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Sanusi Leads Prayers at Site of Bombed Kano Mosque

Sanusi Leads Prayers at Site of Bombed Kano Mosque

In a symbolic act of defiance, following Friday’s terrorist bombing of the Kano central mosque, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, cut short his lesser hajj trip to Saudi Arabia and returned to Kano on Friday to lead the Maghrib evening prayers on Saturday at the bombed mosque.

The emir, who had on Friday visited the scene of the bomb blast and the hospitals where victims were being treated, ordered an immediate clean-up and rehabilitation of the affected areas of the mosque. Sanusi, who was in the company of the members of his emirate council, shunned all attempts to make them speak to the press.

He had in an earlier statement said Nigerian Muslims will not be intimidated into abandoning Islam following the coordinated bomb and gun attacks on the Kano central mosque that left at least 130 people dead.

“We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers,” the emir was quoted to have said during a 20-minute-visit to the mosque, which adjoins his palace.  This was shortly after his return to the country.

Statements by officials of both the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital and Muhammadu Abdullahi Wase Hospital mortuary in Kano indicated that over 130 people died in Friday’s Kano Central Mosque bomb blast.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to THISDAY, said: “I was asked to count those deposited [in the morgue] and I counted over 102 bodies before I was asked to stop, as the figures kept rising on Friday after the blast.”

Another official, who also would not be identified, said “this casualty [figure] is only for Murtala Hospital and my colleague at the Abdullahi Wase Hospital, also known as Nassarawa Hospital, told me that they can’t precisely state the number of the dead, because bodies were brought into the hospital in large numbers with no one bothering to count them.”

According to him, the bloodstains on the floor were an eloquent testimony of the fatality figures. “There is also shortage of blood to those sustained injuries. There had been radio announcements calling on people to come and donate blood.”

Indeed, there had been calls to donate blood to the victims of the Kano central mosque  blast  most of whom are currently being treated at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Nassarawa Hospital, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Dala Orthopedic Hospital in Kano.

The head of the State Hospital Management Board, Dr Kabiru Maso Kano, also declined to reveal the number of causalities to journalists yesterday, saying: “I don’t know exactly the number of causalities.”
A medical doctor, Dr Bashir Usman, said “most of those receiving treatment in the four hospitals of the state are in dire need of blood and we are appealing to people to come and donate their blood to rescue the victims.”

However, some eyewitness accounts indicate more alarming fatality figures. One of the eyewitnesses, Malam Musbahu Sheik Nasir Kabara, told THISDAY: “Immediately after the start of the prayers, we heard a deafening sound of an explosion followed by sporadic gunshots. The whole place was filled with smoke.

“It was a terrible situation because so many people, comprising old people, kids and women were killed. Others were burnt beyond recognition. I spoke with somebody who was at rescue operation and he told me that he saw and counted over 200 dead bodies.”

Another eyewitness, Alhaji Isyaku Tudun Wazirci, who burst into tears, said: “I was at the mosque when I heard heavy sound of explosion three times and I passed out through corpses lying down inside this mosque. I did not have any wound in my body, but I lost so many brothers who we went to the mosque together.”
The latest casualty figures are much higher than the ones released by the state’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sanusi Lemu , which had put the number of the dead at 35 people and the injured at 150.

Lemu had also revealed that “three suspected bombers were apprehended and mobbed by the youths and three AK 47 rifles were recovered at the scene after the blast.”

Also, security around the scene of the bomb attack has been beefed up, as some of the residents were seen assisting to control vehicular traffic.

More reactions have meanwhile continued to pour in in condemnation of the blast. Senate President David Mark yesterday, decrying the gruesome massacre of worshippers at the Kano Central Mosque, described perpetrators as insane minds who have lost their human senses.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Paul Mumeh, Mark called on right thinking members of the society to rise up against the activities of terrorists, which he said “was putting asunder the peace and unity of Nigeria.”

He urged security operatives not to be deterred by recalcitrant attitude of insurgents but encourage them to rather be strengthened and committed to protecting and defending the territorial integrity of the nation.

Also, the Sultan of Sokoto and Leader of Muslims in Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, yesterday condemned the Friday suicide bomb blast at the mosque which left scores dead and wounded.
He was speaking at the Post 2014 Hajj Conference, organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), held at the National Mosque in Abuja. “I do not believe that those perpetrating these acts are Muslims and if they are, they are not professing what Islam teaches,” he said.

He lamented and condemned the dastardly act in strong terms, saying that it was time for all stakeholders and, particularly, the federal government to rise up to its responsibility and bring to an end insurgency in the country. “The world over, it is the duty and responsibility of government to provide security for its citizenry. This is time for the various Muslim sects in the country to come together with a purposeful effort to rally round one another and bring insurgency to an end.

“We call on stakeholders to join hands and end the problem of Boko Haram in the country.”

In his reaction, the Secretary General, Jama’ Atu Nasril Islam, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said there should be a purposeful effort on the part of the government who has the constitutional mandate to look after the security and welfare of the people.

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