65 killed by Suicide Bombers and Gunmen in Kano, Kaduna Attacks

• Jonathan promises improved security
•Hundreds of Boko Haram insurgents slayed in Borno communities
•15 soldiers court martialled

By Jaiyeola Andrews and Senator Iroegbu in Abuja, Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano, John Shiklam in Kaduna,  Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri and Dani Sani in Yola
There was mayhem yesterday in Kano and Kaduna States when two suicide bombers and gunmen killed a total of 65 people and injured scores of others in separate attacks on the two most important states in northern Nigeria.
In Kano city, two suicide bombers, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, detonated their explosives at the old and new campuses of the Federal College of Education (FCE), leading to the death of 15 persons.

The twin-explosions at the college, which occurred around 2pm when many students were having their lectures, were followed by sporadic gunshots by gunmen.

Confirming the attack, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Aderenle Shinaba, revealed that 15 persons were killed and 34 others sustained various degrees of injuries.

He said the two suicide bombers also killed themselves in the process, adding that the suspected terrorists attacked one lecture theatre when students were having their lectures.

“There was another insurgent who was carrying an AK47 rifle and explosives; one of the security operatives was able to shoot at him and the explosives went off and killed him.

Shinaba added that the police were able to recover some of the AK47 rifles and magazines of the attackers.
The second suicide bomber’s explosives were detonated before reaching the second lecture hall and the attack affected the college’s School of Languages and Social Sciences.

The college is situated in the metropolis of Gwale Local Government Area at the new campus of the college. A few months back, a similar attack occurred at the School of Hygiene in Kano.

One of the security men of the college revealed that the gunmen, four in number, drove to the school in a tricycle and when the school’s security personnel insisted on searching them, they immediately opened fire on any person in sight.
An eyewitness, who escaped the attack, Murtala Ibrahim, said: “I was inside the lecture theatre when I heard a loud sound and sporadic gunshots before some of us escaped into nearby houses adjacent to the college.
“We first heard the bomb explosion before the gunmen started shooting people indiscriminately in the school.”

In another attack, an estimated 50 people, including a soldier, were killed following the invasion of three rural communities in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
The attack came as traditional rulers in the north yesterday converged on the Lugard Hall in Kaduna to deliberate on the security challenges facing the region.

The attack on the communities, the second in three months, was said to have occurred at about 12 midnight yesterday and lasted till the early hours.

The affected communities included Fadan-Karshi, Karshin Daji and Angwan Gangye.
The invaders, who were said to be in their hundreds, were armed with sophisticated weapons and were divided into groups and carried out the attacks simultaneously.

The attackers were said to have killed about 12 people in Fadan-Karshi, 30 others were reportedly killed in Karshin Daji village while about five people were killed in Angwan Gangye.

The gunmen were said to have ambushed a military patrol truck that was crossing a bridge from Fadan Karshi to Karshi Daji and killed one soldier while four others were injured.
The soldiers were said to have repelled the attack.

Those killed in Fadan Karshi included the wife of a retired clergyman, Rev. Jacob Aku, who was burnt to ashes in the attack.
Several people were said to have been burnt beyond recognition when the bandits set their homes on fire while several others sustained injuries from gunshots during the incident.

A councillor in the area, Hon. Shehu Ajetu, who confirmed the incident to THISDAY in a telephone interview, said the bandits operated for about four hours unchallenged.

Ajetu said the attack was very serious, adding that “our people were trying to recover from the massive attacks by these people in June, then they struck again, killing and inflicting pain on us”.

According to the councillor, “They came around 12 midnight. The attack started in Fadan Karshi where they killed 10 people, 30 people were killed in Karshin Daji and their houses were burnt. They also attacked Angwan Gangye and killed three people there.

“It is difficult to give an accurate number of casualties because some people are still missing, but so far we can say that about 50 people have been killed by the Fulani herdsmen.

“What we find most disturbing is the distance between where the operation took place and the military camp. The distance is not up to 200 metres. The gunmen carried out the operation successfully for over three hours and escaped successfully without being apprehended by security personnel.

