48 Hours After Christmas Day Bombings: Survivors Lack Blood Donors as Residents Flee to Safety

Channels Television  
Updated December 27, 2011
Madalla Blast

The National Blood Transfusion service is reportedly experiencing a low turnout of donors following the bomb blasts in Madalla, an official of the organisation, Mrs. Jane Akubuiro, said.

She said the situation was due to the mass exodus of people out of the Federal Capital Territory and appealed to residents of the city to come out en masse to help save the lives of those affected by the blast.

Interior Minister confirmed to Channels Television News on Monday that 23 victims had been evacuated from Niger to the National Hospital in Abuja, but admitted that the facilities of the hospital were hardly adequate to handle the gravity of attacks.

He assured that the survivors could be evacuated to better facilities should the need arise, but it is not clear if the lack of sufficient blood donors will constitute need.

Abuja is not the only affected area to see a mass exodus of frightened residents. In Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, many residents are moving on to safer ground.

Despite efforts by security agents to reinforce security in and around the north eastern Nigerian city, residents remain ill at ease.

Channels Television correspondent Eneche Akogwu, who was assessing the situation in Damaturu, said officers and men of the Nigerian Army and Police mounted road blocks on virtually all major roads in the terror-ridden town.

Armoured personnel carriers operated by “fierce-looking soldiers” are on patrol, conducting stop and search operations, in a deliberate attempt to restore peace to the troubled city.

Damaturu was one of the cities rocked by explosions on Christmas day when a lone suicide bomber attempted an attack on the Yobe State Department of Security Command HQ, he was stalled by security operatives, but the SSS confirmed that three security personnel died in the blast and one person injured.

A dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed by the state government, with other stringent measures being undertaken to keep suicide bombers and gunmen at bay.

At the moment, Damaturu remains a ghost of itself as many residents flee despite security measures. Those who stay behind choose to remain indoors, afraid of being caught in the crossfire of spontaneous gun battle or blown to bits by Boko Haram bombs.

Speaking off camera to our correspondent, residents complained about a shortage of the bare essentials – food, water and medicines – as almost all businesses are under lock and key.

A tense silence hovers over the city. Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Arch. John Onyaiyekan had called on Muslim leaders in the country to help identify those behind the Madalla Christmas Day bombings, which killed scores of worshipers.

Archbishop Onyaiyekan made the appeal at a special mass for victims of the bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, located on the outskirts of the nation’s capital.

He called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the killing of innocent Nigerians in different parts of the country.