Kano State Police Commissioner, Ibrahim Idris
By Ibrahim Shuaibu
Though thankful for surviving the bomb blast last Sunday, the family of Mr. Johnson Ayinor, an indigene of Benue State, seems yet held in stitches over what they encountered on that bright Sunday morning.
The scare and scar on their minds remain bold and frightening, so much that they do not think they should remain a day longer in the ancient city soon as they recover from the effect of the blasts. “My continued stay in Kano is not certain because the memory of that bomb blast at the Bayero University (BUK) will forever remain a nightmare in my life,” says Ayinor.
Looking palpably worried and devastated, Ayinor narrated how the news of the blast hit him: “I was away looking for means of survival for the family when a call came in informing me that four of my family members were victims of the bomb blast which occurred inside the Bayero University Kano whilst they were attending a church service.
“It was a sad day for me, because I saw two of my family members on sick bed in the hospital after they survived the blast and sustained various degrees of injuries, it’s a terrible day for me and the entire family members.”
A five-year-old, Magaret Johnson who laid helplessly on hospital bed was lucky. She was shot on her back by the assailants. She is still unable to talk; so just waved her hands to THISDAY.
But for Miss Becky Johnson,19, and a student of Mass Communication at the university, her survival was facilitated by the grace of God, as the flying bullets spared her, even as she struggled to climb over a fence that eventually made her escape the hot lead of the killers. Not even the thought of being the eldest made her spare a thought for her younger ones. She strove to escape for her dear life, before ever thinking of anyone else. As she put it: “I escaped through the fence after the attackers shot my younger sister who is just five years old. The attackers were close to the church hall and four of us from the same family were inside when the blast occurred, and immediately, I leapt, leaving all my remaining sisters and I escaped through a fence.”
Speaking with THISDAY on her sick bed at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Becky who could not control her tears recalled that, “we were inside the church when we suddenly heard of heavy explosions right inside the hall while the church service was going on. It was quickly followed with rounds of serious gunshots all over the campus”.
According to her, “all I can remember is that I left home for church service and I heard an explosion, and this is where I found myself now, in the hospital, I thank God I survived the shooting and the bomb blasts.”
For Miss Grace Johnson, an 18-year-old student of Top Quality College Kano, “I was rescued by the good Samaritans after I sustained serious injuries on my legs. And that demobilised me, as I could no longer run. It was the rescue operation personnel who picked me up and took me to the hospital where you have come to see me now.” Like her dad, Grace thinks she’s done with staying in Kano. The city has become very unsafe, and would rather sojourn back to her kith and kin in Benue State and remain in safety. Her two legs were badly hit by shrapnel and may take some time to heal properly. “See the injuries and damages done to my two legs, I pray I will recover so I can leave this town,” she said.
According to her, she had become so unconscious that she never knew where she was, nor remembered any of her family members. “It was when I received medical attention in the evening, that I began to remember my sisters. I did not even know that they were also on sick bed beside me in the hospital,” she said.
Grace added that “I thank God that all my family members involved in the attack survived it, but our hope is to quickly recover and leave Kano; it’s too terrible to continue staying here, the situation is sad and disheartening”, wondering what the government will ever do to the attackers.
THISDAY in Kano observed that families and friends of victims of Sunday attack thronged both mortuaries and the Accident and Emergency wards of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), wailing and crying, searching for their loved ones, whom they have not seen since the campus church was bombed last Sunday.
The families of Dr. Ololoko, a senior lecturer at Federal College of Education in Kano, were seen in tears as he was wheeled out of the theatre with thick bandages all over her body.
Ololoko is also among the lucky survivors of the attacks on two churches at BUK, but he was too devastated to recount his experience yesterday. He just looked lost in shock, bemused about what next he would have to do.