A suicide bomber struck yesterday in Kotangora, Niger State, killing a student. The female bomber also died.
The Federal College of Education (FCE) Kotangora incident came 48 hours after 36 pupils of the Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, Yobe State died in a similar incident.
Unable to get to the school hall where Distance Learning undergraduates of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, were writing exams, the suicide bomber died along with another female student. Four others were injured.
The bomb blast occurred around 12:30pm as the suicide bomber was rushing towards the hall. As the bomb detonated, students scampered for their lives, jumping through the windows.
Naomi Gana, who was lucky to have finished her papers before the explosion, said: “I saw the bomber. I saw her running towards the library and I thank God before she got to the entrance the bomb went off. The other girl I am sure was just unlucky because she is a student who was just walking along when the bomb went off. I am still in shock. After I finished my exams, I sat under the tree, waiting for my friend. Then the bomb exploded.”
Another eye witness said the bomber might have beaten the internal security arrangement.
“The situation would have been disastrous if the suicide bomber had hit her target. If she had got to the lecture theatre where students were writing examination, the casualty would have been unimaginable,” he said.
The suspected bomber had her lower part – from the abdomen and the legs blown off. The upper part of her body was burnt beyond recognition.
Military men and the police anti-bomb squad cordoned off the explosion site.
The Provost of the college, Dr. Nathaniel Odediran, said that a female student who was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, a 300-level undergraduate of ABU Distance Learning degree programme in the College, Miss. Fasilat Oludege, passed on at about 5pm yesterday.
“ We lost one of our female students who was initially injured in the explosion this evening, bringing the number of casualty to two.”
The Provost added: “We thank God for answering our prayers because He did not allow the enemies to succeed in carrying out their enterprise.”
Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu condemned the blast and the insurgency in the Northeast.
He described the reports that soldiers retreated from terrorists as depressing, lamenting that the military is finding it difficult to end insurgency.
Aliyu, who spoke in Minna during the fourth annual MBA International Literary Colloquium, one of the activities marking his 59th birthday, called for the security alertness and cooperation of all Nigerians.
“We need to go round houses and enlighten our people on the need for peace to reign, which will, therefore, bring an end to all these killings. We must not be partisan about security; the role of government is to provide security for people, regardless of their differences.
“I am calling on my colleagues to support the president and fight Abubakar Shekau (Boko Haram leader) and his people,” the governor said.
In the address entitled: “Leadership and National Development”, former Mozambican President Joacquim Chissano urged African leaders to address “potential trouble spots”, saying they should not “wait until it is too late”.
Chissano said: “ Early warning demands early action. Leadership is the state of mind and not position, and as a result, we should try to develop leaders in all areas of endeavours, if we truly want to change the situation on the continent.”
Niger police spokesman Ibrahim Gambari said the situation had been brought under control, with the anti-bomb squad dispatched to the scene.
Gambari said the level of casualty was limited, adding that three injured persons taken to the hospital had been discharged.