• El-Rufai bans street begging, hawking
A teenage suicide bomber yesterday stormed Sabongari Local Government secretariat in Zaria, Kaduna State venue of verification of workers’ status, killing 26 civil servants. The state government had ordered the exercise to weed out ghost workers. The Chief Medical Director (CMD), Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital, Shika, Prof. Lawal Khalid, confirmed the death toll.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai has visited the scene, condemning the terror attack while banning street begging and hawking with immediate effect, according to a statement by his Special Assessment on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan.
“All beggars and hawkers are to stay off the streets until further notice. Any beggar or hawker found on the streets will be arrested, until these measures are relaxed.
“In addition, government reiterates that the ban on motorcycle taxis (achaba) remains in force, and the law will be strictly enforced in this regard.
He said: “I am sad that a terrorist bomb just killed 26 people in Sabongari, Zaria. May their souls rest in peace, Amen. We call on our citizens to be vigilant and avoid crowded places like markets, mosques, churches and motorparks in the next few weeks.
“We call on our people to report any suspicious persons and movements to law enforcement agents, traditional rulers and religious leaders,” he said.
El-Rufai said the state government was working with security agencies in taking proactive measures to frustrate such terrorists.’’
Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Zubairu Abubakar, said 15 people were also injured in the attack. The bomb was detonated by a teenager, who went into the secretariat after alighting from a commercial motorcycle. The civil servants had converged at the secretariat for the ongoing verification of their employment status.
An eyewitness said some workers had tried to get the police to restrain the boy who was looking suspicious, before he detonated the bomb.
Confirming the death toll, Prof Khalid told journalists in Zaria that 31 injured persons in the attack were brought to the hospital and one of them was in critical condition. He said the remaining 30 victims on admission were in stable condition and responding to treatment.
The CMD lauded the people of the area for their massive donation of blood, saying the gesture had helped to save the lives of the victims.
Wednesday, 8 July 2015