Nine people drowned and three others were rescued when their overloaded car plunged into a dam in Kano, the fire service said on Sunday.
The accident occurred late on Saturday when the car’s tyre burst, forcing it to veer off road and plunge into Fada Dam, 60 kilometres (37 miles) outside Kano, said Saminu Yusuf Abdullahi, Kano fire service spokesman.
“Nine bodies were recovered and conveyed to Gwarzo General Hospital where doctors confirmed them dead,” he said in a statement.
He said three other passengers were rescued with the help of local fishermen.
He added that the passengers were heading to neighbouring Katsina state when the accident happened.
Accidents are frequent on Nigeria’s poorly maintained roads due largely to speeding and disregard of traffic rules.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met the families of victims of the explosion in Kano to express his condolences and that of the nation, describing the incident as sad and unfortunate.
The family members, accompanied by various community leaders resident in Sabon Gari Kano, including Chief Nicholas Ibekwe, the Eze Igbo, were assembled at the Palace of the Emir, His Royal Highness Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero for the meeting with the President.
President Buhari who was a short visit to officiate at the Nigerian Air Force Day and 58th Anniversary Celebration, veered off the official program to start with a condolence visit to the Palace.
In a brief address, the President said he was “extremely pained by the loss of lives and injury to many due to the explosion,” adding “my thoughts and that of the nation are with the bereaved families. I hope the injured will recover fully at the earliest possible time.”
As per the official reports, nine people lost their lives and 22 were injured and receiving treatment.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu revealed in a statement that Buhari drew parallels between Kano and his native Daura and described the palace of the Emir as his own home. He commended the traditional institution and the people of Kano for standing with him at all times.
The Emir thanked the President for the condolences and commended him for providing a fair and just leadership.
He conveyed Kano community’s appreciation for the numerous things the federal government is doing in the state and prayed for the emergence of good leaders in the coming elections.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje announced cash support in various sums for the families of the deceased, the injured and others whose property were partly damaged or destroyed.
Senate President and presidential aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Ahmad Lawan has refuted reports suggesting that he was withdrawing from the presidential race to pursue another term in the senate
This is even as he encouraged his supporters not to entertain fear as he is working tirelessly to emerge the candidate of the APC
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Spokesperson of Ahmad Lawan Presidential Campaign Organization, Mr Iyke Ekeoma , Lawan clearly dismissed the possibility of running for another term in Yobe East Senatorial district.
He described as mischief, the reports that he has withdrawn from the race, noting that those who planted the report were jittery of his political popularity, regional acceptance and dominance in political space hence, they cooked the fake report to create confusion.
Part of the statement reads : “ Nigerians should ignore the sponsored lies by some aspirants to distract the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan from his quest to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the next presidential election.
“Contrary to their unnecessary fabrications against the nationally accepted Presidential ambition of Senator Lawan , we restate for the pleasure of progressive Nigerians that the falsehood trending currently in Social Media that Senator Lawan has dropped his ambition to run for another term in Yobe East Senatorial zone is false .
“It is understandable that Lawan’s entrance into the presidential race to compete against 25 other aspirants has become the major discussion as his entrance has changed the political dynamics of the nation .
“The withdrawal reports are mere handiwork of politicians who are intimidated by the experience of the Senate President and his massive gains in the last few days . The ambition to become the president of Nigeria after President Muhammadu Buhari is alive and Nigerians should be rest assured that he is in the race to win and not just to answer aspirant. All supporters of Lawan should not entertain fear as he is working tirelessly to emerge as the candidate of the APC”.
Lawan’s repudiation comes just one day after Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State assured the Senate President of “full cooperation” over his ambition to stand as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress(APC) in the 2023 Presidential election.
Ganduje who gave the assurance while the Senate President was on a visit to see the party delegates in Kano ahead of the upcoming Presidential primaries, described Kano as a swing state in party primaries and even in presidential elections and declared that the state would swing for Lawan when it is time to swing.
“It is not a bomb explosion, it is a gas explosion,” Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, said in a voice recording. “A gas cylinder explosion.
“Because there is a welder, just by the place, and he is the first victim in this situation.”
