We Lost 36 Members To Jos Explosions – Igbo Leader

The Igbo living in Jos, the Plateau State capital, where two bombs went off last week, killing no fewer than 118 people, have been counting their losses.

The Igbo said they lost 36 people in the explosions at the Jos Terminus market. No fewer than 42 were injured.

The Eze Igbo in Jos, Prof. Jerome Obilom, unveiled the chilling details at a news conference in Jos.

Many Igbo traders are still missing, he added.

Obilom said: “The May 20 bomb blast in Jos killed 36 of our members and 42 others injured.

“In addition, many others are still unaccounted for while Igbo traders lost goods worth millions of naira.

“But our major problem now is the move by the state government to give mass burial to the victims without informing members of the community, especially we the Igbo. It is our tradition not to bury our own outside our homestead.

“Some hospital authorities were very hostile when the community, led by the Chairman of the Igbo Community Association, Chief Jonah Ezekwueme, visited them to identify victims of the blast who were Igbo.

Obilom said: “There is the need to compensate victims of the bomb blast. In past incidents, Ndigbo were neglected and made to bear the cost of burying and rehabilitating their members alone.

“While recognising the fact that some of the victims were shattered into shreds, which necessitated that some body parts were packed into bags that necessitated the mass burial, we still insist that  Ndigbo in Jos should have been consulted to identify their own because it is not our custom to bury our dead outside our traditional homes.

“We, therefore, condemn such act and implore the authorities to allow Ndigbo access to the bodies so that those missing could be accounted for because if we had been allowed inside the mortuary, we would have been able to identify many of our members who were unfortunately caught up in the bomb blast.”

The Igbo community was able to identify the dead through town and community who took roll calls of their members after the explosions.

The Ezeigbo deplored a situation where Ndigbo were neglected in the distribution of relief materials and urged the authorities to send such materials to aid the victims and their families.

He also asked the Plateau State government to hasten efforts in the relocation of street traders to the Satellite market in Rukuba road area of Jos, adding that the traffic caused by the traders along the busy road was responsible for the heavy losses caused by the bomb blast.

Obilom said that the Igbo community is in support of efforts being contemplated by the state government to bring sanity to the markets in the state.

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