“We are beginning to question the present situation now. There are so many questions unanswered regarding what happened. This incident has made our people lose confidence in the soldiers.”
Soldiers were deployed in the area following a similar incident which led to the killing of over 200 people and the destruction of their homes by suspected Fulani gunmen.

When contacted on telephone, the spokesman of 1 Division of the Nigerian Army Kaduna, Col. Abdul Usman, said he had been away from Kaduna and could not confirm the killing of a soldier in an ambush nor the allegations that the soldiers did not apprehend the bandits.

Also, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Amuni Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who confirmed the violence, however said he was yet to get a full briefing of the latest incident at the time of this report.
The northern traditional rulers at their meeting presided over by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar III, called on President Goodluck Jonathan to, as a matter of urgency, use every means to stop the killings and maiming of people in the north.

The meeting was attended by the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai Ibn El-Kanemi; the Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi; the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubaker; the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba; the Attah of Igala, Idakwo Ameoboni II; and the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, among others.

Jonathan Promises Improved Security

Reacting to the attack on the college in Kano, Jonathan yesterday assured the people of the state of enhanced security.
He also commiserated with the citizens and residents of Kano State on the loss of lives during the attack by the terrorists on the school.
He equally sympathised and sent his best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who suffered injuries in the dastardly attacks.

The president, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, commended officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force who took prompt action to confront the attackers and minimise resultant casualties.
“He urges them to be even more alert and proactive in the future to stop terrorist attacks in Kano and other parts of the country.

“President Jonathan reassures the people of Kano and all Nigerians that the federal government continues to do all within its powers to further enhance the ability of the police, armed forces and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism to a successful conclusion and provide greater security of lives and property across the country,” the statement said.

Similarly, a non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), described as gruesome and primitive the bomb attack on the College of Education, just as it advocated the setting up of a special joint military/police task force to take charge and provide all-around security for all schools in the country and especially those located in the frontline states of terrorist attacks in northern Nigeria.

The group, which expressed sadness that the nation was yet to get it right with providing fool proof and solid security for students and all civilian soft targets in spite of the frequency of the attacks by the violent terrorists over the years, also asked the federal government to look for ways and means of requesting broader military intervention of the United States through the mechanism of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The rights group said the current widespread terror attacks constitute grave crimes against humanity, demanding the broader intervention of the international community.

In a statement signed jointly by its National Coordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group said there was no distinction between the brutal and bloody atrocities perpetrated consistently by Boko Haram and their colleagues of the Islamic terrorist cells currently unleashing a regime of bestial brutalities in Iraq and parts of Syria under the sobriquet, ISIS.

Army Routs Sect in Konduga, Kills 100 Insurgents

However, as residents in Kano and Kaduna lamented the terror attacks of the Boko Haram sect, it suffered major casualties in Konduga, Borno State, where the Nigerian Army crushed another attempt by the insurgents to take the strategic town, which is 40 kilometres away from Maiduguri, on Tuesday night.
This was confirmed yesterday in a statement signed by the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brigadier-General Olajide Laleye, and the Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major-General Chris Olukolade, in his twitter handle.

Olukolade said the troops successfully crushed another attempt by the terrorists, killing 100 of them, who were on a revenge mission in Konduga, after 12 hours of fighting on the outskirts of the Borno community.
“Troops are now combing the vicinity in a cordon and search operation to determine the heavy casualties suffered by the terrorists in the encounter,” he said.

In the same vein, Laleye stated that this was the second unsuccessful attempt by Boko Haram to take control of the key town in a space of one week, having suffered a similar heavy defeat last week.
He said the terrorists were denied their objective by vigilant and gallant Nigerian Army troops.

During the fight, Laleye added that several terrorists were killed and those fleeing Konduga with gunshot wounds were pursued.
He also disclosed that three Hilux vehicles with mounted machine and anti-aircraft guns, one Mowag Armoured Personnel Carrier and assorted arms and ammunition were recovered.
“Troops moral and combat efficiency remain high. Further details about the engagement and supporting photographs are being awaited,” he said.

