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Kaduna Bomb Blast Indicates Growing Threat Of Terrorism

The incident has put the state’s security forces on red alert as residents are advised to remain vigilant, particularly around public places.

A bomb blast in the outskirts  of Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, on Sunday, Feb 27, 2022, indicates the presence of a terror group similar to Boko Haram and one of their offshoots, Ansaru.

The explosion, which was reported to have occurred around 11 p.m. WAT and carried out using an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), affected some parts of a hotel, particularly its viewing centre. 

Brigadier General Tamuno Opuene, Garrison Commander of 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, visited the scene on Monday alongside other security operatives led by Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs.

Opuene, who pointed out that they are pleased that no life was lost, described the incident as a new wave of terrorist attacks just as it happened in 2011 and 2012 with Boko Haram. 

In 2011, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, near Abuja, was bombed, leaving about 40 people dead. Dikko, also known as Kabiru Sokoto, a senior Boko Haram operative and the mastermind of the suicide car bombing, was arrested and given a life sentence on Dec. 20 2013, by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court after being found guilty.

Three churches were destroyed in 2012 when suicide car bombers attacked three churches in Zaria, Kaduna State, killing at least 19 people and wounding many others. Fast forward to 2014, in Kaduna, not less than 82 persons were killed in twin bomb blasts that targetted Nigeria’s current president, Muhammadu Buhari and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, an Islamic cleric. They, however, escaped unhurt. 

In 2015, again in Zaria, specifically Sabon Gari, at least 20 persons died in a bomb blast as primary school teachers and other civil servants queued for identity cheques.

These are some of the incidents Opuene referred to when he said, “This only raised the stakes again that everybody needs to be vigilant when it comes to security. I am enjoining everybody in the neighbourhood now to cast their mind back to the 2011, 2012 period to get back to the things we were doing that period and not relent.” 

At the moment, the Kaduna State government has already advised in a statement that residents should be vigilant as the terrorists may have planted explosives in public places across the state.  

This trend, back then, quickly led to the tradition of worship centres and public organisations building barricades at their entrance and sometimes even around an entire structure. 

Opuene called on residents to join hands with security personnel by providing valuable information to avoid a recurrence. 

Currently, Igabi LGA is one among several parts of Kaduna State badly hit by terrorists, locally called bandits. In Jan. 2022 alone, nine people were killed, five others injured, and hundreds of animals rustled in three different attacks across Igabi and Zaria. 

At about the same period, troops reported that two terrorists were “neutralised around the outskirts of Tumbau village, Kerewa, Igabi council and that the bandits were retreating to the Malul forest when the troops intercepted them.” 

Still, in January this year, terrorists in separate attacks hit three LGAs of Igabi, Chikun, and Zangon Kataf, and killed not less than seven persons. 

A 2021 report has shown that ‘bandits’ bothering the Northwest, who are mainly involved in kidnap for ransom and Boko Haram, who are bent on establishing an Islamic caliphate, have links. But, as explained by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State recently, ‘bandits’ will never abandon their activities because they make far more money from it than they would have from a legitimate cattle business.

Opuene said the military would work closely with the Department of State Services (DSS), the police, and other security agencies to strengthen the security situation in the state.

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Nathaniel Bivan

Nathaniel Bivan is Features Editor at HumAngle. He tweets @nathanielbivan

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