Inside story of Gwoza horror suicide attacks:Two suspected child-suicide bombers among over 30 killed


    Emir of Gwoza, Borno State, AlhajiMohammed Shehu Timta,penultimate Saturday, confirmed that multiple suicide attacks were carried out at various locations, including a wedding reception and a burial ceremony, in his town, which claimed over 30 lives, with over 100 injured.

    Meanwhile, it was learnt at the weekend that two children who accompanied one of the bombers into the wedding reception were among the dead.

    Sunday Vanguard was the first to break the news from the First Class Emir, while the police in Borno, through its spokesman, Kenneth Daso, put the figure at 18 dead, and less than 30 injured.
    Many media outlets reported their stories from the police angle.

    But when Vice President Kashim Shettima was in Maiduguri State Specialist Hospital where victims were being treated to sympathise with them on behalf of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he put the figure at 32 dead with over 100 sustaining various degrees of injury.

    The coordinated incidents took place in the afternoon, causing pandemonium as people scampered for safety.

    An eye witness said, “More than 30 innocent civilians were killed with over 100 sustaining various degrees of injury, even as many of the victims have been evacuated to Maiduguri for medical attention.”

    The Emir, Timta, on his part, said, “The entire Gwoza council area is in serious mourning following multiple suicide attacks on our community.

    “The first suicide attack was masterminded by an unidentified woman who sneaked with two children into a wedding reception of a popular young man in Gwoza, she detonated her Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) killing herself, the children and many people.

    “Few minutes after, another suicide bomber sneaked into a burial ceremony at the nearby and detonated Improvised Explosive Devices, and as I am talking to you now, the third explosion just occurred few minutes ago with more casualties.

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    “At least, over 100 people were injured, and most of them who sustained serious injuries have been rushed to Maiduguri with military escort for proper medical attention”.

    Reacting to the incidents, member representing Gwoza/Chibok/Damboa Federal Constituency, Ahmed Usman Jaha, aka Babawo, sympathized with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the multiple attacks, even as he prayed Allah to grant the souls of the deceased Aljannatul Firdaus, and wished those who sustained injuries quick recovery.

    Jaha also moved a motion on the floor of the House, last week, seeking appropriate security measures to address the renewed suicide attacks.

    Gwoza, a town in southern Borno, borders Cameroun. It was hitherto declared Boko Haram Territory after it was captured by insurgents with hundreds of people killed, before it was later liberated by troops.

    Although since the incidents occurred military authorities kept mute, the Director General of Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mohammed Barkindo, confirmed the attacks and condoled with the Nigerian Army over the loss of one of its personnel in the multiple explosions.

    Barkindo also commiserated with the families of a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and other civilians who lost their lives in the coordinated bombings.

    Speaking exclusively with Sunday Vanguard, the DG, who was on ground with his evacuation team, described the incident as sad and barbaric.

    “On behalf of Governor Babagana Zulum, I commiserate with the Commanding Officer in Gwoza town over the killing of one of his personnel during the suicide attacks”, he said.

    “I also condole with the family of the CJTF member who was killed in one of the incidents as well as families of those who lost their beloved ones.

    “Since I am in Gwoza, I will provide them with funeral service materials (jana’iza) items, attend the funeral prayers, and participate in the condolences/ sympathy greetings.
    “May Allah (God) grant Aljannatul Firdaus to the souls of the deceased as we wish those injured quick recovery”.

    Meanwhile, Borno State Acting Governor, Dr. Umar Usman Kadafur, along with the senator representing Southern Borno, Mohammed Ali Ndume, and Jaha visited State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri where the injured victims were receiving treatment.

    The Acting Governor said the state government had settled all their medical bills and was doing everything possible to see that adequate medical attention was given to the victims.

    Kadafur, while condemning the incident, described it as an act of God and prayed God to forestall future occurrence.

    According to him, the fight against insurgency and terrorism must continue, as perpetrators have taken advantage of the laxity of vigilance by the people after relative peace is achieved.

    He then appealed to the people to be more vigilant and report any suspicious movement or persons they notice in their area to security personnel so as to avoid similar occurrence of the incident.

    The Acting Governor and his entourage were later at the residence of some families of those who lost their lives and offered special prayers for the repose of the souls of the deceased.

    In the same vein, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) has reiterated its commitment to work with Borno State government, the military, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other stakeholders to address the root cause of the recent resurgence of bomb attacks.

    The Managing Director of the NEDC, Alhaji Goni Alkali, disclosed this when he paid a sympathy visit to the victims last week.
    The MD said: ”We are here as a team to sympathize with the people of Gwoza over the recent bomb attacks, you know as a human being, when you hear such a thing it is heartbreaking,  we have forgotten that such kind of thing will happen in such manner, but unfortunately all of a sudden it happened. In the first instance we want to go to Gwoza but the town was condoned off for a reason well known to all.

    “We are here in Maiduguri where most of the victims are currently receiving treatment, we have seen it, and we are talking with the state government and other stakeholders for us to collaborate and to find a comprehensive way of responding to the current or renewed challenges. You know it is a multidimensional problem.

    “Besides, we have to find out what is the root cause of that thing happening that day.

    For instance it was a marriage ceremony and burial scene, these are all crowded places. Surely we are talking with the state government and other stakeholders, we are going to have a committee to see how best we can help the victims in a short moment and also find a lasting solution to the problem”.

    In his response, the Medical Director of Maiduguri Specialist Hospital, Dr Shehu Mohammed, who took the NEDC boss round the victims, said that, apart from those in Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 15 patients out of the 49 injured victims brought to the hospital had been treated and discharged.

    Mohammed said that so far only two victims died, while the remaining were responding to treatment.

    “So far, we don’t have many challenges. What we need for now are specialized volunteers like doctors, nurses, paramedics and cleaners as well as security to control crowd of relations trooping in”, the MD said.

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