Osinbajo Visits Gombe, Says End To Insurgency Near | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Osinbajo Visits Gombe, Says End To Insurgency Near

Posted: Jul 18, 2015 at 7:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• As 14 Killed, 30 Injured In Yobe Sallah Day Tragedy

•   IBB, Abdulsalami Seeks Support For Buhari Against B’Haram

By Chinwendu Nnadozie, Minna and Hassan Zaggi, Abuja


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday said the Federal Government is committed to stamping out the activities of insurgents in the country.

Osinbajo spoke in Gombe during a condolence visit to families that lost their loved one to the Gombe central market twin blasts on Thursday.

Yemi Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo

“The incident is unfortunate; we are convinced we are going to stamp out insurgency in the country,” he said.

Osinbajo said he was directed by President Mohammadu Buhari, to commiserate with the people of Gombe over the incident.

“This morning when we paid the President Sallah homage, he asked me to come to Gombe to commiserate with the people, the Emir and governor of Gombe over the terrible incident that happened.

“He said I should let them know that we are with them; we heard about the death of men, women and children and we feel your pains.

“People should be rejoicing in celebration of Sallah but instead they are mourning; it is unfortunate,” he said.

“This is because they know, it is only God that can protect them, men can only do their best,” he said.

Speaking, Gov. Dankwambo, thanked Osinbajo for the visit, adding that the people of Gombe State were highly honoured with the gesture.

The Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, also thanked the vice president for the visit, saying the visit did not come to him as surprise, considering the love Buhari and Osinbajo had for Gombe people and the entire north east.

Meanwhile, there was yet another twin blasts that left 14 people dead, including two suicide bombers, and 30 others injured in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, on Friday morning as worshippers were assembling for Eid prayers.

The explosions were at an open-air praying area, known as Eid grounds, which were set aside for Muslims to gather to pray at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Because of the threat of a Boko Haram attack, worshippers were being searched before they reached the Eid grounds, this was where the explosions happened.

Usman said four persons died in the first explosion and five died in the second explosion.

“The first blast went off around 07:15 local time (06:15 GMT) while security volunteers, who had come earlier than worshippers, were waiting for the worshippers so they could assist in crowd control,” said an eyewitness, Ahmad Adamu, a security volunteer told the BBC.

“While we were attending to the victims we heard another blast about 500 metres away,” he added.

The attacks came at a time Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Tukur Buratai was visiting troops the state soon after assuming office on Thursday, to boost their morale in the ongoing battle against the insurgents.

Police Public Relations Officer, Toyin Gbadegeshin, confirmed the casualty figures to newsmen, noting that “eight persons, including the suicide bomber, died in the first explosion near Njiwaji Primary School Prayer Ground.

“The second attack in Gwange ward involved six persons, including the suicide bomber.”

In the blasts, an elderly woman and a 10-old-girl detonated bombs strapped to their bodies at two screening areas for Eid prayer in Damaturu, at about 7:40 a.m. at Layin Gwange and Phase One (in front of former state secretariat), Damaturu, according to acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, in a statement in Abuja

According to his account, “four persons died in the first explosion and seven people were injured, while five people lost their lives in the second explosion and 11 wounded.

“Both Yobe State Governor and the Chief of Army Staff sympathised with and urged the people to stay calm and be security-conscious,” the statement said.

The Army assured that, “No amount of terrorist acts would deter our resolve to stamp out terrorism and insurgency.”

Although many worshippers stayed at home after the blasts, Gen Buratai and Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, were among those who worshipped at the Yobe Islamic Centre, Damaturu.

Reacting, Dankwambo condemned the blasts, stressing during a Sallah reception at the Government House, that, “the situation is unfortunate; I want to seize this opportunity to sympathise with our brothers and sisters who were involved.

“We will continue to give them the necessary assistance; and to those who are on admission in hospital, they will be treated free of charge,” he said.

The governor visited victims of the blast at the state’s specialist hospital and the Federal Teaching Hospital, respectively, and gave them cash gifts.

On Thursday, explosions targeting people shopping for sallah at a market in Gombe killed at least 49 people.

Following the blasts, two former Heads of State, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, who joined other Muslims around the world to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr in Minna, Niger State, solicited the support for the Federal Government in the fight against terrorism.

Speaking shortly after the prayers at the Minna Central Mosque, Babangida urged all Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari, while praying for “an end to senseless killings by Boko Haram soonest”.

I will call on Nigerians to rally round, support this government in whatever effort it is making towards ending insurgency and make our economy buoyant.”

Similarly, Abdulsalami said he was worried by the seeming endless activities of the extremist group, soliciting prayers from all patriotic Nigerians for a quick end to its atrocities.

“I call on all Nigerians to be vigilant so that together we can maintain peace without which there will be no progress,” Abdulsalami said as he urged all Muslims to show love to all, irrespective of tribal, religious and political affiliations.

Both former military rulers were unanimous in their resolve that, by being vigilant and prayerful, the threat of Boko Haram would come to an end, since its “members are humans living with us; with useful information to security forces their activities will be brought to an end.”