By AbdulSalam Muhammad
KANO—About 60 people were feared dead, yesterday evening, in Kano when a suicide bomber attacked a bus park located at Sabon Gari, a predominantly Christian quarters.
The blast reportedly destroyed several buses while soldiers and policemen cordoned off the area after the blast.
The Chairman, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Kano, Chief Tobias Idika told Vanguard on phone that, “the incident occurred around 5.00 pm when activities at the park were at their peak. So far we have counted 60 human bodies burnt to ashes from five luxury buses affected by the blast. Eye witnesses gave conflicting accounts of how the explosion occured.
An account said “the blast occurred as five fully loaded buses were moving towards the exit gate at the park when an unidentified individual driving a Golf Volkswagen car in an opposite direction rammed into the buses resulting in an explosion. The suicide bomber died instantly.”
According to Chief Idiaka , “all the five buses have been reduced to ashes by the impact of the blast, and scores of others with high degree burns have been taken to Government hospital. Casualty figures might rise if what I have seen so far is anything to go by.
“We saw it coming and we informed the relevant authority to provide security for us in Sabon Gari but it fell on deaf ears”, he lamented.
Idika who was in tears further said: “ I cannot comprehend that human lives can be wasted like this; it is a horrible scene to behold and the fire service are trying their best to put off the inferno within and around the park”.
Another eyewitness told Vanguard that “an Improvised Explosive Device went off in one of the five buses going out of the park by 5.00pm”, adding that ”there are heightened fears that none of the passengers survived the blast.”
The Sabon Gari blast triggered pandemonium in the state capital as shops were hurriedly shut down in fear of possible looting by hoodlums.
The Joint Military Taskforce confirmed the blast. Spokesman of the Military outfit, Captain Ikediche Iweha told Vanguard that “we have moved in to the scene of the blast and we are trying to restore confidence to forestall looting.”
Captain Iweha explained that “we have invited men from Fire Service Department to put off the fire triggered by the blast and dozens were down by the impact of the blast. Our priority now is to secure the area and we do not have the casualty figure because we have not started counting. Investigation has commenced on the incident and that will reveal what happened, and how it happened”.
Jonathan condemns blast
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has condemned in strong terms, yesterday’s bomb blasts in Kano. The President said the barbaric incident will not deter the Federal Government from its strong-willed determination to overcome those who do not mean well for this nation. He said the Federal Government will not be stampeded, for any reason whatsoever, into abandoning its unrelenting war against terrorists in the country.
President Jonathan reassured Nigerians and foreigners in the country that the Nigerian Government will continue to do all that is required to ensure the safety of lives and property, including continued collaboration with local and international partners and stakeholders to check the menace of terrorism.
He commiserated with the victims of the Kano explosions, their families and friends, and assured the KanoState government of the Federal Government’s continued support.