Buhari condemns escalating terror attacks as death toll from Abuja blasts rises to 18

Buhari at Chatham HouseAn angry President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday condemned in the strongest terms the latest terror attacks in parts of the country.

His statement came as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed that the death toll in the multiple bomb blasts in Abuja on Friday night has risen to 18.

Buhari said recent attacks in Maiduguri, Yola and Abuja were apparently timed to coincide with the Independence Day celebrations when Nigerians would be commemorating and rejoicing.

He condoled with the families of the dead and prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.

In a statement personally signed by him, President Buhari said: “These cowardly attacks expose the real face of the planners and perpetrators of these crimes. What quarrel do they have with the good people of Nyanya Motor Park? What issue do they have with innocent people in market places in Maiduguri, Yola and Kuje?

“It is clear this battle is not ideological. It is between the forces of peace and order and the evil forces of murder and destruction. Security forces and other local authorities have been instructed to maintain extra vigilance to forestall future attacks. The Armed Forces have been empowered to crush what remains of Boko Haram. This government is determined to stamp out Boko Haram and all other terrorists of whatever persuasions and bring all sponsors to justice.”

Senior Information Officer of NEMA, Sani Datti, confirmed the latest casualty figure from Friday’s multiple blasts in Abuja in an interview on Saturday.

He said: “The casualty figure has risen to 18; it was 15 as of yesterday (Friday), but two victims of the Kuje blasts died today (Saturday). One of those caught in the blast at Nyanya also died today (Saturday) at one of the hospitals. So three more deaths were recorded, bringing the total figure to 18.”

The Federal Government had earlier stated that the number might change as some of the victims were in critical condition at different hospitals where they were being treated.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, disclosed this at the Trauma Centre of the National Hospital, Abuja.

Lawal visited the hospital alongside other senior functionaries of the Federal Government after they received a directive from the President to visit the locations.

He said, “The President directed us to go round and assess the damages arising from the bomb blast of yesterday (Friday). The suicide bombers operated at three locations, Nyanya Motor Park, the Kuje Police Station and the Kuje market.

“The main purpose of our visit is to commiserate with those that have lost their loved ones, some of whom are going through identification process.”