How Professor among 12 died, 16 injured in Boko Haram attack on Christian worshipers at Kano varsity *Gov Kwankwaso laments loss of lives, commiserates with university authorities
Faith Onche, victim of attack by Boko Haram at place of Christain whorship, Bayero University Kano on Sunday, April 29/04/2012.
Kano (WorldStage Newsonline)-- A professor identified as Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi of Library Department and 11 other Christians on Sunday died, when over 15 suspected Boko Haram sect members launched a surprise attack on worshipers at two separate venues at the Bayero University Kano (BUK) old campus.
They met their untimely death, while attending mass at the Indoor Sports Hall of the campus, where Catholics celebrate mass every Sunday.
Not less than 16 others sustained varying degree of injury during the deadly attack, which lasted about 20 minutes.
Spokesman of BUK, Mustapaha Zaradeen, said it was difficult at the moment to ascertain the accurate number of students, who died or injured during the gun attack on two separate Christian places of worship on the campus.
He said the coordinated attack was carried out at about 8.30 am by gunmen, numbering about 15, who stormed the Christian worship places on motorbikes from over four locations within the campus.
However, it was gathered that the gunmen laid siege at the area before the arrival of worshipers for Sunday service, noting that barely 10 minutes that the Sunday worship began than sporadic gun shots were heard, which resulted in the death of a number of worshippers, some of whom are still receiving treatment at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Emergency ward, where they were immediately rushed to after the attack.
Majority of the injured victims, some in critical condition were at the Emergency Ward of the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH), where several Doctors are battling to save their lives.
One of the victims, a 400-level Accounting student of BUK, Faith Onche, who was shot in the arm, recalled that about 8.30 am, the congregation had assembled for the day’s service at the Open air theatre for interdenominational service, adding that few minutes later gun shots were heard few metres away from the arena.
“Initially, it was mistaken by some of us for a burst tyre until it became sporadic, that it dawned on us that it was a gun attack and that at that point there was stampede as every one scampered for safety.
According to Onche, she was at the campus to transact a business, because according to her the University was on recess and only seized the opportunity to worship at the Interdenominational service, only to be caught in the cross fire.
However, she denied reports that it was a bomb explosion that rocked the campus, insisting that she sighted gunmen, who opened fire on the worshipers at an open theatre.
It was revealed that the attack on the Indoor Sports complex, where Catholics worship recorded more causalities, just as fresh blood stains littered the entire scene of the attack.
Vehicles abandoned by panic-stricken worshippers, including motorbikes were still parked at the scene, as the owners fled the scene to unknown directions, while some ended up on admission at the AKTH.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) operatives, who immediately cordoned off the scene, with armoured tanks, supported by many combatant soldiers had on arrival intercepted a Mercedes V boot, suspected to have been primed with explosives in the area,
Moments after, the anti-bomb unit of the police arrived the campus to assess the situation, as civilians were prevented from milling around the vicinity.
Sources at the University disclosed that the only time explosions were heard was when the attackers were escaping from the campus after the operation, as they intermittently dropped Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to make good their escape.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, after arriving Kano from Abuja had visited the old campus to personally assess the situation, alongside some top state government functionaries.
Governor Kwankwaso described the attack on Christian worshipers this morning, at the old campus of Bayero University Kano, as an unfortunate and sad incident that has breached the peace in the commercial city.
The governor who cut short an official trip to Abuja to visit the scene of the incident lamented that such a painful thing is happening at a time peace was gradually returning to the state capital following sporadic attacks by suspected militia men.
Governor Kwankwaso assured that the state and Federal governments will continue to work hard to ensure that peace and harmony prevailed among residents of the state.
He stated that the state government had made arrangements with public and private hospitals in the state to ensure that victims of such incidents are treated satisfactorily, while the government will foot the medical bills.
Governor Kwankwaso who lamented the loss of lives and property as a result of the attack on the Christian faithful, commiserated with the university authorities and its community over the happening, hoping that it will not recur.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Yahuza Bello who conducted the governor round explained that some of the worshippers were attacked in an indoor sports hall at the old campus of the university, which they use temporarily as place of worship.
Prof. Yahuza added that the second group of worshippers was attacked while conducting the Sunday service in an open space outside the Dandatti Abdulkadir Theater, which they hitherto used, but which is currently under going renovation. He said several wounded victims were receiving treatment in hospitals in Kano city.