Dikko added that the police, in collaboration with other security agencies, was also investigating what led to the gas cylinder explosion.
He maintained that the scene was under control.
The blast, which occurred on Tuesday morning, affected some buildings and left several injured, including school children.
According to the state commissioner for information, Muhammad Garba, the incident happened at an animal feed store opposite the school along Aba Road, Sabon Gari area of Fagge local government.
In a statement, Garba called on the people in the state particularly those living in the area where the incident occurred to remain calm while government, in collaboration with relevant agencies, are working on the matter.
The commissioner assured that government would keep the public abreast on any development and warned people to desist from spreading unsubstantiated news.
Following the distress calls, the Kano State Fire Service arrived at the scene at about 7:00 am to contain the fire.
While the exact cause of the incident is yet to be known, the Public Relations Officer of the service, Yusuf Abdullahi, said it may have been a result of the hoodlums smoking around a nearby refuse dump.
A five-year-old girl, Hanifa Abubakar, who was kidnapped in Kano State has been confirmed dead.
The Public Relations Officer of the Kano Police Command, Haruna Kiyawa, confirmed this to journalists on Friday.
Hanifa was said to have been kidnapped late last year and her abductors, one of which was her teacher, had demanded N6 million ransom.
But according to the police, after collecting the N6 million, she was murdered and buried in a shallow grave.
“On investigation, Abdulmalik confessed that the victim, Hanifa was his student at a private school in Kwanar Dakata, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State. He kidnapped her and took her to his house where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom of Six Million Naira (N6,000,000),” the PPRO said.
“On the 18/12/2021, having realised that the victim recognized him, he claimed to have poisoned her to death, conspired with one Hashim Isyaku and buried her in a shallow grave within the private school premises located at Kwanar ‘Yan Gana, Tudun Murtala Quarters, Nassarawa LGA, Kano State.”
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says it has noticed with dismay, the intention of the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to destroy the daily economic activities in the state for refusing to reconcile with striking tricycle riders for the last three days.
This accusation was contained in a statement by the Chairman of the PDP in Kano State, Alhaji Shehu Wada Sagagi, issued on Wednesday.
Sagagai asserted that: “Kano is known for various commercial activities on daily basis and the means of transportation remains the major pillar with the tricycle riders as catalysts who cater for at least 80 per cent of the routine movements within the metropolitan city.
“It is very pertinent to note that Ganduje’s administration has failed its citizens in every ramification, particularly, the state government has done nothing in the transport sector for the seven years of its existence rather it truncated the student’s transportation systems introduced by the govt. of Engr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
“Ganduje and his cohorts have turned the Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA) into a major revenue-generating agency instead of being a traffic regulatory agency as it was established to serve with that purpose.
“Hundreds of thousands of the youth are engaged in this business and it generates both employment and state revenue, only a government without a clear economic direction can fight a self-employed youth, women and other individuals at a time when the nation faces a dwindling economy and insecurity that put citizen into abject poverty”.
The PDP further stressed that government should as a matter of urgency address this issue because “allowing the crises to linger on retains the tendency to degenerate into chaos and disturb the prevailing peace in the state as teaming number of our youth are left without means of livelihood”.
The opposition party accused Governor Ganduje and members of his cabinet of keeping mum despite being fully aware of the sufferings faced by the residents of Kano, which includes but is not limited to businessmen and women, civil servants, students of both primary, secondary and tertiary schools, people seeking for medical attention in various health facilities and visitors of the state.
In the PDP’s view, Kano has lost billions of naira and businesses have suffered in the last three days due to the tricycle strike.
The party adds that many offices have not been in full operation, even as it says that the state government has remained reluctant to take any decisive action that could rescue the situation.
Malam Garba explained that the measure followed successes recorded in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state in the last three months.
Kano recorded six new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The commissioner also stated that permanent secretaries and heads of heads of extra ministerial department and agencies are, by this directive, requested to ensure that there is compliance to government COVID-19 protocols and regulations in their work places.
Workers in Kano were directed to stay at home since January 18, following upsurge in cases of the disease.