• Atiku condoles with victims’ families
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Despite assurances of adequate security from the federal government to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their ancestral homes claiming to have decimated the Boko Haram sect, the extremists returned with vengeance Sunday unleashing strings of suicide bombers who killed no fewer than 25 persons and injuring 80 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as confirmed by the state police command.
Reacting to news of the attacks, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has expressed shock over the deaths of several persons with scores injured following yet another attack by the suicide bombers in Maiduguri.
Atiku said he was concerned by the senseless attacks on innocent citizens even after reports that government has opened the windows for talks on the prospects of a ceasefire with Boko Haram.
The Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, who briefed journalists on the incident on Monday, said the high number of casualties was as a result of the insurgents’ strike at a social gathering, wedding ceremony, on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
He said 18 persons were lost on the spot as five male suicide bombers lounged at a gathering of people attending a wedding ceremony.
He said the five suicide bombers were mangled beyond recognition and they were packed alongside 18 other corpses to the mortuary.
He said later on Monday two other persons died among the 86 persons injured as a result of the multiple explosion.
He said: “On April 1, 2018, at about 2020 hours, Boko Haram terrorists in an attempt to infiltrate into Maiduguri through Bale Kura, Bale Shuwari, Jamine and Alikaramti villages of Jere Local Government Area, outskirts of Maiduguri township detonated IEDs.
“They were promptly repelled by the military and police reinforcements. In the process, about 84 persons were injured while 20 persons were killed in the attack.”
He added that another five mutilated corpses of male suicide bombers were discovered and that two undetonated suicide vests were recovered and rendered safe by Police EOD.
He said policemen have been mobilised to the scenes of the attacks to sanitise the areas and return normalcy.
He, however, lamented that the attack would have been truncated had the members of the areas been alive to their civic responsibility of alerting security operatives of any security threat.
He said many of the society should be alive to security in their area. “They should be able to apprehend anybody they feel is a security threat, they can also alert the security agents on any strange faces or anything you think might threaten the security of your area.”
Meanwhile, former Vice-President Abubakar, has expressed shock over the deaths of several persons with scores injured following yet another attack by the suicide bombers in Maiduguri.
Atiku said he was concerned by the senseless attacks on innocent citizens even after reports that government has opened a window for talks on the prospects of a ceasefire with Boko Haram.
He said the continued violence especially in and around Maiduguri was mind-numbing.
While acknowledging the role of the military in averting even more deaths from the attack, the former vice-president stressed that intelligence gathering and sharing by all security agencies is of the essence if we must stem the attacks with all its attendant loss to lives and property.
Atiku expressed his condolences to the families and friends of the bereaved even as he prayed for the repose of their souls.