By Bashir Adefaka, AbdulSalam Muhammad, Kano
Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, escaped death, yesterday, as gunmen, operating on motocycle (Okada), opened fired on his convoy. The incident occurred when the monarch was leaving Masalacin Murtala area of the Kano metropolis where he had gone to attend a Qur’anic graduation ceremony.
His driver and three guards were not as lucky as they were killed in the attack which was said to have left the monarch’s two sons injured. The wounded sons were identified as Turakin Kano and Ciroman Kano. Unconfirmed sources also said the caretaker chairman of a local council was killed in the attack.
No group claimed responsibility, at press time, for the attack on the 19th Emir of Kano in whose domain the Islamist group, Boko Haram, has carried out terror attacks in the past months.
Yesterday’s incident was the first major attack in the city after the coordinated attacks launched by the Islamist group in Kano on January 20, 2012.
Narrating the attack on Bayero, a security source said the guards in the entourage of the emir had, in line with tradition, fired their dane guns to signal the monarch’s exit after the programme when the gunmen detonated a bomb, adding that the bang triggered pandemonium.
“The blast was followed by sporadic gunshots on the convoy by four gunmen operating on motorbike”.
The source said Bayero’s official vehicle was shelled by the attackers, adding that “it was divine intervention that saved the day”.
According to the source, “the casualty on the part of the royal guards was high because of their display of gallantry in the face of terror. Despite the danger, they massed round the emir until he was rescued to the back up car and ferried away from the spot”.
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State confirmed the death of four people in the attack, naming them as the three royal guards and Bayero’s driver.
The Joint Task Force, JTF, spokesman in the city, Capt Ikediche Iweha, confirmed the terror attack on the monarch, adding that “the emir survived and he is hale and hearty”.
Iweha stated that JTF had since taken over the scene of attack to track down the perpetrators of the dastardly act, adding that details would be made available soon as the “mop up operation” was over.
In the meantime, uneasy calm pervaded the entire city following the attack as businesses hurriedly closed and vehicular movement was light on major streets.