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Teenagers bomb Damaturu, kill pregnant woman, themselves, three others

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Two teenage suicide bombers on Tuesday morning detonated two bombs that left six persons dead, including a pregnant woman, and 26 others injured in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.

The two – a male and a female – both about 14 years old detonated the bomb strapped on them at different locations of the capital of the troubled northeastern state, killing themselves and four others.

The first attack, which happened at 7.30 am at the entrance of the busy Damaturu central bus station, was triggered by the girl.

It was gathered from eyewitnesses that she was stopped by security personnel at the entrance of the bus park to be searched, but she ran to a bus that was full of passengers and was about to depart the park.

One of the local security personnel at the park, Mani Gambo, told journalists that the little girl was quick to pull away from the security check and ran close to a vehicle carrying some people before detonating the explosive strapped on her.

Gambo said: “We saw the little girl coming in and stopped her. As I was about to screen her, she quickly ran towards a bus which was coming from inside the bus park.

“Before I could comprehend what was happening, all I heard was a loud bang which threw me off the ground.

“When I was able to gather my thoughts together, I saw the mutilated body of the same girl that came to me.”

The second incident happened about an hour later at the Pompomari axis of the Damaturu ring-road bypass when a teenage boy detonated explosives strapped on him.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the boy detonated the bomb shortly after he escaped from passengers who had arrested him to hand him over to the military because he was suspected of carrying an improvised explosive device on his person.

Musa Abdul, who told journalists that he was in a tricycle with the suicide bomber, said: “Immediately the boy came into our Keke NAPEP (local parlance for tricycle) I felt uncomfortable as I suspected he might be a suicide bomber.

“I asked him where he was going and he said he was headed to Tasha (bus park). I then asked him what he wanted to go and do at the park or where he is travelling, because I did not see him with any bag but he could not give me any satisfactory answer.

“At that point, I held the boy and to my surprise, I discovered he had a bomb strapped to his waist. I then held his two hands and asked the other passengers to come down.

“I told the driver of the NAPEP to make a U-turn so that we could go to the next military checkpoint. It was in the process of trying to take him to the military checkpoint that he wriggled himself free and started running. The next thing we heard was the loud explosion and that is how he died.”

The spokesman of the Yobe State Police Command, Toyin Gbadegesin, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who confirmed both incidents, said the police was working tirelessly to fish out the criminal elements that continue to use children as weapons of mass destruction.

The Medical Director of Gen. Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu, where the corpses and injured were taken, Dr. Garba Musa Fika, told journalists that the total number of casualties were 32.
Fika said: “We have a total of 32 casualties, six are dead including the two suicide bombers. We have three cases for surgery with no case of referral yet.”

The Executive Secretary of Yobe State Emergency Management Agency, Musa Idi Jidawa, who also confirmed the death of six persons, however, revealed that 22 suffered minor injuries from the bus park blast.
Reacting to the twin blasts, the state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, said he was heartbroken owing to the attack.
The governor, who described the attacks as “callous, senseless and condemnable”, said his heart was with the families of the victims.

The governor, in a statement signed by Abdullahi Bego, his spokesman, said: “At this time of so much sadness, Governor Gaidam expresses his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of victims. He prays Almighty Allah to grant repose to the souls of those who died and quick recovery to those who sustained injuries.

“Already, the governor has directed that the injured victims be given quick and free treatment at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, where they have been taken for medical care.”

The governor urged the people across the state to continue “in the tradition of vigilance, prayers and support for security agencies as they push on with their effort to rid our state of the unspeakable violence that has caused so much pain and death”.

 

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DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo church attack suspects

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Irabor Orders Troops to Smoke Out Unrepentant Bandits

The Defence Headquarters Wednesday gave details of the suspects arrested in connection with the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had on Tuesday during a parley with media executives and editors revealed the names of the terrorists who masterminded the Owo attack.

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement yesterday, said the clarification became necessary because of the conflicting feedback on the earlier announcement.

Akpor said Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on Aug. 1.

“Those arrested included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal”

“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.

“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away,” he said.

Akpor said Irabor also mentioned the arrest of another terrorist, Idris Ojo, aged 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Pope not against my appointment as DG of Tinubu’s campaign – Lalong

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Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization, Simon Lalong, says he will not resign as the party DG campaign organisation.

Mr Lalong said that even Pope is not opposed to his appointment

Mr Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau, an ardent Catholic, said the Pope had not told him that accepting to lead the Muslim-Muslim APC presidential ticket was against the tenets of Christianity.

Some groups had staged rallies in Abuja, calling on Mr Lalong to reject the offer to serve as the DG of APC presidential campaign organisation.

However, the governor said he would not reject his new appointment just to satisfy the wishes of certain individuals or groups.

”The Pope is not angry with my decision to be the DG of the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign.

“I came back home and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) welcomed me at the airport.

”The next day I addressed stakeholders of Plateau and I told them why I’m accepting and then there was jubilation, all of them accepted.

“So, if you see people talking about me rejecting, I have already accepted – is not an issue. Some of them have already keyed into it – I’m a Christian. If you watch my TVC interview I saw, I was born a Catholic, baptized a catholic, confirmed a catholic.

“Today, I went through missionary schools. I was taught by missions that I respect my being a Christian.

“I have been given the highest award by the Pope, I still hold that award – the highest Papal Award, I want people to know, Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, I have it and one day if you want I will wear my uniform and come here. So those who are talking about it I don’t even know where they are.

“I hold a Papal Knight and as a catholic everything we do, we do it and send the advice to the Pope.

“The Pope has not told me that what I’m doing (to accept Director General) is bad – As a catholic, we take that direction.

“But, generally as a governor of a State, I’m not responsible to only my faith. I’m responsible to other people who belong to other faiths, who are not even Muslims or Christians’’

He urged Nigerians to grow up from ethnic or religious sentiments.

Mr Lalong said that he had already accepted the job and there was nothing anybody could do to dissuade him from performing his responsibilities.

Mr Lalong said he was in the Presidential Villa to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the University of Jos as a national cancer centre as well as granting presidential pardon to the former Governor of the state, Joshua Dariye.

According to him, the people of the state will remain grateful to the president for delivering a lot of democratic dividends to the State.

“My visit to the President is to come and show him appreciation because of what he has done for Plateau State in the last few months.

”Just a week or two ago, we just got approval to make the University of Jos a Cancer Centre.

“I saw over N3 billion approved for the institution as a special centre for cancer. So, it’s not a small achievement.

“Recently, the President approved the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos, Plateau; the only one in North-Central.

“He also approved the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Wase. Another one is the Federal Polytechnic Shendam, which is almost starting this year in October to be precise.

“The president has also approved the conversion of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, to a Federal University of Education and immediately approved the establishment of another Federal college of Education in the State.

“We were just celebrating that one then we also heard of the establishment of a Zonal campus of the Nigerian Law School for North-Central in Jos.

“We cannot have all these achievements and not come and show appreciation to the President,” he said. 

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PHOTOS: Oluwo of Iwo visits Olubadan

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The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday visited Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade Alliwo II.

Oluwo said his visit was symbolic as he has a maternally relationship with the Alliwo Lineage, the source of Olubadan.

Oba Akanbi is maternally related to the Alliwo Compound where he was said to have lived for many years.

Oba Akanbi described the visit as a friendly father and son meeting.

He prayed for a successful reign for Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade

Here are pictures of the visit:

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