An educational consultant, Shuaibu Adamu Baba, yesterday told how he hired a driver, one Sani Mohammed, all the way from Niger State to submit a business proposal document in Abuja but lost the driver in the EMAB shopping mall bomb blast of Wednesday.
Baba, who was practically weeping as he spoke with LEADERSHIP, said he was feeling guilty over Sani's death because, according to him, the driver initially refused to go but was compelled after much entreaty.
Sani, a husband of three wives and father of eight children, was among the victims who were inside their vehicles right in front of the plaza when the bomb exploded. He said he lost the driver because he wanted to make a N10 photocopy for an acknowledgement copy of the business proposal inside the EMAB Plaza.
Baba said: "Sani Mohammed never wanted to come to work, but I pleaded with him to bring me to town. The driver is a father to eight children and husband to three wives.
"I am a consultant. I was to submit a letter; so I said I should make an acknowledgement copy. That was how I decided to come to EMAB Plaza to make the photocopy. I went inside the business centre while my driver waited for me inside the car. It was while he was waiting that the bomb went off and he died.
"The annoying part is that he never wanted to come to work today. I was the one who pleaded with him to bring me to the office. And he is dead just because of N10."
Adamu, who is a Niger State indigene, said the blast was full of horror: "I have not seen this type of destruction before, but today I will tell anybody that I have seen it. There were a lot of human bodies scattered. Some of the human bodies you cannot see them complete. They were in pieces. And you can see some of the security agents have been picking the human bodies and putting them inside nylon bags. These people are victims of circumstances because they came here for business.
"This driver was not supposed to bring me here but I had to compel him to bring me here and this is the end. And he is the one taking care of his wives and children. These children attend school and he was their breadwinner; so how are we going to care for them?"
Phone call saved my life
A phone repairer inside the plaza, who gave his name as Chigozie Emeka, said he was about going out to have his lunch when he received a phone call from a female client who wanted to know if he had finished her phone.
He said, "I was heading to the gate to eat when I received the call. I stood there trying to explain to her that I was not done with her work; it was then that the bomb went off. I was just lucky to have survived because if I had not received that call, I would have walked straight into the blast."
Meanwhile, the security agents said they have arrested a Bauchi State indigene who sponsored the 486 travellers arrested in Abia State on suspicion of insurgency.
The spokesman of the Department of State Serices, Ms Marilyn Ogar, who briefed journalists alongside police spokesman ACP Frank Mba, said the suspect was currently helping the agencies with useful information.
Although they refused to disclose the full identity of the suspected sponsor, the duo spokesmen assured that they would make his identity public as soon as investigation was over.
Terror Won't Gain Ground In Nigeria - Sambo
Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday declared that the evil being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect cannot dampen the spirit of Nigerians.
Speaking when he visited the site of the bomb blast which hit EMAB Plaza, Wuse II, on Wednesday and the victims of the gory incident admitted at the Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, Sambo, who condoled with the families of the victims of the bomb blast implored Nigerians to be extra-security conscious and vigilant.
According to Sambo, there is the need for Nigerians to cooperate with security agencies as they tackle crime and criminality in the country.
He said, "This cowardly and unjust act will be defeated - evil can never be sustained. Insha Allah, this administration and Mr President will not leave any stone unturned until we defeat these terrorists. Terrorism cannot survive in Nigeria or in any part of this world.
After inspecting the site of the bomb blast, Sambo proceeded to the Maitama General Hospital where those injured by the bomb blast were admitted.
Sambo was accompanied by secretary to the government of the federation Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, minister of the FCT Senator Bala Mohammed, minister of interior Comrade Abba Morro, minister of state for defence Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, and minister of state for FCT Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide.
Others were chief of defence staff Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh and national security adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
Mark, Ekweremadu, Ndoma-Egba, Condemn Abuja bombing
President of the Senate David Mark has again condemned the Abuja bomb blast that left no fewer than 21 people dead and several others injured, even as he pleaded with the perpetrators to sheathe their swords.
In a similar vein, deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu and Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba have slammed the masterminds of the Wednesday bombing of an Abuja shopping mall, describing the act as villainous.
Reps mourn victims of Abuja mall bombing
The House of Representatives yesterday observed a minute silence in honour of victims of the terrorist bombing which rocked a parking lot at a crowded plaza in Abuja, killing 21 people and injuring 52 others.
Lawmakers also condemned the recent terror attacks in several villages in Kaduna and Mubi in Adamawa State.
Meanwhile, the House called on the federal government to immortalize the former director general of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and former minister of information, Prof. Dora Akunyili, by naming the NAFDAC Headquarters after her.
It also urged the federal government to immortalize the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who died on June 6, 2014.
Editor's death commentary on the nation's security, says Aregbesola
Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola has described the death of a management staff of New Telegraph, Mr Suleiman Bisalla, as depressing, miserable and sad piece of news.
Mr Bisalla was among the 21 people who died at the popular EMAB plaza, Abuja, following a bomb blast yesterday.
In a statement by the director, bureau of communications and strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola described the untimely death of Mr Bisalla as one that has once again robbed the media industry and the country of a young, energetic man and a fine journalist.
JNI Condemns Kano, Adamawa, Borno and FCT Explosions
The Jama'atu Nasri Islam (JNI) yesterday condemned the simultaneous bomb explosions in Kano, Adamawa and Borno states, saying: "These repeated devastating incidents that characterize life in Nigeria and the northern part in particular is very alarming and worrisome."
JNI said in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP and signed by its scribe, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, that "these barbaric acts tend to reduce humanity to a renegade level, which is unbecoming of the perpetrators of these heinous acts. Particularly, innocent souls in pursuit of their lawful means of livelihood are the worst hit".
Maku condoles with New Telegraph
Meanwhile, information minister Mr Labaran Maku has condoled with the management and staff of the New Telegraph newspaper over the death of their managing editor, Mr Suleiman Bisalla.
In a letter to the managing director of the newspaper, Mr Gabriel Akinadewo, Maku said he was saddened by the demise of Bisalla along with 20 other Nigerians in the bomb explosion at EMAB Plaza in Wuse II, Abuja.
South East Governors' Forum condemns Abuja bomb blasts that claimed over 20 lives
The South-East Governors' Forum has condemned the recent bomb blasts that rocked EMAB Plaza in the Wuse II area of Abuja which claimed over 20 lives, mostly traders.
The Governors' Forum, which sympathized with the families of those that lost their loved ones in the Abuja bomb blasts, called on Nigerians not to be deterred in the face of terror.
US condemns Wuse bomb blast
The United States embassy in Abuja has condemned the recent bomb blast in Abuja which left over 20 people dead.
According to a statement released by the information office of the embassy, "these heartless and violent attacks on innocent Nigerians are inexcusable and clearly bespeak the criminality of those behind these attacks in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria".
Bomb scare at University of Jos
There was pandemonium at the Faculty of Education University of Jos, yesterday following an allegation of a bomb planted in the faculty.
LEADERSHIP FRIDAY investigations revealed that there was a student who was carrying a bag containing garri and milk into the faculty's lecture hall and was asked to reveal the content of his bag. He declined but latter complied.
Our correspondent gathered that, before this drama, there were rumours making the rounds that a bomb was planted in the faculty of education.
As a result, students and lecturers scampered for safety and the faculty was deserted.
Confirming the development to LEADERSHIP FRIDAY yesterday on phone in Jos, the Student Union Government president of the university, Abel Nok, said there was no bomb planted in the faculty while urging students to go about their normal academic activities.
Efforts to speak with the registrar, Jilli Dandam, on phone proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off at the time of filing this report.
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