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Bomb blast: Narrow escape for four persons,suspected bomber

| May 21, 2012 More

By Suzan Edeh

Night activities in the ever busy Bayan Gari area of Bauchi  metropolis may never be the same again. This is sequel to a bomb blast which rocked the town recently.

The area affected by the explosion is reputed to be one of the liveliest places in Bauchi State and notorious for the activities of prostitutes, drunks and drug addicts.

Vanguard Metro learnt that the bomb blast which injured four persons on that fateful day happened around 9pm at the People’s Hotel located behind the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium.

According to an eyewitness who pleaded anonymity, the bomb exploded at the time when the hotel was booming with customers who usually come to the place to relax, drink beer and look for night hawkers.

He described the incident as very traumatizing because  nobody expected something like that to happen. According to him, the hotel has since its commencement not recorded a single ugly incident not to talk of a bomb explosion.

He said: “The People’s Hotel is one of the most bubbling places in Bauchi. Normally when people close from work for the day, they usually come to the hotel to relax and enjoy themselves and the time customers normally fill the hotel is around that 9 to 11  in the night.

“We were just in the hotel, and around 9pm, we heard a loud bang that almost deafened my ear drums. Before we knew it there was confusion and shouting everywhere. People were scampering for safety and at that time, nobody was sure who was wounded or who died. I thank God that he spared my life that day”.

One of the bar attendants  (names undisclosed) also narrated how the explosion occurred. He said he was doing his usual work of serving beer to the customers when suddenly he heard a loud explosion. He explained that  he did not know the direction the explosion came from.

“After the bomb explosion all I saw was that part of the building housing the hotel was shattered with people running helter-skelter to safeguard their lives. Since the hotel has been established in this area, nothing of this nature has ever happened , although people residing in the area have been spreading rumours that the place will come under attacks by terrorists,” he said.

In his own account of the incident, the owner of the hotel, Mr.Okejwu Eziwsi said  it happened  around nine in the night and that the person threw the bomb from outside through the gate of the hotel. “The bomb was thrown from outside into the hotel and when it landed inside, it affected part of the building of the hotel”.

Confirming the incident to newsmen at the police headquarters in Bauchi, the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, said that the bomb exploded  around 9pm and injured a woman, three other men and a suspected bomber.
Ladan said that the victims were, however, rushed to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ATBU, for treatment. According to him, three of the victims have already been discharged.

Continuing, the Police Commissioner said: “We suspect that the remaining victim currently on admission is the one that carried out the bombing because of the degree of injury on his body, but we are still investigating the matter. Part of the building was blown off by the blast and there was no record of causality”.

He stated that when the suspect was interrogated, he alleged that some unidentified men within the Bauchi market area came and enquired if he was a policeman.

The suspect added that before he knew it, the men overpowered him and took him away, adding that he suddenly saw himself at the scene of the blast.

According to a security source,  the affected hotel was a target during the Shariah crisis which started from Zamfara State and the last post-presidential election violence, but that it took security intelligence to avert any ugly scene.

He explained that the casualty figure in that Sunday blast was low because the owner of the hotel was earlier advised to close down the business and that he was in the process of doing so  hence the number of fun-seekers to the hotel has drastically reduced.

In a similar incident, two policemen and a civilian have been killed in a coordinated armed attack and bombing of two police stations and three new banks in two local government area of the state. The banks are First Bank, Access Bank and GTB.

Vanguard Metro gathered that the incident occurred at about 1am Saturday morning in the headquarters of Misau and Shira local government area of the state.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan also confirmed the incident. “Yes, it is true that there was an attack in Yana town in Misau and Shira local government area of the state. Hoodlums attacked the banks with explosives before gaining access into the bank, but the police are yet to ascertain the extent of damage and investigationsare still on-going,” he said.

A Police source  said the civilian who died is suspected to be one of the armed attackers who succeeded in carting away all the money in the strong room of the first generation banks that were attacked.

Meanwhile, two other people were killed in an early morning attack in Kutaro village in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the State on Friday night.

The two people who were also seriously injured in the attack carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen have been taken to the Jos University Teaching Hospital in neighbouring Plateau state for treatment.

Kutaro village was attacked about this time in May last year and is now the fourth village to be attacked in the area this year.

Category: Bauchi State News

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