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Victims, Residents Lament Jos Bomb Explosion


Scene of the explosion in Jos

Scene of the explosion in Jos

Recently the city of Jos, the Plateau State Capital witnessed multiple bomb explosion that claimed several lives and property. Members of deadly Boko Haram sect detonated a two– pronged deadly explosion in a popular Mosque in Yan Taya and Hajiya Talatu’s Restaurant on Bauchi Road.

National Emergency Management Agency ((NEMA) put the figure of the dead at 51 although the death toll has risen. The insurgents seem to have moved into the heart of Jos unchallenged. This would have not been possible if the roadblocks are still there.

According to a public affairs analyst and a military expert, Mr. Ishaku Joshua, small children doing these bombings are injected with hard drugs so that they do not think rationally again.

“Now that a new government is in place headed by Muhammadu Buhari whose number one agenda is to exterminate Boko Haram and has negotiated with neigbouring Chad, Cameroun, Niger to flush out Boko Haram and the relocation of the Defence Headquarters to Maiduguri showed that the President is waging a total war against the insurgents with a view to completely wipe them out from the country and even beyond. This provoked the Boko Haram sect especially when they have nowhere in the country to claim as their own.

“In the past, Boko Haram members waged physical wars, taking over villages, communities, towns and local government councils. But with doggedness and determination of the government, Boko Haram, having discovered that they have been blocked, went to develop a new strategy by inducing small children, strapping explosives to their bodies. During the previous government, Boko Haram had the financial muscles, manpower, and other forms of resources. So, with the present government’s reasonable achievements, operation of Boko Haram has been curtailed. We are yet to hear that any community or town or local government during the 30 days of this present administration.

“However, it is sad that the new dimension of Boko Haram is more destructive and devastating. But I want to believe that we have retrieved those earlier captured communities by the sect from them and it is now easy to overcome this mad new strategy adopted by them.”

Some eyewitnesses spoke on their experiences. “What compounded the whole issue was that some people did not wait for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) before taking away their dead ones to their houses”

One Hajiya Maimuna said six of her relations were killed at Yan Taya mosque, but she did not wait for NEMA counting.

“So, that figure of the dead put by NEMA at 51 is wrong. It is more than that. We were very close to the mosque and we immediately mobilised some men there and were able to identify the corpses and they brought them to us. They had already died. These ones (six dead bodies) are not part of the 51 dead people that NEMA announced in the morning,” Maimuna added.

Another survivor, Shehu Awwal who lives in Angwan Rimi near the University of Jos, said the second explosion which occurred at Bauchi Road dealt a devastating and deadly blow to the family as they lost three people to the two – pronged deadly explosion.

“NEMA did not count these three people because we took home thier dead bodies. Those that NEMA counted were packed in one place. So, ours would not have been there,” he stated.

Another eyewitness, Musa Sani, who was also in the mosque, but fortunately escaped unhurt, said that one man insisted on entering the mosque where Sheikh Jingir was, raising the curiosity of the local vigilance group. “They confronted the man whose appearance was dreadful and he refused to go back. The local security man grabbed him and in the process of the struggle, the explosive detonated, killing himself, that security man and others,”

Musa added that it was at that juncture that another suicide bomber entered the mosque looking ferociously for Jingir, but could not find him.

“From what I saw that night, it seemed to me that Sheikh Jingir was the target. The suicide bomber wanted to see him and grab him so that they could die together. But the bomber missed the target while the other security man who grabbed him paid the supreme price.”

Jingir led his Izala group to the Christian dominated Rukuba Road prayer ground in 2011 in spite of all entreaties to avoid using that ground for the Sallah prayer as tension occasioned by the violence of 2009 local government elections had not died down, but many people were massacred and roasted in the process. Yet, he escaped unhurt.

At the Bauchi Road Restaurant, two female suicide bombers were said to have carried out the attack. According to another eyewitness, Yusuf Imam, “when it dawned on us that suicide bombers were around, we asked all the people to lie down as we were taught by the former Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Chris Olakpe. It was only those who stood up that were affected by the explosion. This is a place where people coming from other parts of the country stop over to relax before continuing with their journey.”

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