ELEVEN people were confirmed dead in Friday night’s bomb explosion, which rocked a brothel, the People’s Hotel, at Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis, while 28 others sustained varying degrees of injury in the attack, even as the police said they had arrested a suspect in connection with the incident.
Sunday Tribune gathered that the explosion occurred at about 9:50pm, as some fun-seekers converged on the brothel. The attack on the brothel was the second time it would be bombed in two years.
It was gathered that the attackers detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and took to their heels, leaving wailing and crying behind.
One of the commercial sex workers in the brothel, who refused to identify herself, told sympathisers who gathered close to the scene of the explosion on Saturday morning that the attackers parked their vehicle, which she said was an Hilux van, at a distance to the brothel and walked down to the brothel’s gate, where they pointed a gun at the securityman on duty, forced their way in and detonated the explosive in the premises of the brothel.
According to her, some people were in the beer parlor in the brothel watching television and enjoying themselves as of the time the attackers entered the brothel, saying that these people were mostly affected in the attack.
Though the police said they could not ascertain the identity of those who lost their lives in the explosion, she said one of her colleagues in the brothel, which was located in the red district area of Bauchi, was killed in the attack.
“When the people came, they parked their Hilux van somewhere and trekked to this place. They pointed a gun at the gateman to allow them in. Some people were watching TV in the parlour when these evil people entered and threw the bomb,” she said
Residents confirmed that the sound of the explosion reverberated across Bauchi metropolis, adding that the loud bang was followed by sporadic gunshots.
Speaking on the incident while addressing newsmen at the state’s police command headquarters in Bauchi, the Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Lawal Shehu, confirmed that 11 people lost their lives in the attack, while 28 were injured.
According to the police boss, “On the 27/6/2014 at about 21.50hrs, there was an explosion at a brothel at Bayan Gari area of Bauchi. 11 persons were confirmed dead, while 28 others sustained various degree of injuries.”
He said that the victims were rushed to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, for treatment, while the remains of the deceased were evacuated to a mortuary.
Lawal informed that the assailants escaped after they detonated an IED, which he said was not of high magnitude, adding that the police succeeded in arresting one of the assailants, noting that investigation on the matter was in progress.
He stated that “the entire surrounding has been cordoned off and scene secured by police’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD). One suspect was arrested in connection with the incident and effort is being intesified to arrest other fleeing suspects.”
While urging the people of the state to be security-conscious within their physical and social environment, the commissioner declared that everybody was a stakeholder as far as security issues were concerned.
Lawal called on the people to promptly report suspicious people or objects within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station or through some designated numbers, including 08151849417 and 07013490795, with a view to enabling the police to secure the lives and property of the people of the state.
Yuguda condemns explosion
Bauchi State governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, on Saturday condemned in strong terms the act of terrorism displayed in the bombing of a section of the Bauchi metropolis on Friday night by unidentified persons, assuring that the perpetrators of the act would be brought to book.
A press statement issued and signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Mr Ishola Michael Adeyemi, stated that the governor commiserated with the families of those who lost their loved ones in the unfortunate incident and wished the injured quick recovery.
While regretting that the attack was perpetrated at a time the Muslim community was beginning the Holy month of Ramadan, Yuguda reassured that his administration would remain committed to the protection of lives and property of every citizens of the state, which he said was the primary function of the state.
The statement further stated that government would not relent in ensuring that peace and peaceful atmosphere continued to reign in the state and called on the people to be vigilant and always report to the security agents any questionable movement around them, assuring that security agents were always available to provide adequate security to citizens of the state.
He commended the security agents for their prompt intervention, which put the act in check from spreading to other parts of the city, reassuring that the security agents would continue to work round the clock to fish out bad eggs in the society as well as ensure adequate security in the entire state.
Governor Yuguda further called on people of the state to go about their normal and legitimate businesses without any fear of harassment, urging them to be mindful of the person next to them as a security measure, because, according to him, security is a business for all.
He then wished all Muslims a successful 2014 Ramadan fasting, praying that Allah would grant them all the bounties of the acts of ibadah during and after the 30-day fasting.[Tribune]