Suicide blasts, nightmare hovering over ordinary Nigerians

June 24, 2015 10:09 am 

ABUJA, June 24 — For Omokola Kolajo, a resident in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, the memory of losing a dear friend in the latest suicide bomb attack would linger for a long time.

His friend and church member identified as John Alabi was a victim of Monday's twin blasts near a fish market along Baga road in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and epicenter of terror group Boko Haram's violence.

Local police confirmed 12 people killed in the attack carried out by a female suicide bomber. Sadly, Alabi and his son were among the dead.

According to Kolajo, he last saw his deceased friend on Monday morning, few hours before the tragic incident. Both men agreed to meet at 4 p.m. local time before driving down to a place within the city.

"At exactly 3:25 p.m., I called to inform Alabi that I was already close to where he was. We discussed briefly while he and his son continued waiting for me. Unfortunately, five minutes later, the blast went off. Unfortunately, both father and son were badly hit by the explosion! They died instantly, while waiting for me near the market," Kolajo said in a tear-induced tone.

As he arrived at the scene of the blast, Kojajo, also a journalist, sensed danger as his friend and the son where nowhere to be found. In a jet speed, he drove straight to the state-run Maiduguri General Hospital where he later found out the cruel fate that had befallen Alabi and his son.

"After identifying their bodies at the hospital, the facility staff arranged for the corpses to be deposited in a morgue," he said.

"All these happened too soon," Kolajo thundered, as he rued the circumstances that led to death of his friend and the friend's son. He said: "the victims were full of life, hale and hearty before arriving at the spot at which death was waiting to strike."

At the hospital, relatives of other victims of the twin blasts thronged the health facility, wailing and gnashing their teeth as they bemoan the fate of their loved ones.

Security agencies had an enormous task controlling the crowd as more sympathizers trooped in to mourn the dead and cater for the injured, Kolajo said.

It was a difficult task breaking the news of Alabi and his son's death to their relatives who live far away in Arigidi, a big town in Nigeria's southwestern state of Ondo.

Nigeria has been in a running battle with Boko Haram since 2009, with the group killing more than 13,000 people including women and children while proving to be a hard nut to crack. Bomb attack targeting civilians is one of the terror group's major tactics in causing panic and inflicting pressure on government.

A series of suicide blasts have been recorded in various parts of Nigeria this year. Boko Haram also extended its suicide bombings to neighboring Niger and Chad. Both countries, together with Nigeria and Cameroon, have formed a military task force to fight the group.

"The man has only come to make ends meet here (in Maiduguri), but sadly, he met his own end in the process," added Kolajo, who at this point was already inconsolable. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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