“It must be noted that the renewed morale, fighting spirit and combat efficiency of troops have been boosted by new strategies devised by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the support of well-meaning members of the public,” he added.
The army spokesman further implored members of the public to continue to support the military and other security agencies engaged in the on-going operation to rid Nigeria of blood-letting insurgents and ruthless religious extremists.
The Nigerian Army also stated that the reported Boko Haram attack on troops along Okene-Kabba Road in Kogi State was not a Boko Haram-related incident.

Laleye reiterated the army’s earlier warning on the danger of publishing unverified reports and attributing all criminal activities to Boko Haram terrorists.
“The inherent danger in this brand of journalism is that it heightens public fear, endangers public safety and creates the wrong impression that Boko Haram is everywhere,” he cautioned.

More Islamists Killed in Borno

However, there were indications last night that more than 100 Boko Haram terrorists were killed in Konduga, as hundreds of members of the sect may have been killed in a shoot-out with the Nigerian military in parts of Borno State.
A source, a member of the Civilian JTF, disclosed that the insurgents were repelled from Ngamdu, about 100 kilometres from Maiduguri on the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road and Konduga on the Maiduguri-Bama Road.

He said the terrorists were heading towards Maiduguri from opposite directions, claiming that the soldiers of the Nigerian Army 7 Division, headquarters in Maiduguri stationed in the two towns, Konduga and Ngamdu, engaged the insurgents in heavy confrontations at the break of day and killed about 300 of them in Konduga.
He added that in Ngamdu, 150 insurgents were killed in the exchange of gunfire.

The source, who spoke with THISDAY on the phone, said: “As I am speaking to you, the corpses of the insurgents are lying on the streets in the two towns.”

He further revealed that the military recorded the feat with the assistance of the local vigilante.
Another person, Bashir Abbas, a member of the youth vigilante group, said the attempts by the Boko Haram sect to invade Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, were repelled by the military in different parts of the state with the insurgents suffering heavy casualties.

He said the sect was repelled at Ajiri (60 kilometres from Maiduguri), Mafa (50 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Konduga (40 kilometres from the capital) on Tuesday.
They were equally repelled, according to him, yesterday morning on the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road at Ngamdu, about 100 kilometres away from Maiduguri and 20 kilometres from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.

Abbas, who stated that the confrontation between the military and the insurgents occurred between 2pm and 5pm at Ajiri, 2pm and 4.30pm at Mafa and 4.30pm and 9pm at Konduga, left hundreds of the sect members dead, revealing that the military equally got some mileage by seizing their ammunition.

He said the military retrieved five buffalo vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns and a Shelcar sophisticated gun.
Abbas said with the latest success of the military, the people of Maiduguri could sleep properly.

15 Soldiers Sentenced

In another development, 15 soldiers from the 23rd Armoured Brigade in Yola have been sentenced to four-year jail terms each by the military authorities.

The soldiers, who have been in detention for over three weeks, were yesterday sentenced by the military command, which said it found the men guilty of insubordination and refusal to undertake military duties in the fight against the insurgents in the North-east region.

A top military source, said the affected soldiers were those that members of Boko Haram recently sacked from Madagali and who fled to Gidson Jalo Cantonment in Yola, following their narrow escape from the insurgents.
He explained that the soldiers had allegedly refused the orders of their superiors who had instructed them to go back to Michika to continue the fight against Boko Haram.

According, to him, “The 15 soldiers convicted by the military command were adjudged to have committed acts of insubordination.”

He said the decision of the military, which came a few days after some 12 other soldiers were sentenced to death, is intended to reinforce discipline and whip all combatant members of the force into line.
The military has been grappling with soldiers deserting their tour of duty only to resurface with all manners of tales, adding that the development was gradually beginning to impinge on the dignity of military establishment.
Attempts to get the official confirmation of the army in Yola proved abortive.

Source: ThisDay

Publish Date: 

Thursday, 18 September 2014