At least 73 people were reported killed in twin suicide bombings in Mubi, Adamawa State, yesterday, two local residents who attended funerals of the victims told newsmen that suicide bombers struck at a mosque and a market in a twin attack bearing the hallmarks of Islamist insurgents Boko Haram.
One, Muhammad Hamidu, said: “I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims.” Another, Abdullahi Labaran, said: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried.”
The blasts, said to have been carried out by young boys, happened shortly after 1:00 pm in Mubi, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the Adamawa State capital, Yola.
Imam Garki, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said a joint assessment with the police and Red Cross found that 26 people were killed and 56 were injured, 11 of them critically.
They were transferred to the Federal Medical Centre in Yola for treatment. But a medical source at the Mubi General Hospital said they had received 37 bodies, while a rescue worker involved in the relief operation said he counted 42 dead and 68 injured.
“These I saw with my own eyes. We were counting as they were being taken,” said Sani Kakale. Two local residents who attended funerals for the victims said the death toll was much higher — and could climb further.
“Before I left the cemetery I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims,” said Muhammad Hamidu.
“I think this is the worst attack Mubi has ever witnessed. The human loss is unimaginable.”
Abdullahi Labaran added: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried. There are still unclaimed bodies at the hospital. – US support – Conflicting death tolls are not unusual in Nigeria.
The authorities have also previously played down casualty figures. Suspicion for the attack immediately fell on Boko Haram, the jihadist group whose quest to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009. Mubi has been repeatedly targeted in attacks blamed on Boko Haram since it was briefly overrun by the militants in late 2014.
Nigeria’s government and military have long maintained that the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force and on the verge of defeat. But there has been no let-up in attacks in the northeast, particularly in Borno state, adjacent to Adamawa, which has been the epicentre of the violence.
Last Thursday, at least four people were killed when suicide bombers and fighters attempted to storm the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, raising fresh questions about security.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been in the United States this week and met his US counterpart Donald Trump, who pledged more support in the fight against Boko Haram. Nigeria has bought a dozen A-29 Super Tucano light fighter aircraft in a $496-million (413-million-euro) deal.
Trump indicated a further order for attack helicopters was also in the pipeline. “These new aircraft will improve Nigeria’s ability to target terrorists and protect civilians,” Trump told a joint news conference with Buhari in Washington on Monday.
The sale of the aircraft was previously blocked by the Obama administration after the Nigerian airforce mistakenly bombed a camp for people displaced by Boko Haram, killing 112. US military officials in Abuja have recently questioned Nigerian tactics faced with guerilla tactics from Boko Haram.
“How they think in terms of combat, in my opinion, is still thinking of things as conventional warfare,” Lieutenant-Colonel Sean McClure, the US defence attaché in Abuja, told AFP last month. – Chaotic scenes – In Mubi, local volunteer Habu Saleh, who was involved in the rescue effort, described the aftermath of the bombing as “chaos”.
Health workers from the hospital mobilised to attend to the victims, despite being on strike over pay and conditions. Abdullahi Labaran said the first bomber mingled with worshippers who had gathered for prayers at the mosque at the edge of the market.
He detonated his explosives “five minutes before the prayer started”, he added. The second bomber blew himself up among the crowds of worshippers, traders and shoppers as they fled the first explosion.
On November 21, 2017 at least 50 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a mosque during early morning prayers in the Unguwar Shuwa area of Mubi.
In October 2012, at least 40 people were killed in an attack on student housing in Mubi that was widely blamed on Boko Haram.
In June 2014, at least 40 football supporters, including women and children, died in a bomb attack after a match in the Kabang area of the town.
In another development, no fewer than 10 persons have been killed and several others injured after suspected herdsmen attacked Tse Iortyer, near Yelewata community in Guma LGA of Benue State.
Our correspondent gathered that the gunmen, who invaded the village around 8pm yesterday, also set many houses on fire.
Our correspondent gathered that over 15 persons were injured in the attack, while several others are still missing.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has slammed the federal government over its cold attitude towards the killings in the country by rampaging herdsmen.
NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, who stated this, yesterday, at the 2018 May Day lecture, in Abuja, said the ongoing killings by herdsmen called for question whether the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari actually cared for its people.
According to him, protection of life and property remained the primary responsibility of any government.
He added that no excuse, whatsoever, should be given by the government, for the carnage going on, especially in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa and Zamfara states.
“Workers and Nigerians, at large, need to feel that there is actually a government in charge of their security; because the way Nigerian citizens are being killed by the day it is worrisome, and calls for question, whether there is, indeed, a government that actually cares for its people. So, we call on them to do the job they are meant to do, in the first place,” Wabba said.
Also, former Minister of Education and one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Professor Tunde Adeniran has said the 2019 general elections will provide Nigerians of voting age the opportunity to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari who is seeking a second term in office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adeniran, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) stated this yesterday in an exclusive chat with newsmen in Abuja. The Professor of Political Science while condemning the APC-led administration’s handling of the mindless killings in parts of the country noted that the people would revolt with their votes come 2019 even as he noted that many Nigerians have lost faith in government’s ability to protect their lives and property.
According to him, “There is no doubt that President Buhari has let the nation down in the handling of the security challenges of the nation under his watch. He has exacerbated and compounded the security situation in the country in the last three years. Whatever his government does or does not do, as well as their actions or inactions and bad policies, are bound to have consequences. I see 2019 election as his terminal date as the election will provide opportunity for the people to drive his government out of power and install a credible alternative.”
Adeniran who until a few weeks ago, was a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), further questioned the political will of incumbent administration to rise above primordial tendencies in the search for solutions to the security threats pervading the land.
He said: “The spate of mindless killings in the country, which is not in any way abating, will largely, contribute to the defeat of this administration because the people of Nigeria have totally lost faith, trust and confidence in the APC to provide security of lives and property, which is the primary responsibility of government.
“It is rather unfortunate that President Buhari has demonstrated very low capacity in providing the essential leadership that could hold Nigeria together. He has clearly shown that he is not the father of all parts of Nigeria as he is expected to be, and cannot provide security for all citizens. It has been seen so far that he lacks innovative ideas that can grow our economy. He has by all these and many more given the electorate enough reason for him to be roundly rejected in the coming election.”
And regardless of the manner of conduct of the polls, the SDP chieftains insisted that there will be no way for the continuation of the Buhari Presidency beyond 2019.
“No matter what he does to circumvent the electoral process, he will certainly be shown the way out in 2019 because he can no longer be trusted. There is the widespread fear that with him as President any further than 2019, the country will definitely go under. But God will not allow that to happen to us, because Nigeria is God’s own country,” he added.
Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate
Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.
Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members
President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”
Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.
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