As the city of Kano began stocktaking of Friday’s deadly bomb blasts, Emir Muhammed Sanusi II said yesterday that the attack was planned for two months.
The Emir, who was out of the country during the attack, returned home yesterday apparently after cutting short his trip to visit the Central Mosque at his palace, and sympathise with the bereaved and the injured.
Up to 120 people were feared dead after two suicide bombers and several gunmen launched the attack during the Juma’at prayers.
The Police insisted yesterday that 34 people died and 125 injured even when an attendant in one of the mortuaries in the metropolis claimed to have counted 102 dead bodies.
A top official at the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital who does not want his name in print said the mortuaries at Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital, Sir Muhammad Sunusi Specialist Hospital, Sheikh Muhammad Jiddah General Hospital, Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital and Aminu Kano
Reaching Hospital were all filled to the brim with bodies brought in from the scene.
“This is the deadliest attack ever carried out in Kano,” the official said.
Emir Sanusi II who drove straight to the scene from the airport directed that the mosque be washed and cleaned.
“From all indications, they (attackers) have been planning this for at least two months,” Associated Press (AP) quoted Sanusi as saying, but gave no details .
“I have directed that the mosque be washed and cleaned and prayers should continue here,” he said and vowed: “We will never be intimidated into abandoning our religion, which is the intention of the attackers.”
The Sultan of Sokoto and leader of Muslims in Nigeria, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad III, speaking on the attack, at a different forum in Abuja yesterday, said: “those behind all the attacks are not Muslims.
“I do not believe those perpetrating these are Muslims because if they are Muslims they are not professing what Islam teaches,” the Sultan said during the Post-2014 Hajj Conference organised by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria at the National Mosque, Abuja.
He added: “In the world over it is the duty and responsibility of government to provide security for the citizenry. This is the time for all the various sects in Islam in this country to rally round one another and bring to an end insurgency in this country.”
Tension remained high in the metropolis yesterday as residents went from one hospital to the other searching for their missing relations from among the dead and the injured.
Many of them broke down in tears once they sighted the d bodies.
Some of the bodies were collected and taken for burial immediately.
Sympathisers also besieged the various hospitals with a view to donating blood to save the lives of those receiving treatment.
Insufficient blood bags however constituted a problem.
United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called the attack ‘horrific’.
He pledged U.N. support for Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, and called for the perpetrators to be swiftly brought to justice, according to his spokesman.
Some survivors of the deadly attack relived their experiences in separate interviews.
Auwalu Sule, 48, who said he has been worshipping at the mosque for 16 years said: “we were about to start praying at about 2.15 pm, when we heard a deafening sound of bomb explosions.
“Simultaneously, some people started shooting sporadically followed by another bomb blast. Before we knew it another explosive strapped to the body of a suicide bomber went off inside the mosque. We all went down on our tummy.
“Almost everyone to my left lay dead; it was only Allah who saved me because one of the gunmen was standing beside me thinking that I was dead.
“Then I heard people saying worshippers should stop running. I wanted to get up, but I was afraid. But once the shooting stopped, people summoned the courage and went for the two gunmen left behind, disarmed them and set them ablaze.”
Another survivor, Aminu Yahaya, 32, said soldiers arrived the scene 15 minutes after the attack only to start beating up those rescuing the injured and helping to evacuate the dead bodies.
Hamisu Dakaura, 35, who runs a shop close to the mosque claimed to have counted “over four hundred people that lost their lives.”
“We worked for over four hours evacuating the bodies. As we were evacuating the bodies, soldiers descended heavily on us and they were trying to stop us, shooting sporadically to scare us from the scene.
“They vandalised vehicles. Even tricycles numbering over 30 that were being used to evacuate the dead bodies the soldiers shot. It was only Allah that saved me or else I would have been a dead man for trying to assist in the evacuation of the dead.”
Nasiru Ahmed, 19, and Baffa Tijjani, 38, who went to the Abdullahi Wase specialist Hospital to donate blood to the victims were dismayed that there were insufficient blood bags.
The State Deputy Police Commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Lemu, told reporters that 34 people died.
He said investigation into the blasts has commenced.