President Goodluck Jonathan (r) receiving a greeting card from Vice President Namadi Sambo; FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed and the Minister of State FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinnjide during Eid-il-Fitri homage paid the President by residents of the FCT led by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the President’s Residence, State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
By Kingsley Omonobi, Ben Agande & Abdulsalam Muhammad
KANO—Ancient city of Kano witnessed fresh bomb attacks, yesterday, as twin explosions targeted at worshippers at Saint Charles Catholic Church, Sabon Gari, and a police check point in Kano killed six persons. The dead included a soldier, two women, a man, a child and a female suicide bomber.
Kano State Commissioner of Police, Adelenre Shinaba told reporters in Kano that the attack on the Catholic Church located at Zungeru Road, occurred shortly after the Sunday mass when an object suspected to be Improvised Explosive Device was thrown from opposite the church at a crowd of worshippers, leaving the service.
Mr. Shinaba explained that the explosion left a soldier guarding the church dead, as well as four others. Eight other worshippers sustained various degree of injury.
He disclosed that three suspects were arrested at the scene of the blast, pointing out that investigation has already commenced to ascertain their level of complicity.
According to the police boss, the other bomb attack involved a 15 year-old female suicide bomber who concealed the bomb device on her and walked towards policemen manning a check point.
He explained that the suicide bomber decided to detonate the device on her when the policemen threatened to shoot her if she continued to walk towards them.
Mr. Shinaba said that the incident occurred at Gidan Murtala by Kofar Nassarawa overhead bridge around 1.00pm, adding that five officers were injured in the process while four of them have been treated and discharged.
Major bomb attack averted
The Kano State Police Command also said a bloodbath was averted late Saturday at Isyaku Rabiu Eid praying ground in Kano metropolis following the discovery of a primed vehicle abandoned strategically on the expanse field.
Isyaku Rabiu Mosque also served as Eid praying ground and is the second largest in Kano city attracting hundreds of thousands of worshippers across various sects.
The police commissioner, told newsmen in Kano that “the proactive steps initiated by the police in ensuring hitch free Sallah celebration paid off when a good Samaritan alerted us on the development’.
He said the police received a distress call from some members of the public that a Peugeot 406, white in colour, with Number plate AA 513 ZAK, was abandoned at the gate of Isyaku Rabiu Mosque located at Goron Dutse Qtrs Kano.
“On receipt of the information, our men led by the EOD Personnel were mobilized to the scene and discovered the said vehicle was loaded with IEDs primed to be detonated during today’s (yesterday) Eid el-Fitr’s prayers. We immediately disconnected and dislodged the EIDs safely without causing any injury or damage,” he said.
In the meantime, the Kano Emirate Council has suspended traditional festivities associated with Eid celebration for security reasons.
Briefing reporters on the development, the District Head of Dale, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero disclosed that the suspension was due to security situation in the country. He called on citizens to intensify prayers for divine intervention.
Police arrest five suspects
Meanwhile, the Police headquarters in Abuja declared yesterday that five suspects have been arrested in connection with the bomb attacks in Kano, yesterday.
According to a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Frank Mba, two of the suspects were arrested in connection with the failed attack at the Ishiaku Rabiu Mosque in Kano. The other three were arrested in connection with attack on the St. Charles Catholic Church that resulted in the death of five persons.
The suspects, all of them, male are facing interrogation in different police facilities in the state.
The statement read: “As part of ongoing investigations into the various terror related incidents that occurred in Kano, Police operatives in the ancient city have arrested five suspects in connection with the Saint Charles Church. All suspects are currently undergoing interrogation at different Police facilities. Following the spate of incidents in Kano, the Nigeria Police have stepped up patrols and surveillance in the ancient city and other major cities across the nation.
Police operatives are carrying out both overt and covert operations nationwide, while special teams are carrying out sweeping raids in suspected terrorist hideouts. Citizens are enjoined to remain vigilant and continue to support the security forces in this trying period”, Mba said.
Earlier, ACP Mba, while confirming the attack, said that an attacker threw a bomb into the church premises immediately after the end of the church service located in Sabon Gari area of Kano which killed five persons. He said two previous attempts on a Mosque and a university were thwarted by the police in the city. He added that there were efforts to secure vulnerable points in Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and other areas.
Buhari’s death would have thrown Nigeria into turmoil —Jonathan
In a related development, President Goodluck Jonathan said, yesterday, that those who carried out attacks on former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi were sons of the devil, who planned to throw the country into turmoil.
Speaking when Vice President Namadi Sambo and the Minister of the Federal Capital Teritory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed led Abuja residents to pay traditional Sallah homage, President Jonathan thanked God for saving the lives of General Buhari and Sheikh Bauchi from the attack, saying their death would have been calamitous.
He also condemned the bomb attacks in Kaduna and Kano while extending his condolence and sympathy to the bereaved and those who suffered injuries.
“You can imagine if these two people had died in those attacks. Shiekh Bauchi is one of our top Islamic preachers, he has millions of followers; Buhari, former Head of State, a leading political figure has massive supporters. On the same day people wanted to kill them. Those who planned the attacks are clearly sons of the devil. Because if they had killed these two people, we wouldn’t have been here today. This country would have been in turmoil. We couldn’t have gathered here to celebrate.
“We thank Allah for saving their lives and preventing a major calamity that would have befallen our country”, he said.
While calling on clerics to preach peace to their congregation, President Jonathan noted that there can be no development in a situation where there is conflict and bloodshed.
He called on all Nigerians to work with government to see that “collectively we bring to an end the excesses of Boko haram and other terrorist groups. We are doing everything humanly possible to end it”, he said.
The president said the federal government was looking at how to raise funds to take care of the widows, and orphans, as well as to rebuild business premises that have been vandalised and worship places.
He however said that government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of cushioning the effects of terrorist activities and called on the private sector to assist government in meeting this responsibility.