments is completed by the House of Representatives Committee. The Boko Haram militants are thought to have initially been armed by state politicians to intimidate their opponents. Kano state last made the news in April 2011 when Mohammed Abacha, eldest son of Nigeria’s former draconian military head of state General Sani Abacha, lost a court challenge to his governorship candidacy after a contested primary. DC
Source: This Day
Court rejects Mohammed Abacha Candidature
Ahead of the April 26, 2011 governorship election, the court of appeal in Abuja declared the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Amimu Bello Masari, the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party in Katsina state.
The court also declared Brigadier-General Lawal Jafaru Isa as the governorship candidate of the CPC in Kano state, having upheld the appeals filed by Isa against the Federal High Court, Abuja, decision that had made Mohammed Abacha, the son of the former late head of state, the candidate of the party in Kano.
In a judgment read by Justice Jimi Bada, the court upheld Masari’s appeal against the decision of a Federal High Court which ruled on the 25th of February 2011 that Senator Yakubu Lado was the authentic CPC governorship candidate for Katsina state.
Justice Bada said that the lower court erred in law when it failed to consider the affidavit and documentary evidence of the CPC and the fact that the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party has the final say as to who is the candidate of the party in any election.
The court further held that the Katsina State party Chairman who forwarded the name of Senator Lado and 46 other candidates of the party to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had no such powers and had usurped the functions of the board of trustees.
The three-member panel of the appellate court also held that the counter affidavit filed by Jafaru Isa was uncontroverted, maintaining the court has no reason whatsoever not to believe that the primary election that produced Mohammed Abacha was inconclusive and that Abacha, who was jailed abroad for money laundering, had bribed the electoral committee chairman with one million naira to emerge victorious.
It would be recalled that Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court had on February 25, 2011 declared Senator Lado as the authentic CPC governorship candidate in Katsina state for the governorship elections while Justice Gabriel Kolawole, also of a Federal High Court in Abuja, had ordered Brigadier-General Jafaru Isa not to parade himself as the CPC governorship candidate in Kano state and held that Muhammad Abacha, the son of the former military head of state, General Sani Abacha is the recognized Kano state CPC governorship candidate.
More from my site