By Umar Yusuf & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
YOLA – No fewer than 105 persons have been confirmed dead in two deadly attacks in Adamawa State in the last 48 hours, with several scores of others sustaining serious injuries.
While 60 persons were killed by two suicide bombers at a mosque in Mubi, early yesterday, morning, 45 nomadic Fulani herdsmen were allegedly killed by unknown gunmen at Kikan community in Numan Local Government Area of the state.
The twin suicide bomb blast occurred in the popular Shiwa Mosque, located at Anguwar Medina, in Yelwa quarters of Mubi, the commercial nerve centre of Adamawa State.
Although eyewitness account said 60 persons died in the blasts, the state police command, which confirmed 50, also confirmed the 45 killed in Numan.
According to an eyewitness, the two suicide bombers ran from two directions into the mosque at exactly 5:05am, yesterday, while Muslim faithful were observing the SUBHI (morning prayers).
The eyewitness, who identified himself as Bello Fari, said he escaped death by the whiskers as he was equally rushing to meet up the two rak’at prayers.
Fari said: “My house is close to the mosque. I was almost late for the prayers and as I was rushing, I saw two supposed worshippers rushing to enter the mosque though there was some gap between me and them. Moments after the duo entered the mosque, there was a loud bang.
“The bombers waited until the nearly 150-capacity mosque was filled to capacity before they struck.
“Moment after the blast, the prayer was short-lived as the worshippers scampered for their safety, even as I watched from a close range.”
Fari said he immediately ran back into his house to evacuate his family to another part of the city for safety, saying the magnitude of the attack and the loss of human lives were so devastating.
Speaking on the attack, Chairman of Mubi North Local Government Area, Alhaji Musa Bello, who confirmed the incident, said though the casualty figure was being compiled, it was dozens, with many more injured, some critically.
50 confirmed dead — Police
Adamawa State police command also confirmed the attack, with the spokesman, Othman Abubakar (SP), saying 50 persons were confirmed killed and that investigation into the incident was underway.
“We have 50 dead and we are now trying to get the exact number of those injured,” Mr. Abubakar said.
Adamawa State government said a new security arrangement was in the offing in Mubi to prevent further occurrences.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ahmed Sajoh, said government and security agencies were on top of the situation, even as normalcy has returned to the ancient city.
Mubi, the commercial nerve centre of Adamawa State, was the headquarters of Boko Haram insurgents, when they overran five local governments in the state in 2014 and renamed Mubi “Medinatul Islam.”
Efforts to talk to some of the injured in the hospital in Yola, where they were taken for treatment, were frustrated by heavily armed soldiers who barred journalists from gaining entry into the facility.
It’s wickedness — Gov
Reacting to the blast, Governor of Adamawa State, Senator Muhammed Umar Jibrilla, described it as unfortunate.
The governor in a statement in Yola, yesterday, said the attack was an act of wickedness perpetrated by criminals who were bent on destroying the hard earned peace in Mubi and other parts of the state.
“We will continue to ensure that our people are protected and given a sense of security which is the most important responsibility of any government.
‘’We have also engaged all security agencies to ensure that this type of wicked act does not repeat itself in any part of the state.
“We call for calm as security has been stepped up in Mubi and environs and we will not rest until those behind this wicked act are brought to book, and may the souls of the departed receive mercy with God.”
Senator Jibrilla called for calm from all residents of Mubi and urged the people to come forward with any information that will help security agencies apprehend the culprits.
“It is unfortunate that people will be killed in cold blood in the place of worship. Adamawa is in mourning and my heart bleeds. Those injured in the incident will be given adequate medical attention,’’ the governor said.
We’ll protect Adamawa from Boko Haram — Buhari
In his reaction, yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari assured the people of Adamawa State that his government would do everything to protect them from deadly Boko Haram attacks.
President Buhari in a statement to commiserate with the people of Mubi, Adamawa State, over the early morning suicide attack, described it as cruel and dastardly.
The statement, signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja, read: “President Buhari, while commiserating with families of the several victims, government and people of the state, assured that government would do everything required to secure the state from the deadly menace of Boko Haram.
“The President enjoined the people in the entire North-East to be more vigilant and report suspicious persons to security agencies in order to avert further attacks on soft targets by the terrorist group.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to deploy more police personnel to prevent further attacks by armed bandits in Zamfara State.
He also directed the IGP to visit the state and report back his findings about the deadly attacks.
The directives, according to the statement, followed recent killings and wanton destruction carried out by unknown gunmen on communities in Shinkafi and Maradun Local Government Areas of the state.
President Buhari prayed that God would console the bereaved families in the Adamawa and Zamfara incidents, heal the injured, and grant rest to the souls of the departed.
Gunmen kill 45 in Kikan community
Meanwhile, unknown gunmen Monday night killed no fewer than 45 persons, mainly women and children at Kikan community of Adamawa State, while many more have been declared missing.
Those killed were said to be largely Fulani herdsmen who had been living in the area for a long time and fears of further attacks heightened tension in the area yesterday.
An eyewitness, Abbas Bello, said those killed had been buried according to Islamic injunctions.
North East Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mr Mafindi Danburam, who also confirmed the attack, told newsmen in Yola, yesterday, that over four Fulani communities were completely destroyed during the attack.
Also confirming the incident, spokesman of Adamawa State police command, Othman Abubakar (SP), said 45 persons were killed, while several others were still missing.
The state’s deputy governor, Mr Marti Babale, appealed to the people of the affected area to remain calm, assuring that security personnel would be deployed to secure the area.