- Gov. Bello confirms 37 dead in Niger attack
By Lawrence Olaoye Abuja and akubu Mustapha, Minna
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) yesterday disclosed that 30 persons lost their lives while 42 others were injured when three suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Mandarari community of Konduga Local government area of the state.
Following the attacks, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security agencies in the country to sustain surveillance in all theatres of security challenges in the country.
He gave this directive in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, yesterday.
Buhari said this has become inevitable taking into consideration the unconventional methods deployed by terrorists to harm innocent and unsuspecting victims.
The President also commiserated with families of victims of bomb blasts at a viewing centre in Mandarari, Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, on Sunday.
He sent condolences to the government and people of the state over attacks by suicide bombers.
Buhari decried the heinous acts, stressing that perpetrators of evil acts have judgment awaiting them, not only from man, via the long arms of the law, but also from God Almighty.
The President commended the efforts of emergency response workers and humanitarian organizations.
He prayed that God will grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and comfort their families.
Usman Kachala, SEMA Director Search, Rescue and Operations who disclosed the Borno suicide bomb attack to journalists when he visited the scene of the attack
on Monday, said the incident occurred around 8 p.m on Sunday.
Mr Kachala said that the three suicide bombers, comprising two females and a male, detonated the IEDs in a local tea joint and film centre in the community.
He said that about 17 persons died instantly, adding that the death toll increased to 30 on Monday as a result of lack of immediate medical attention.
He said that his staff could not reach the spot of the incident as the military had closed the road to traffic and the hospital in Konduga did not have enough facilities to handle the situation.
“When I and my team arrived Konduga early this morning, the military prevented us from gaining access to the community to assist the victims.
“They told us they were given order from above not to open the road until 9 a.m,” he lamented.
Journalists who visited the scene of the attacks along with SEMA team report that dozens of the wounded victims were seen being conveyed in pick-up vans by their relations to hospitals in Maiduguri, the state capital, a distance of about 80 k.m from their town.
Meanwhile, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has confirmed that 37 bodies have been recovered from communities attacked by armed bandits in Shiroro local government of the state.
He made the confirmation yesterday during a sympathy visit to the people of the community at Erena town of Shiroro local government.
The governor state that ‘I saw a few with gunshot wounds, about 37 have been killed, 27 are still with gun shot wounds”.
Governor Bello’s confirmation came barely 24 hours after a government house permanent secretary in a statement, insisted that 12 people were killed and 22 injured, contrary to media reports of 62 dead toll.
“the Nigerian Air force along with other security agencies have joined hands with the Niger state government to combat bandits attacks in the state” he said.
Consoling with victims of last week bandit attacks in eight communities in Shiroro local government area at the IDP camp in Erena, the Governor assured that the state would beef up security in the contagious areas.
He lamented that the areas are impossible to assess because of its marshy and rocky terrains, adding that the security agencies are doing their best to keep it secured.
According to him, “We would beef up security in the contiguous areas, unfortunately, access to these areas is almost impossible because it is mostly marshy and rocky but we have been able to send security personnel there so that the local people can go back to their various homes.”
He said that he understood the fear of the people in returning home but assured them of their safety once they are home.
“I do not blame them for being scared but I think we have sent enough troops to these communities to provide adequate security for the time being while we look at the comprehensive plan for providing more security”, he explained
The Governor said some informants have been caught vowing to ensure they faced the wrath of the law
He urged the people to always give useful information to the security agency as they know the terrains better than the security agents.
In a remark, the Acting Director General of the Niger state Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Abdullahi Tanko Zumba said there are still about 24 injured victim receiving treatment in various hospitals, adding that the situation is currently under control as everywhere is calm.
He said that the state government has expended over N20 million for the purchase of food and non food materials along with medicinal for the people in the IDP camps.