World leaders rally round Nigeria against sect
Ban seeks transparent probe of Kano blasts
Arewa, JNI, CAN want support for govt
AND the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, wept! As world leaders yesterday pledged to assist Nigeria to bring the Boko Haram menace to an end, President Goodluck Jonathan, who was in Kano, was received by a tearful Bayero, in his palace.
Jonathan urged the country’s leaders and the citizens to be vigilant, noting that members of Boko Haram, who claimed responsibility for last Friday’s serial attacks in the state were not spirits but identifiable criminals, who should be fished out and prosecuted both now and in the future. .
He said the government was determined to end all acts of terrorism and other security challenges facing the country.
Dressed in a black caftan and a black cap during a visit to Kano to condole with the state government and victims of the bomb explosions, the President charged Nigerian to be conscious of the activities of their neighbours. .
The President said those behind the violence were “mere mortals that live among the people,” he noted that it behoves on peace-loving Nigerians to be security conscious and be on the alert at all times.
Lamenting the loss of several lives in the attacks, Jonathan said: “Those who perpetrate this dastardly acts are not spirits, they live freely with us in the society and the security challenges they pose have now made it incumbent on us to be extra vigilant of what our next door neighbour does. By so doing, we will overcome the evil forces.”
He told Bayero that the importance of Kano in the sub-Saharan Africa could not be compromised and promised to ensure increased security presence in the state and other strategic locations in the country.
The President, who visited the injured in the hospitals, commiserated with the people and government of Kano State over the unfortunate incident. He later inspected the Police Headquarters in Kano, which was also attacked by the terrorists, before he left for Abuja. .
He said the government in concert with the state government would explore ways of assisting the victims of the blasts.
Jonathan was accompanied on the trip by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Patrick Azazi, Defence Minister, Dr. Bello Halilu Mohammed, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kawu Baraje, among others. .
Bayero could not hold back his tears as he wept when Jonathan paid him a condolence visit over the insurgency.
He simply said: “Our President, be assured that we are in this together. We all must join hands with you to combat this evil that is threatening the welfare and security of all of us. We will continue to pray for you and the country and do all in our power as traditional rulers and religious leaders to complement the measures you are taking to end these unfortunate incidents.”
Nigerian leaders also declared that this is not the time for both the government at all levels and the citizenry to grit their teeth and bear with the unwarranted attacks on them by the destructive sect.
In fact, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), state governors, political parties and the governments of Britain, Canada, and Morocco, which reacted to the serial bomb attacks in Kano and Bauchi states last Friday, said the time to wage the last war against the sect had come.
They sought support for government at all levels and the security agencies to check the excesses of the killer group.
Ban said he was “appalled” by the wave of bomb attacks in Nigeria and called for transparent investigations into the scores of deaths. .
“The secretary general is appalled at the frequency and intensity of recent attacks in Nigeria, which demonstrate a wanton and unacceptable disregard for human life,” he said.
He expressed “solidarity” with the Nigerian government and people and called for “swift and transparent investigations” into the attacks.
The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and NSCIA, under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, have condemned the killings and wanton destruction of property in Kano city last Friday.
“We offer our heartfelt condolence to the families of the victims. This is not only sad and disheartening but, totally unacceptable to every right thinking human being. Life is sacred and therefore must be respected, preserved and protected at all times.“
In a statement issued by JNI Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Islamic body urged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly acts and make them face the full wrath of the law, regardless of their status to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The security agencies must also take proactive measures to stop the recurrence of such acts before they happen to create a sense of security and safety in the citizenry.” .
President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, on behalf of Christians in the country extended condolence to the Federal Government and people of Kano over the blasts.
In a statement issued yesterday, Oritsejafor said: “CAN deeply sympathises especially with families, who lost their loved ones and those who sustained various degree of injuries due to these bomb attacks and condemned ‘in the strongest terms possible’ the continued killing of innocent Nigerians for no justifiable reason whatsoever.”
The cleric added that, “the blood of these innocent citizens will surely cry out for justice. How long shall we continue to watch these heartless and unpatriotic elements wage war against Nigeria? The perpetrators of these crimes and their sponsors must be brought to book now.”
