|AIG Zone 10 office in Sokoto after an attack by a suspected suicide bomber. Right: Wreckage of the Honda car used by the bomber...|
GUNMEN early Monday attacked the family residence of the Vice-President Namadi Sambo in Tundun-Wada, Zaria, Kaduna State, injuring the two mobile policemen guarding the house.
A cobbler attending to one of the mobile policemen as of the time of the attack was reportedly hit and died on the spot. The attack on the VP house occurred at 11 o’clock in the morning.
Also, suspected suicide bombers launched attacks on the office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 10 in Sokoto, Muhtari Ibrahim, and a shop owned by the Police Officer Wives’ Association, adjacent to the Unguwar Rogo police station, Marina, Sokoto.
Dead victims of the Sokoto attacks included a hairdresser, a policeman, and the two suspected bombers.
The attacks in Sokoto and Kaduna came on a day the police announced the casualty figure of Sunday night’s bombing in Kano. The police said four persons were killed in the blast that rocked the Kano-Gwarzo Road but residents insisted on Monday that the casualty figure was higher.
In Tundun-Wada, Zaria, unknown gunmen on a motorbike fired at Sambo’s residence under rehabilitation and injured the policemen on guard.
The house had remained uninhabited by the VP family since it was attacked during the 2011 post-election violence in Kaduna State.
Ibrahim confirmed the attack on his office and the death of a policeman, a Corporal; and the suicide bomber. He said eight policemen and a civilian were injured as a result of the attack.
The AIG said that five offices and other parts of the one-storey building, the gate, and some neighbouring houses were shattered. The official car of the police chief was also reportedly damaged.
He was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria as saying that the suicide bomber who attacked his office drove a Honda Accord car and forced his way into the premises after he was denied entry.
Ibrahim said that only the dead suicide bomber was in the vehicle, adding that investigations would continue on the development.
He asked members of the public to provide security agencies with useful information to curb the trend.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kudu Nma, who confirmed the attack on the Unguwar Rogo police station, said the attacker could not gain access into the police station .
According to Nma, only the attacker died at the Unguwar Rogo police station after he struck a nearby POWA shop.
Spokesman for the Sokoto State Police Command, Sani Salisu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the death of the hairdresser at the POWA shop near Unguwar rogo police station.
The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who also confirmed the attacks, said security had been beefed in the areas.
“Security has been beefed up in Sokoto and Zaria and men of the Anti-Terrorist Squad have taken over the areas,” Mba told The PUNCH.
The violent attacks in Sokoto and Kaduna, analysts said on Monday must have taken security agents by surprise given the expectation that the attackers, believed to be members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, would cease fire during the Ramadan season.
The attacks also came barely 24 hours after two ex-heads of state, Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida, in a joint statement lamented the worsening state of security in the country. Obasanjo and Babangida said Nigerians were living in fear and uncertainty.
The Kano State Police Commissioner, Mr Ibrahim Idris had also confirmed the attack on the city on Sunday night.
He said that some gunmen attempted to attack a mosque in Jan Bulo quarters around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday.
An official statement by the command on Monday said, “The Kano State Police Command wish to inform the general public that on 29th Day of July 2012 at 2030hrs, unknown gunmen on three motorcycles attacked a patrol team attached to Rijar Zaki positioned at 2nd Gate JamblockEstate.
“The police patrol team responded and in the ensuing gun duel, two of the attackers were gunned down by the police, while two died from explosives they were carrying.
“One of them was burnt beyond recognition. There was no police or civilian casualty. Recovered at the scene of the incident were three motorcycles, one AK 47 rifle, an assault rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition.
“Officers of the Command Anti-Bomb Squad combed the entire area and further recovered 10 undetonated explosives. The area is now calm.”
However, residents of the area insisted on Monday that the casualty figure was higher because it was a densely populated area.
“Whoever claimed that only four people (attackers) died is telling a huge lie. Some civilians were victims too. The area was busy with people; some were still breaking their Ramadan fast. Some were already at the mosque for prayers,” a resident who did not want his name mentioned told our correspondent in Kano on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Senate President, David Mark, has condemned the Sokoto attacks and asked security agencies to come with new strategy to deal with the worsening insecurity in the country.
Mark said the attacks were an assault on the peaceful co-existenc among the people of Sokoto and begged religious leaders to continue to appeal to members of Boko Haram to accept the dialogue offer from government.
He said, “The Federal Government will not dialogue with itself. It has to dialogue with those who are disenchanted with the system, particularly, leadership and members of the Boko Haram sect.
“We also urged our political and religious leaders to continue to appeal to the sect to listen to the voice of reason.”Source: PUNCH