•PDP, Mark, IBB, Tinubu, others condemn attack
•Three suspects arrested
•Christians avoid church services
Outrage and condemnations have trailed Saturday’s fatal attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who departed Nigeria yesterday for the United Kingdom for medical check-up at an unnamed London hospital.
Two of his sons – Nasir and Sunusi – who were injured in the attack that claimed the lives of the driver and three royal guards departed with him to the UK for treatment.
Although the emir’s chauffeur-driven car was riddled with bullets, Kano State Governor, Dr. Musa Kwankwaso, said he was not hurt.
The attack attracted condemnation from Senate President David Mark, former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, among others.
The attack on the emir as his convoy was snaking through Zoo Road, Kano, caused a security scare in the metropolis yesterday as many Christians did not go to church for fear of attack on their places of worship.
Although nobody or group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, security sources said three persons had been arrested in connection with the incident while investigations were still ongoing to determine those behind the attack and their motive.
The emir left his Kano palace amidst tight security to the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, from where he was said to have boarded a private jet that flew him to London.
Bayero’s departure at about 1.35 pm was witnessed by the state Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Islamic scholars and other top government officials.
In an interview with reporters, Ganduje said: “The Saturday attack on the emir was very unfortunate, but his royal highness was able to survive it. Thank God the emir survived it, but he lost three of his guards during the attack. As you can see now, the emir is leaving for a medical check-up in London.
“We have embarked on massive prayers and believe that those who attacked the emir are not indigenes of this state. The prayers conducted were to seek God’s support to expose those people who committed this crime so that they can be fished out. I spoke with the emir and he’s healthy and narrated to me how it happened.”
A day after the attack, attendance in many churches in Kano was sparse as worshippers, fearing attacks on their places of worship, stayed away.
Churches in the state also observed a remembrance service for those who died on January 20, 2012 when gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, launched coordinated attacks on various police stations during which over 200 people died.
However, following rumours that the day would be marked as an anniversary by the gunmen and coupled with the attack on the emir, many Christians stayed away from church services for fear of being attacked.
Aside from the heavy presence of fierce-looking security operatives, policemen searched people and their vehicles on the way to church.
However, many people were outraged yesterday that a personality such as the emir was the target of gunmen.
The senate president in condemning the attack on Bayero, described it as a violent assault on Nigeria's respected traditional institution.
Mark, who said he was devastated by renewed violence in Kano as well as some other states in the North, implored security agencies to intensify efforts aimed at tackling “these gruesome acts by ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book.”
Mark also lamented what he described as incessant incidents of gun attacks as well as deadly activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect against innocent Nigerians and called on anyone with useful information on the hideouts of the Islamic militants to inform security agencies.
Mark condoled with the families of Bayero's driver and guards who were killed in the attack, urging them to take heart and leave vengeance to God.
The PDP also described the attack as a sacrilegious assault on the respected traditional institution.
The party commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives in the attack as well as others that have been killed in a series of such attacks in the country.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday, said the party was deeply saddened by the wave of attacks and urged those behind the dastardly acts to have a rethink.
PDP said that there was no justification for the bloodletting and urged Nigerians to learn to live harmoniously with one another.
On his part, Babangida called for a change of tactics in handling the security challenges in the country just as he reiterated the call for dialogue as a measure to check the activities of Boko Haram.
In a statement titled, “Emir of Kano’s Attack: An Alert Call”, which he personally signed, the former president urged the Federal Government to embrace dialogue with members of the insurgent group to arrest the attack on the nation’s security.
“The use of force has proven to be inadequate and ineffective to checkmate this ugly trend. We must therefore put hands together to find a more rewarding and meaningful end to this security concern.
“Dialogue is my number one preference in this regard. Government must also encourage positive discourse among its political appointees delivered with respect and rendered in temperate language to soothe the mood of the nation,” he stated.
He wondered what the motive was of those who attempted to kill the emir, whom he described as “one traditional ruler who does not seek favours from those in government and outside it, and who over the years, has been able to live an exemplary life to the admiration of all.”
Also, Tinubu, who is the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said the attack on the emir was unfortunate.
According to him, a most frightening dimension in the attacks unleashed by suspected terrorists on Nigerians and prominent leaders is being witnessed, adding that it means there is no hiding place and no one is safe until the government tackles the problem of insecurity.
Tinubu queried the level of intelligence gathering in the country and the alert system considering that almost a year ago a most deadly attack of multiple bombings occurred in Kano.
He called for better coordination and sharing of information and an intelligence alert system that is efficient.
The umbrella body for Muslims, the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), in its reaction, called on Muslims to intensify prayers to end the security challenges facing the country.
The religious body, in a statement by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in Kaduna, condemning the weekend's attack on Bayero, urged governments at all levels to pay more attention to the security of lives and property of the citizenry.
It also commiserated with the Kano State Government and the Kano Emirate Council over those who lost their lives in the incident.
The statement described the attack on the emir as criminal and cowardly and called on the authorities concerned to embark on a thorough investigation into the incident to unmask the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V, in condemning the attack on the emir, said those behind it had no respect for the traditional institution.
“This particular attack is one too many given the globally acclaimed peaceful and non-violent disposition of Alhaji Ado Bayero in all matters, whether public or private, more so, given his proven track record as a promoter of peace and togetherness,” he said in Calabar yesterday.