MAIDUGURI — Six persons were, yesterday, feared dead as four major explosions rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
This came as nine governors in the All Progressive Congress, APC, gathered in the troubled city to push the merger plans of the country’s leading opposition political parties.
Several others were injured in the explosions and are receiving treatment.
The governors in a communiqué vowed that they would rescue Nigeria from what they described as a visionless leadership
The explosions occurred simultaneously on Baga road, Customs and Gamboru areas at about 3p.m, while a fourth exploded at London Ciki at about 6p.m.
A top security sourceregretted the incident, claiming that the state administration may have triggered the incident through the invitation of the APC governors to the state as he said intelligence reports had advised against the meeting.
Six feared dead
An unconfirmed report from a hospital source said six dead bodies including security operatives and civilians were brought to the mortuary of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, while those who sustained injuries were admitted for treatment.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Yuguda Abdullahi, however, claimed knowledge ofonly one blast, saying he personally visited that site. He declined comment on the number of casualties.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa could not be reached for comments.
The governors were, nevertheless, undeterred in pledging their solidarity with the people of Borno State and together donated N200 million to Borno and Yobe States, the two opposition party held states that are at the centre of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Jonathan to visit Borno
Meantime, the bond of solidarity from theAPC governors is coming ahead of the expected visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the troubled city. The president who has not visited Borno State since the insurgency got to troubling levels is expected to visit the state within the next two weeks.
Eight governors and one deputy governor from the four parties forming the APC were present at yesterday’s strategic meeting that lasted about four hours. It was reportedly focussed on how to properly position the emerging party in the polity.
Present at the meeting were Governors Rochas Okorocha (APGA Imo),Kayode Fayemi (ACN Ekiti), Babatunde Fashola (ACN Lagos),Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (CPC Nasarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (ACN Ogun).
Also present were Governor Rauf Aregbesola (ACN Osun), Deputy Governor of Yobe, Abubakar Aliyu (ANPP), and the host, Governor Kashim Shettima. Governors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara were among the opposition party governors absent atthe meeting. They, however, sent messages of solidarity.
…donate N200m to Borno, Yobe
Reading a communiqué to newsmen after the meeting, Governor Aregbesola said the APC governors had collectively donated N200 million to Bornoand Yobe State governments for emergency relief and support in the light of the Boko Haram insurgency affecting the two states.
Despite the explosions of yesterday, the APC governors also noted the relative lullin the insurgency in Maiduguri and, therefore, offered solidarity to the governments and people of Borno and Yobe states.
“The Forum reiterated our irrevocable commitment to the emergence of the new party, All Progressive Congress (APC).
“In solidarity with the government and people of Borno and Yobe states, we are pleased to witness an upsurge of tranquility and happy that the situation has calmed down considerably in Maiduguri, contrary to the image of rampant violence that has been painted to the whole world. We have discovered the people are going about their businesses without hindrance. We wish to commend the efforts of our brother-governors in the two states and the security agencies for the restoration of peace and stability.
“We also sympathize with the families of those who lost their lives and property and wish to donate N200 million to Borno and Yobe governments for emergency relief and support.
“We wish to commend the Central Merger Committee of the APC on the progress so far made in the establishment of the new party, particularly the recent inauguration of three major committees on constitution, manifesto and legal/INEC compliance.
“Finally, we wish to inform Nigerians that we shall soon embark on a national out reach and sensitization activities and we call on Nigerians to support our effort torescue the country from a visionless leadership.”