Kano Bomb Update: Sultan, Presidency, Ohaneze Condemn Attack
Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has stated that the new trend of bombing at a motor park and the killings in Kano is a design to put the entire country in crisis.
A statement by the JNI under the leadership of His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto also condemned Monday’s bomb blasts in the northern city. The statement signed by the JNI secretary-general, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, also quoted the Sultan as saying, “This new trend of bombing at a motor park, and the killings that ensued, on innocent people that gathered to travel to various destinations at New Road, Sabon-Gari, Kano, Kano State, is disturbing and alarming.
The royal father said, “Moreso, our concern is why was the park targeted? It seems there is a design to set the entire North on crises and by extension, the whole country, starting with Kano, after witnessing relative peace in the region.”
The Sultan also decried the killing of a female police officer, a divisional police officer (DPO) in Kano, Kano State, on Tuesday. The JNI calls on Governments at all levels to as a matter of urgency prevent re-occurrence and the perpetrators of these barbaric acts be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, following reports of possible reprisals in the aftermath of multiple bombings at the popular Sabon Gari Park in Kano and populated by Nigerians of largely southern extraction, senators fear Monday’s attacks could attract provocative ethnic colouration and by implication threaten the unity of the country.
Coming under personal explanation in line with the Senate rules yesterday, senators Uche Chukwumerije (Abia, PDP) and Kabiru Gaya (Kano, ANPP) stated at plenary that feelers in select quarters suggested that the attacks were targeted at a particular ethnic group.
Chukwumerije told senators that 80 per cent of the people killed in the blast were Igbo. He insisted that the dead bodies must be released to families as opposed to a mass burial.
In view of the heightened terror attacks, Senator Gaya suggested that the federal government rescind its decision not to grant amnesty to Boko Haram. He worried that with the present level of insecurity, Nigeria stood the risk of gradually turning into a failed state. Gaya in a separate statement said, “We have a government. Is the government not supposed to provide security for the citizens? Do we wait until we become a failed state? People are working for this nation and the government must do something. If it means dialogue, government should dialogue and when that is done, it can lead to amnesty. He said, “What happened in Kano is quite regrettable . We must do everything possible to end this carnage. My appeal is that government consider other options to end this situation.”
President Goodluck Jonathan has tagged Boko Haram as “ghosts” and has refused to grant amnesty.
In another development, apparently to calm frayed nerves and avert possible reprisal attacks on northern residents in the south-east by the Igbo as a result of the recent bomb blasts in Kano, the chief of army staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, yesterday stormed Onitsha, the Anambra State commercial town, and appealed to the Igbo to remain calm even in the face of the recent bomb blasts in Kano. Represented by the general officer commanding the 82 Div, Nigeria Army, Enugu, Major General Adebayo Olaniyi, Ihejirika commended the Igbo for the maturity they had displayed so far since the Kano blast, saying that reprisal attack can never solve the security challenges facing the country.
The COAS met with Igbo stakeholders in Onitsha at the Officers’ Mess, 302 Artillery Regiment of the Nigeria Army, Onitsha. He appealed for peace in the entire south-east zone, especially in Onitsha, assuring that the Nigerian Army was on top of the security challenges. He, however condemned the Kano bomb blast, describing the incident as unfortunate and stated that it needed serious maturity to handle, he also stated that he was in Onitsha to douse the mounting tension of possible reprisal attack on non-indigenes, especially northerners, and appealed to traders and residents to remain calm, adding that the attack was not targeted at the Igbo alone as other tribes, including northerners, were also affected.
Ihejirika challenged all Nigerians to partner with the security agencies by coming up with useful information that would help to nip terrorism like the recent incident in Kano in the bud as, according to him, “the fight against terrorism is a collective responsibility”. The COAS also stated that the unity of Nigeria is inevitable and commended President Goodluck Jonathan and Anambra State governor Peter Obi for their commitment towards the fight against terrorism and expressed optimism that the country would soon overcome its security challenges.
Responding , in his remarks, the chairman, Omagba community, Chief Akunwata Okeke, assured Nigerians of peace, adding that the Igbo are not known for bloodletting and no amount of provocation from any militant group can blackmail Ndigbo into shedding of blood.
Kano State governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu yesterday visited victims of Monday’s suicide attacks on luxury buses in Kano. Also on the governor’s entourage were former EFCC chairman Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria Chief Bisi Akande and other top government functionaries.
In another related development, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has urged its state chapters to compile the names of all those affected in the bomb blast that occurred in Kano this Monday.
In a press statement signed yesterday by Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, the Ohaneze secretary-general, which was made available to journalists in Enugu, the organisation condemned the action of both the sponsors and the perpetrators of the act, lamenting that Ndigbo was paying the heaviest price for Nigeria’s unity.
He said, “We roundly condemn the sponsors and the perpetrators of the continued cold-blooded murder of fellow Nigerians. The Igbo nation is taking the heaviest toll on the casualty list and Ndigbo are grossly pained by this organized pogrom on her people.
“Even in the face of extreme anger, Ohaneze requests Ndigbo to maintain the peace while we wait for President Jonathan’s reaction to this latest dastardly act. Ohaneze mourns with the families of those killed and consoles the injured.”
Meanwhile, the youth wing of Ohanaeze has warned President Jonathan to act now or resign “ for lack of will and candour”. A statement signed by the national organizing chairman of the wing, Mazi Alex Okemiri, said President Jonathan appears very weak to tackle the menace.