Emir of Kano, sons flown abroad

Ado-Bayero-2• Outrage over attack, Sultan, Tinubu urge better security

SHOCK and indignation ruled the mood of Nigerians Sunday as they reacted to the attack on the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero who has been flown abroad for medical attention.

The monarch who escaped an attack on his convoy shortly after an Islamic function at Tudun Murtala, near Zoo road in Kano was flown abroad at 1.30 p.m. from the Mallam Aminu International Airport, Kano on a charter flight operated by Barbedos Group Airline yesterday. It was learnt that the Presidency offered an aircraft for the trip that was rejected by the emirate.

Six persons who lost their lives in the attack included the emir’s driver, Interim Management Officer of Kumbotso local council, Alhaji Salisu Abdullahai Kura and four emirate guards.

Two sons of the emir also sustained injuries.

The Guardian learnt that Bayero, 83, was flown to the United Kingdom alongside his two injured sons for proper medical treatment after a congregational prayer was held against the prevailing insecurity at the Kano Central mosque.

However, Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who paid the emir a sympathy visit at his palace shortly after the incident, disclosed that the emir was in good health.

A source from the emirate said the emir’s trip was not occasioned by the attack as prior plans had been concluded by the monarch to embark on his routine check-up abroad.

Saturday’s convoy attack was indicative of the prevailing insecurity in the North. But the first attempt on the life of the Emir of Kano was in July 2010.

The monarch narrowly escaped being shot by a lone gunman during the Juma’at prayer at the Central Mosque.

After an investigation by the security operatives, it was discovered that the suspect, a 19-year-old man, was acting on the instruction of another person to murder the emir.

Bayero also received a notice of intention to attack his palace in 2011 by unknown gunmen.

The National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu has described the attack on Bayero and his convoy as most condemnable and unfortunate.

According to Tinubu, a most frightening dimension in the attacks unleashed by suspected terrorists on Nigerians and prominent leaders is being witnessed, which suggests that there is no hiding place and no one is safe until the government tackles the problem of insecurity. “Nigeria has sunk to a new low in insecurity”, Tinubu maintained.

“These incessant attacks and this most recent one on the respected Emir of Kano is unacceptable in a country governed by an elected government vested with power and state resources to ensure efficient security for all its citizens. Nigeria continues to bleed, while those charged with protecting their lives flounder and fiddle in their response to a problem that could undermine national security and endanger our young democracy.”

Tinubu further stated that the pipeline disasters and deaths, the bombings of churches and mosques, the car accidents on roads and the ravaging fire disasters signpost a nation bleeding from many places.

Tinubu queried the level of intelligence gathering in the country considering that almost a year ago multiple bombings occurred in Kano. He called for better coordination and sharing of information and an intelligence alert system that is efficient.

Describing Bayero as a well-respected traditional ruler and one with a progressive orientation who has led his people with courage and vision, Tinubu recalled his visit to the palace in Kano mid-last year where he met with the emir. “His desire to see a better future for his people and his commitment to a more democratic society was never in doubt,” he said.

Tinubu called on the security agencies to go beyond just the arrest of the masterminds but to dig deeper towards gathering important intelligence that could help check the insecurity in Nigeria.

According to Tinubu, political stability and effective national security go hand in hand and where the latter is missing or inadequate, the political pillars are weakened and subsequently may collapse.

He noted that the opposition had put before the Jonathan government concrete suggestions on how best to tackle the security issue. “We are willing to partner in order to secure the lives and property of innocent Nigerians who die and are maimed daily for no fault of theirs,” he said.

Besides, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the apex Islamic body in the North, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar described the attack on Bayero and his convoy as criminal and cowardly, urging the government to unmask the perpetrators and bring them to book.

A statement issued by the JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu pointed out that the “Jama’atu Nasril Islam under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, commiserates with the Kano State Government, Kano Emirate Council and the good people of Kano State, over the criminal and cowardly attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, on his way from an Islamic function last Saturday.”

According to the Sultan of Sokoto, “The JNI condemns, in strongest term, this dastardly act that led to loss of innocent lives, and again reiterates its earlier calls to governments at all levels to give security of lives and properties of citizens the utmost priority it deserves.”

He called on “all Muslims to intensify prayers to Almighty Allah to bring to an end the security challenges facing our country.”

While praying for the repose of the souls of those who died during the incident, the Sultan of Sokoto, stated: “We call on authorities concerned to carry out a thorough investigation in order to unmask and arrest the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”