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Borno: Atiku, Obi flay bomb attacks, US offers support, Tinubu assures citizens

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has condemned in strong terms, Saturday’s bomb attacks in Borno State which resulted in deaths of citizens with many others sustaining varying degrees of injuries.

The condemnation was expressed by the Chairman of the NSGF and Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya while reacting to the incident.

The Forum Chairman also expressed condolences to the families of the victims, government and the people of Borno, following the tragic suicide attacks in Gwoza Local Government Area.

Inuwa Yahaya described the development as a heinous act, which resulted in the loss of innocent lives and left many injured.

Describing the attack as cowardly, he emphasised that such acts of terror have no place in a peaceful and progressive society.

“These cowardly attacks by bloodthirsty terrorists will never break the spirit of the peace-loving people of Northern Nigeria and our great nation,” he declared.

The governor acknowledged the efforts of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration in combating terrorism and the pressure being mounted against the criminal elements.

He expressed belief that with sustained efforts and cooperation among security agencies, the menace of terrorism would be effectively curtailed.

The governor also commended the Borno State Government for its swift response and measures taken to stabilise the situation and reassure the affected communities.

According to him, “Governor Babagana Zulum and his administration have shown exemplary leadership in the face of this tragedy. Their prompt actions have helped in calming the situation and providing immediate relief to the victims.”

Yahaya called for collective resilience and unity among the people of Northern Nigeria, saying: “We must stand together, undeterred by these acts of terror. Our unity and resolve will ultimately defeat the forces of darkness and ensure lasting peace and security in our region.”

He, therefore, reassured the victims and their families of the support and solidarity of the Forum

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports on Sunday have it that more of the wounded victims have died as a result of the bomb attack, thereby raising the number to not fewer than 30.

It was reliably gathered that the death toll rose due to discovery of more dead victims on Sunday as well as death of those receiving medical attention at the hospitals in Maiduguri.

The Director-General of Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA), Dr Barkindo M. Sa’idu, in a situation report said: “So far, 18 deaths comprising children, adult male, females, and pregnant women. 19 seriously injured, were conveyed to Maiduguri in four ambulances, 23 are waiting for Military escort in the Medical Regimental Services (MRS) Clinic.

“I am now coordinating for chopper this night. I have mobilised emergency drugs to complement the shortage of drugs in Gwoza. I am in Gwoza myself.

“The degree of injuries ranges from abdominal raptures, skull fractures, and limb fractures. Also, I received a report that there is a suspected suicide bomber in Pulka.”

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has strongly condemned the bomb attacks, warning that the purveyors of wanton violence shall have a certain encounter with justice and that these attacks are only but an isolated episode as his government will not allow the nation to slither into an era of fear, tears, sorrow, and blood.

A statement issued on Sunday by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) said the president described the attacks as desperate acts of terror and a clear manifestation of the pressure mounted against terrorists and the success achieved in degrading their capacity to launch offensives.

President stated that his administration is taking necessary measures to secure citizens, emphasising that efforts will be redoubled to ensure that those who trouble the nation, dispatching precious lives, and disrupting law and order are completely removed.

He condoled with the victims of the attacks, the families of the deceased, as well as the government and people of Borno State.

Meanwhile, former vice president Atiku Abubakar has blamed the terror attacks on government’s failure to hold firmly to the frontline.

He stated this in a post on his X handle, @atiku, on Sunday, saying that such negligence has canceled out the gains made against the Boko Haram insurgency.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election warned the Federal Government to sit up and not allow the North-East to slide back to the theatre of extreme violence.

He posted: “It is a sad development that the ugly incidents of terrorism are resurfacing and, indeed, metastasising in the North-East.

“The reported attack by suicide bombers at a wedding reception, funeral procession, and a hospital on Saturday stands condemned.

“It is unfortunate that much of the pushback that had been achieved against the Boko Haram terror sect is being cancelled, owing mainly to the government’s lacklustre posture to hold firmly on the frontline.

“It is thus important to call on the federal authorities to wake up to their responsibility and to make sure that the North-East does not slide back into a theatre of terrorism and extreme violence.

“My condolences go to the families of victims of these attacks, and it is my prayer that God grants a peaceful repose to the souls of the departed.”

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi has stressed the need for Nigerians to remain unwavering in demanding that government ensures security of lives and property.

This demand, Obi said, was imperative, because ‘horrible’ killings, violence and terror attacks continue to rob the nation of opportunities for growth and development.

Obi’s remarks, via his X handle, @PeterObi, was against the backdrop of the recent killings in Gwoza town, Borno State.

He tweeted: “Yesterday, we were besieged by the horrible reports of a bombing at a wedding venue in Gwoza town, Borno State, killing several wedding guests and injuring many others.

“We must remain unwavering in our demand for the security of lives and property in our nation. The horrible spate of killings, violence and terror attacks have not only robbed us of opportunities for growth and development but have continued to cost us the precious lives of our loved ones.

“The issue of security continues to dominate our national discourse because of its critical role in achieving peace and development in the country. The series of recent violent attacks that have rocked our nation and put the people on edge have continued to be of utmost concern.

“Gradually, the impression is being created that insecurity had overwhelmed the state while our responses are more of weak ineffective reactions. This unpalatable security situation is denying citizens the right to peaceful living and even threatening the fabric of our national existence and putting to question the commitment of we the leaders to put an end to the menace of insecurity.

“On Wednesday, June 26, 2024, six persons were reportedly killed during an attack on a police station in Ebonyi State by criminals.

“Reports also emerged on Thursday, June 27, 2024, that gunmen killed six persons during an attack on Ama Hausa in Garki, Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State.”

Senator representing Borno South and Chief Whip of the Senate, Ali Ndume, has called on the military to redouble its efforts towards surmounting attacks in Northeast states by terrorist groups.

Incidentally, Gwoza is the birthplace of the Chief Whip of the Senate.

Senator Ndume in a statement on Sunday acknowledged the successful efforts of the military in reducing the spate of attacks by terror groups but maintained that there was an urgent need to raise the bar and provide more surveillance and security in the State to guide against future occurrences.

“The last attack at the weekend was a big shock. We need to double our efforts. Our military is trying and we must commend them. But we they need to raise their game and take out these people. The recent attack in my community, Gwoza is unacceptable.

“I’m visiting to ascertain the level of the attack and see how we can bring help to those affected. We call on the Federal Government to do something and bring this carnage to an end. This is my appeal.”

The United States Government also condemned the attack, describing it as horrific.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the horrific attacks that took place in Gwoza, Borno State on June 29. These reprehensible acts of violence show a cruel and heartless disregard for human life,” the Mission said in a Sunday message.

“We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wish a full recovery to the injured. These abhorrent attacks are a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by terrorism in the region.”

It also reiterated the Mission’s commitment to collaborate with the Nigerian government to defeat terrorism and bring the perpetrators of these heinous acts to justice.

Reports say the series of the coordinated suicide bombings carried out by female attackers are believed to be affiliated with the Jamā’atAhl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wahwa’l-Jihād, an Islamist jihadist organisation, also known as Boko Haram.

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