In a related development, an Improvised Explosive Device, IED, thrown into a lecture hall at the Federal College of Education, Kano, yesterday, claimed the lives of 20 students while 40 others sustained injuries.
According to an eyewitness, lecture was going on when two terrorists walked in and threw two objects that exploded within seconds. The blast was accompanied by sporadic gun shots as some of the gunmen, who were stationed outside the lecture hall,opened fire on some of the students who tried to escape from the scene.
The incident that occurred around 2.00pm at the school’s new site located at Gadon Kaya triggered pandemonium as students, lecturers and visitors to the school scampered for safety.
Also in the neighbourhood, residents locked up their houses, while shop owners in the vicinity hurriedly closed businesses as confusion reigned.
The prompt response of security agents at the nearest check point however saved the day as they engaged the gunmen and shot two of them to death.
Addressing newsmen at the scene of the incident, the Kano Commissioner of Police, Adenrele Shinaba confirmed that “15 died, while 34 were injured”.
Shinaba disclosed that two among the dead were the attackers gunned down by his men in an exchange of fire, explaining that those injured have been taken to a government hospital in the city.
The police boss said: “We have recovered two AK-47 assault rifles from the assailants”, pointing out that the command has launched a massive manhunt to track down other fleeing suspects.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has assured the people of Kano State and all Nigerians that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to increase the capacity of the nation’s security services to prevent attacks on innocent citizens by terrorists.
Jonathan condoles with victims’ families
In a statement on the attack on students, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati quoted the president as commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives while praying for the quick recovery of those who sustained injuries.
The statement read in part: “President Jonathan commiserates with citizens and residents of Kano State on the loss of lives during the attack by terrorists on the Federal College of Education, Kano.
“President Jonathan’s sympathies and best wishes for a speedy recovery are also with all those who suffered injuries in the dastardly attack.
“The President commends the officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force who took prompt action to confront the attackers and minimize 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”.
Fulani gunmen kill 32 in Kaduna villages
Also, after what looks like a brief respite, suspected Fulani gunmen have again attacked three communities in Sanga Local Government Area, in the Southern part of Kaduna State, killing 32 villagers, after killing a soldier and injuring four other soldiers in an ambush. This was disclosed by Mr Bezard Wuyah, National President, Ninzom Development Youths, NPY.
Spokesman of Kaduna State Police Command, DSP, Amuni Lawan, who confirmed the attack, however said he was yet to get the full brief of the latest incident at press time.
Speaking to Vanguard on phone, Bezard said: “We heard before now that Fulanis were planning to attack us again. They came last night around 1am, and attacked Fadan Karshi, Karshi Daji and Unguwan Ganye which were close to one another in Sanga LGA.
“They first ambushed a military patrol van that was crossing a bridge from Fadan Karshi to Karshi Daji. They fired at the soldiers and killed one, and four were injured. But the soldiers repelled the attacks. The Fulani men then moved in three groups. One went to Fadan Karshi, where they killed 12 people, burnt down 20 houses and injured scores. They moved to Karshi Daji, killed 20 people and burnt down several houses. Those that attacked Unguwan Ganye are still in the place, so we can not tell you the casualty figure now. But among those killed in Fadan Karshi was the wife of a very respectable retired clergyman, Rev. Jacob Aku. His wife was burnt to ashes in the attack.”
“We need serious protection and security from our government or we will be forced to protect ourselves”, he said.
It will be recalled that in June there was relentless assault for a week in which not less than 160 villagers in seven Ninzom villages, in Sanga Local Government Area, LGA, of Kaduna state were killed, and some of the villages razed.