“Yesterday (Sunday) was a very dark day. This is because we lost our members and other innocent Nigerians. On the average, over 100 of our members lost their lives,” Secretary-General of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria, Nasir Mamman, told newsmen in Kaduna on Monday.
Mamman said the association would call an emergency meeting to compile the statistics of members that died in the blast.
The Kano Road, Kaduna, branch Chairman of the union, Danjuma Issa, corroborated the figure and said most of the dead members of the association were burnt beyond recognition.
Issa said, “It was an unfortunate incident, more so that it mostly affected our members. You can see that we are few here today. We are still mourning and searching for most of our members that we believe were killed in the blast.
“Families of some of our members have been trooping to various hospitals in the state to search for their loved ones. You cannot even identify some of the dead because they were burnt beyond recognition.”
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Sunday tragedy rose on Monday as three of the injured victims died at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital in the state capital.
An Improvised Explosive Device in a Honda car with a lone occupant early Sunday went off at the Junction/Sardauna Crescent area of Kaduna, killing mostly commercial motorcycle operators, fuel hawkers and passersby.
The blast described as “massive” by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Jingiri, also damaged about 60 houses within the vicinity.
Jingiri on Sunday said only five people were killed but the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency in the state, Abubakar Zakari Adamu, same day said 36 persons, including the lone bomber, were killed.
Our correspondent who visited some of the hospitals where the injured were receiving treatment on Monday said many distraught residents besieged the hospitals in search of their loved ones.
Some of the victims said they escaped death just by the grace of God.
Nura Gwarzo who said he was a 400-level Mexchanical Engineering student of Bayero University, Kano, but who said he took to commercial motorcycle business in Kaduna in order to augment his education, told our correspondent that he suffered a fracture and was waiting to do an X-ray.
Gwarzo said he was the eighth of the 28 children of his father and thanked “Allah” for sparing his life.
Mansur Aliyu, 20, who suffered severe burns, told our correspondent at the Barau Specialist Hospital that he thought he was hit by a moving car when the blast occurred.
Aliyu also a commercial motorcycle operator, said, “I didn’t even know what happened. I just saw myself here. In fact, it is here in the hospital that I asked people what really happened? I was told that I just escaped from the clutches of death.
“They told me there was a bomb blast which threw the entire state into commotion yesterday (Sunday). All that I can remember now is that I was coming from Barnawa in the southern part of the state with a passenger that was heading for Junction Road where the blast occurred. But I never knew that I was going close to death. When I dropped the passenger, I decided to take the Lagos Street Roundabout back to Barnawa where I used as my route.
“Before I got to Junction Road, I heard a loud explosion and fell down. How I got here is just a mystery to me now because I just saw myself here in the hospital. I am really feeling very bad coupled with the bad weather.”
Mamman denied speculations that crimes in the state were being perpetrated by commercial motorcycle riders. He said most of the criminal elements in the state moved around in exotic cars.
“They (security agents) always ask the okada operators to come down and roll their motorbikes but salute the man with expensive cars that are used in perpetrating the heinous act,” he said.
Culled from Punch