UPDATED: Twin bomb explosion rocks military barracks in Kaduna

Military authorities have confirmed that two suicide bombs hit a church inside a military barracks of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, in Jaji, Kaduna state, killing 11 people and injuring 30 others.

A military source confirmed that a bus entered the barracks and was driven into the wall of the Saint Andrews Protestant Church, where it exploded and ten minutes later another car blew up outside the church.

Though the first blast caused no casualties, the second blast however did as curious worshippers gathered around the scene of the first blast looking at the debris of the initial explosion.

The area has since been cordoned off.

No one or group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Northern state Governors

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has commiserated with the Nigerian military over Sunday’s bomb blast  which killed some worshippers at the Saint Andrews Protestant Church, describing the attack as “cruel and wicked.”

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger state, Alhaji Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu,  in a statement made available to Channels TV stated that “the deceased were heroes who died in the course of  service to our father land, and prayed that God will grant repose to their souls and give their families and friends the fortitude to bear the loss.”

On behalf of other governors, the statement reiterated its commitment to “continue to work closely with the federal government in finding a lasting solution to the security challenges confronting some parts of the north.”

This is the second bombing this year, targeted at military barracks of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna state with the explosions at the 1st Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna in February, while in October about 100 people were injured as eight lives were lost after a suspected suicide bomber rammed his car into the St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Malali area of the state.

Kaduna has also witnessed a number of other explosions this year with some targeted at worship centres.

The February bombings were a coordinated bomb explosions in three different parts of the city.

In August, a bomb explosion occurred in Kaduna metropolis, killing at least four people along Ali Akilu road between Abakpa Total/Shagalinku.

In September, a series of bomb explosions rocked the city of Zaria in Kaduna state, killing at least 3 people and injuring several others. The blast which took place at Tukur Tukur area near Barewa College, occurred when soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) stormed some buildings, which were inhabited by suspected members of Boko Haram sec

PREVIOUS REPORT

A bomb explosion has claimed a number of lives at a church within the premises of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The explosion was reportedly caused by a car bomb which was detonated in front of the church inside the military barracks.

A military officer who witnessed the bombing and does not want to be named, told Reuters news agency that “I saw five bodies and scores injured.”

An official of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) in Abuja, Mr Yushau A. Shuaib, has confirmed the explosion to Channels TV saying, “NEMA rescuers have been alerted to an explosion at a military formation in Kaduna state today and likely at a worship centre.”

The casualty figure is yet to be ascertained.

More details soon.

FLOOD VICTIMS: Utomi calls for focus on post camp strategy

The challenging health conditions in areas affected by the flood disaster should be the critical emphasis of policy makers as the floods begin to recede.

This was the call made by the founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), Prof. Pat Utomi, at the presentation of relief materials to officials of Delta State Government at St Patrick’s College, at the Asaba camp for displaced persons.

He noted that houses that have been inundated for so long tend to incubate the growth of fungus and other parasites that can later result in lung diseases.

Presenting the materials that included mattresses, food items, bottled water, clothing and toys for children, Prof Utomi told the camp commandant that he believed the displaced persons should stay in the camp until their houses and neighborhoods have been fumigated, citing rampant cases of snake bites, mosquito aggressiveness and epidemics possible from the decaying bodies of drowned animals.

He reminded state governments that the floods are not gone forever, as he urged them to be proactive in helping the flood victims.

Prof Utomi called for an improvement in the resourcing of the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), to improve emergency response capacity so that Nigerians do not suffer needlessly.

He revealed that the three part CVL flood relief support which included immediate relief; medical missions; and housing rehabilitation assistance will see CVL partnering with faith based agencies for service delivery.

On another visit to flood victims in Onitsha, the former presidential aspirant presented another truck load of materials at the Basilica of the Holy Trinity for distribution through the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha.

He also stated that CVL will also work with the Lutheran Church in Adamawa state, the Anglican Church in Delta and the Catholic Church in most of the states to reach the needy.

The CVL founder also lamented the failure of the media to focus on the extent of the disaster which he said exceeded Hurricane Katrina which hit New Orleans, in terms of human misery, number of the displaced persons and those who lost their lives, adding that nearly 400 lives have been lost in the floods with more than two million displaced persons and billions of Naira of assets trashed away.

Prof Utomi praised Nigerians who had been generous in supporting the CVL initiative on human solidarity which has been tagged Pat’s Flood Relief Programme.

Military is not a threat to Nigeria’s democracy-IBB

Former military Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (RTD) has stated that despite the myriad of security challenges confronting Nigeria at the moment, the nation’s democracy can be said to be safe as it can no longer be threatened by any military intervention.

The former president, who delivered the 20th anniversary lecture of the National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the college has contributed to national development over the last 20 years.

While outlining some of the contributions of the college to national regional and international development, the retired General, with all assurance noted that the nation’s democracy can no longer be truncated by the military.

Nigeria’s 52 years of existence has being plagued by series of military putsches, resulting in the military ruling for over 30 years.

General Babangida who came into power via a military coup in 1985, noted that the NDC has over the years now inculcated professional core values and ethics that support democratic rule amongst military and paramilitary personnel.

He observed that long before Nigeria’s return to democratic governance, military officers who passed through the college had been prepared for life of service under civilian leadership and control, adding that it is no surprise that since the return of democracy in 1999, the military and allied agencies have firmly kept to their professional duties. This he added has facilitated national development.

The NDC was established in 1992 by the Babangida’s administration and the former leader was invited as the guest lecturer for the 20th anniversary lecture of the college, to x-ray the college in the two decades of existence.

Mr Babangida listed some of the achievements of the college such as the establishment of the National Emergency Agency through a research document of one of its participants.

Others include the establishment of the ECOWAS Standby Force on the regional level and the African Standby Force in collaboration with the African Union.

He added that the college has fostered cohesion, co-operation amongst the various security agencies which has become very useful as the country confronts recent security challenges.

The Commandant of the college, Admiral Thomas Lokoson supported the view of the guest lecturer and joined him in advocating   the strengthening of the institution by the federal government, emphasizing that the NDC is an human capital development institution, that is critical for the development of the country.

The Commandant and other top military dignitaries at the lecture reached the consensus that with its many achievements in 20 years, the NDC deserves to be recognized by the federal government beyond being a military institution.

They urged that the institution should be viewed as one which its research must be patronized by relevant arms of government for its developmental agenda, as it occurs in other parts of the world.