Mass Burial for 50 Kano State Blast Victims

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The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero 
By Ibrahim Shuaibu and John Shiklam
The unclaimed bodies of victims of last Friday’s Boko Haram attacks in Kano State were given mass burial at the Kalebawa village, along Kano-Danbatta road, Tuesday.
The corpses were deposited at the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital mortuary but had not been claimed by their relatives.
Two vehicles conveyed the bodies to the mass grave.
Sources at the hospital told THISDAY that over 50 of the decomposed bodies were given mass burial with the assistance of the mortuary attendants.
THISDAY saw two vehicles of the mortuary unit with the corpses leaving the hospital, while those who were properly identified were claimed by the members of their families.
There was no official confirmation of the actual number of the corpses taken for mass burial, as all efforts to contact the hospital officials proved abortive.
Official casualty figures remains at 186, although other sources said over 250 people died in the attacks.
The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, Tuesday led other emirs on a sympathy visit to Murtala Mohammed Specialists Hospital, Kano, where victims of the blasts were recuperating.
The emir, who arrived the hospital at about 1pm, was accompanied by the Emirs of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Adamu; Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammad; and the Sardaunan Kano and former Governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau.
They were received at the hospital by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abubakar Labaran Yusuf, and the hospital's staff.
Meanwhile, a combined team of soldiers and plain-clothes security operatives shot and killed one Uzairu Abba Abdullahi, 32, and his pregnant wife on Monday night at Hotoro Quarters, Kano.
A resident of the area who witnessed the incident told THISDAY that they learnt some security operatives arrived the area at midnight in a helicopter following a tip-off that the area was accommodating suspected Boko Harm members.
It was further gathered that when the operatives reached the residence of Uzairu, he allegedly opened fire in panic.
There was no independent confirmation of this claim.
But the security team allegedly returned fire which lasted several minutes and as the gun confrontation continued, Uzairu and his wife were killed.
Uzairu’s cousin, Alhaji Ali Abdullahi, told reporters that Uzairu, who hailed from Gaya Local Government of Kano State, was an easy going person who related well with his neighbours.
Ali further said Uzairu had been a business person ever since he left Bayero University, Kano, in 2002 with a degree in Mass Communication, adding that all efforts to recover his corpse and that of his wife for burial proved abortive.
Hotoro was deserted as the gun battle had sent shivers down the spines of residents who are now taking refuge outside the area.
“He didn’t belong to any religious group. Is it because of his beard?” a relative of Uzairu, Musa Ibrahim Fatega, asked. “That means you cannot dress the way you are. Is it good? Is this how government is going to treat us?”
The state Police Commissioner Ibrahim Idris told journalists that a “sister agency” carried out the attack on the house.
In Kaduna, there was heavy security presence in the metropolis as a combined team of police and soldiers mounted road blocks on major streets where vehicles were thoroughly searched.
An SMS was also being circulated among residents to the effect that the Boko Haram sect had slated Kaduna for attack, advising them to stay away from offices of security agencies and that of government.
Motorists plying the busy Independence Way and Kachia Road, Kaduna were subjected to thorough search by armed soldiers and police leading to serious traffic congestion, even as motorists groaned under fuel scarcity.
It was learnt that the security checks were initiated following the SMS being circulated, but the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aminu Lawan (DSP), dismissed the insinuations, saying that the checkpoints were routine security surveillance.
The text message being circulated read: "Someone just sent this but I don't know for sure if it’s true - but better to be safe than sorry…  People heard from a reliable source that Kaduna is to be attacked by BH (Boko Haram) from today. Don't know how true but please take extra care. And stay away from state CID, Prison and other government security establishments and please pass on the message to family and friends in Kaduna."

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