Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Kano Multiple Blasts: There’s A Grand Design To Set Nigeria On Fire - Sultan

EDEGBE ODEMWINGIE, BODE GBADEBO, MIDAT JOSEPH, and Okechukwu Obeta AND Abubakar Salihi

Leadership. Thursday, March 21, 2013

The 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 is a design to put the entire north and the 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 Kano.

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. “We therefore call for calm and restraint. The situation is very worrisome, and calls for more concerted efforts and strategies of averting such ugly situations.

“The JNI calls on Governments at all levels to as a matter of urgency nip in the bud future re-occurrence and the perpetrators of these barbaric acts be brought to face the wrath of the law. As human lives are sacred and must be treated as such, in line with the teachings of the revealed books.”

The JNI prayed for Allah to “save us from the enemies of peace and development, wherever they may be”.

“Consequently, we call on all Muslims to fervently engage in prayers that will bring an end to these nightmares of insecurity in our great country,” the Sultan added

Kano bombings: Nigeria’s unity under threat - Senate

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 declared the some elements were working against the unity of the country.

Meanwhile, senators led by the presiding deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, observed a minute’s silence in honour of the slain victims.

Chukwumerije stated at plenary, “The feedback is that the target this time seems to be undoubtedly ethnic and regional and this has to be addressed, as ethnicity and religion are tensed areas in Nigeria.

“Five buses were involved and all five buses belong to owners of the same ethnic group. It was like a volcano with no one able to go in because of all the fire and explosion; 80 per cent killed were Igbo and over a hundred died. The outcome of this incident if not managed, there could be a fallout.

“The perception of the Igbo is that the attacks were targeted at them. The Nigerian security situation must be visibly and effectively tackled”.

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.
“At least two people are killed every day in Kano. The government is not doing anything, the people are terrified; students don’t go to school anymore because of fear and everything is at a standstill.”

The deputy Senate president described the Kano attacks as “regrettable” and urged the federal government to explore “other options” to stop such carnage happening again.
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.

Ihejirika calms frayed nerves at Onitsha

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 Sabon Gari 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 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 , the commander, 302 Artillery Regiment, Col. T. A. Gagariga, thanked the COAS for his intervention in the affairs of the masses and promised to make sure there is peace in the state.

He attributed peace and calm in the commercial city to the mature way the security agencies handled the situation, while commending the people for not taking law into their hands.

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.

Kwankwaso, Tinubu, Ribadu visit victims in Kano

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.

One of the police officers, who sustained serious injury, has been transferred to Dala Orthopaedic Hospital, Kano, said a medical officer who led the governor and his entourage to the victims.

The officer, who pleaded anonymity, said the police officers were ambushed by suspected gunmen in the morning.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some gunmen on Wednesday attacked the duty truck used to convey police officers to their various duty posts.(NAN).

Fresh Kano attack claims 2
In another development, a fresh attack by a group of gunmen on a police patrol van in Jayin Sabon Titi area along Madobi road claimed two lives yesterday.

The spot of the incident said to be a flashpoint around NNPC Mega Station was said to be the governor’s regular route to his hometown of Madobi.

At about 7.04 am deafening sound suspected to be from explosive devices was initially heard after which sporadic gunshots followed, which left at least two persons dead and others injured. A commercial Hiace bus driver and a woman who was a roadside bean cake vendor were killed, while some policemen and a teenage boy were injured.

The policemen were said to have taken cover to repel the attack which helped in making the casualty figure minimal.

Ohanaeze mandates state chapters to compile names of victims

Meanwhile, 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 organised 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 organising chairman of the wing, Mazi Alex Okemiri, and made available to LEADERSHIP said President Jonathan appeared very weak to tackle the menace.
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