The Emir of Potiskum, Umaru Bauya, who was attacked along Kaduna-Zaria road at the weekend narrated how he survived the onslaught of bandits to which he lost some of his aides.
The emir addressed his subjects at his palace amidst strong emotions, recounting what he went in the bush in the midnight after he escaped from the scene of the attack.
The Secretary to the State Government, Baba Wali, Acting Head of the State Civil Service, Mohamed Nura and some members of the State Executive Council were among the people that the monarch addressed after he returned to the palace.
The monarch, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in his palace, called on his subjects to pray for the souls of his aides he lost in the attack.
Four of the emir’s aides were among the 30 people killed in the attack. About 100 people were also injured during the attack.
Bauya said he was specifically pained that he had to trek in the bush for almost two hours, trying to escape from the sporadic gun duel that lasted for about the same time.
He also called on citizens to take the issue of security as their first business, saying the gunshots, which lasted for two hours, forced him to trek into the bush until he got far from the sounds.
He said: “The gunshots were unbelievable. He could not understand the motive of the attack. He decided to sleep in the bush so as not to fall prey to the attackers, even when security came to fetch him from the bush around 2.00 a.m.”
He disclosed that one of his aides was still missing and his whereabouts was still unknown. He called on the people not to withhold information, but fish out criminals among them, by reporting them to security agents.
He, therefore, thanked God for surviving the attack, and prayed for the repose of his deceased aides.
He said: “There was a commotion. We stopped. After about twenty minutes, the traffic continued to flow from both ways and we felt the road was cleared.
“We moved for about one or two kilometers and discovered that they have mounted some roadblocks and we felt they had left. After a few movements again, we noticed a slowing down of vehicles and there was a traffic congestion.
“At that point, we started feeling some uneasiness, because the situation was becoming dangerous. The traffic was so chaotic that one could not move forward or backward. Then, the sound of gunshots erupted.
“The gunshots were unbelievable. It was just like a war field. Instantly, I saw my pilot driver swerve and then hit a standing vehicle. I suspected the shooting affected him and the police around him.
“As the shooting was going on, we decided to abandon our vehicles and take to safety. God in His infinite mercy led me to escape the danger zone. The gunshots continued for almost two hours.
“I continued trekking into the bush until when the sound of the guns was a bit far off from me. That is how I found myself. It’s God mercy that helped me to escape the danger zone.
“I was in the bush all the time the shooting was going on. The shooting started around 11.00 pm and did not stop until around 1.00 am the following day. I decided to remain in the bush up till morning.
“The security people started to come for me and other groups around 2.00 am but I refused to come out at the time because, I did not know the objective of the attack.
“I stayed in the bush because I may fall prey to the attack. I stayed in the bush until morning when the security came back. They took me to the hospital for medical checkup.
“I thank the medical doctor who is in charge of that hospital. He checked me and reported that I do not have any injury. He gave me treatment and until my fatigue was down. I told them I want to leave but they reluctantly released me to leave.
“I am very grateful to Kaduna State government, the hospital that took care of us and the security operatives. I was well comforted, so I did not develop any trauma. “I did not even know about the death of my people until yesterday morning when the news was brought to me that I lost four of my people in that skirmish. Some of my policemen also sustained gunshots but were treated at the hospital.
“The issue of security is not only the responsibility of the federal government alone. It is everybody’s responsibility because no one knows when his own time will come.