Oritsejafor therefore tasked the government to ensure that the Boko Haram threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria is addressed. .
The ACF, which sent “enough is enough” warning message to the terror group, appealed to Nigerians to assist all tiers of government in the “difficult task of containing the brazen insurrection against constituted authorities. Maintenance of peace and national security are not tasks for governments alone. It is a collective responsibility.”
The Arewa elders, who condemned the bombings in Kano and Bauchi states by Boko Haram through a statement issued by their National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, urged Nigerians to ignore their religious, ethnic and political inclinations, stressing that “it is disheartening for the nation to be revisited with multiple bomb explosions in the states, which have claimed about 131 people, and property worth several millions of naira in Kano and an unaccounted losses in Bauchi.”
He said, “more distressing is the reported claim by Boko Haram that it did the attacks to revenge the arrest and detention of their members by the security agencies in Kano.”
The ACF scribe said: “This is depressing because it is an overkill that is clearly against tenets of any religion or faith to kill innocent people and call it revenge. It is often counter productive. Surely, only constructive engagements and dialogue have proved useful in delivering peaceful co-existence.”
The Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, who issued a statement on the weekend attacks, said his country “unequivocally condemns these latest cowardly attacks in Nigeria’s North.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I offer my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those hurt by this senseless violence.
Canada, he said “stands with the people and government of Nigeria in their efforts to combat the vicious scourge of terrorism, bring about stability and maintain unity in the face of this pressing challenge.”
The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said: “I am shocked and appalled by the large scale terrorist attacks in Kano, Nigeria yesterday (Friday). The full horror of the events is still unfolding, but we know that a great number of people have died and many more have been injured. The nature of these attacks has sickened people around the world and I send my deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of those killed and to those injured.”
He called for a collective action from the international community on terrorism, stressing “there is no place in today’s world for such barbaric acts and I condemn in the strongest possible terms those who carried them out. These events underline the importance of the international community standing together in the face of terrorism in all its forms.”
The King of Morocco, Sidi Moulay Mohammed VI, said the blasts are unacceptable, praying for the repose of the victims, stressing that Islam abhors violence. .
About eight civilians, one Deputy Superintendent of Police, two soldiers were killed in Tafawa Balewa Local Council of Bauchi by gunmen, who struck at 2.00 a.m. at the weekend.
The Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) at Railway Quarters and Roman Catholic at Fadaman Mada in the metropolis were bombed to ashes by the invaders.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, told journalists that the incident was a robbery attack targeted at an old generation bank.
According to him, the hoodlums were forced to retreat when they attacked a military checkpoint at Bununu District of Tafawa Balewa Local Council, a hotel, bank and police station, where the police officer and an Army Lance Corporal were killed.
He said investigation into the case had been stepped up and 10 unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were recovered at the scene of the crime while six persons had been arrested by the security agents in connection with the attacks.
He said the suspects were helping the Police with vital information in their investigation.
Aduba said another military officer was killed in an incident in Mararaba Liman Kagtagum of Bauchi Local Council during heavy exchange of gunfire.
The Secretary of Sayawa Council of Elders, Mr. Bukata Zhadi, told journalists that over 11 houses were destroyed and property worth millions of naira destroyed to multiple explosions launched by terrorists.
He said “all this is happening because last year some government officials threatened to turn Tafawa Balewa into a gracing land for cattle rearers.
The Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday through its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, asked Jonathan to order his soldiers out of Lagos and deploy them to fight Boko Haram, which is now a “parallel government.”
Also, Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State, has urged journalists not to be deterred by the death of their colleague, Enenche Akogwu in performing their duties.
In a statement signed on his behalf by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Emmanuel Bello, the governor sympathised with journalists and families of the victims of the Kano bomb blasts. I urge all of you to continue to be brave and remain focused” noting that “democracy and press freedom are the ultimate ingredients for development.”
Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has also commiserated with the government and people of Kano over the explosions in the state. He said it was tragic that Kano, which was the scene of a recent “display of uncommon solidarity between Muslims and Christians, had been turned into a theatre of death by this wicked and cowardly act of terrorism.”
Ahmed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, described the resort to violence in a democracy such as Nigeria’s as an aberration.