Twenty-seven people were killed and sixty-four others were injured on Tuesday May 1, 2018 in twin bomb blasts that rocked a mosque and stalls at a busy market in Mubi town, Adamawa State.
Witnesses said loud explosions ripped through the Gwanjo market around 1pm when the market was crowded and traders were preparing for noon prayers. The attack left dismembered bodies of victims all around the vicinity.
The first blast occurred at the mosque located in the market, killing all the people attending the congregation prayer. This was followed by a second blast that destroyed another part of the market. Security agents quickly mobilised to the scene and cordoned off the affected areas. Victims were promptly evacuated and sympathisers who trooped in to ask of their friends or family members were turned back from the scene.
Adamawa State Police Commissioner Abdullahi Ibrahim Yerima said in Yola that 20 persons were critically injured and that two male suicide bombers were responsible for the explosions. The Adamawa State government later confirmed that 27 people died from the blasts. State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Ahmad Sajoh said in Yola that 56 wounded persons were on admission at the hospital. The Kasuwan Kuturu market and cattle markets were soon deserted for fear of being targeted.
Condemning the satanic, cowardly and dastardly act, Governor Mohammed Umar Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State ordered the immediate provision of medical supplies and mobilization of medical officers to the General Hospital in Mubi. In addition, the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency [ADSEMA] was also ordered to supply food and non-food items to the hospital in order to cater for victims of the explosions and their relations.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed security agencies to beef up security in Mubi with focus on markets and places of worship. Osinbajo said government was outraged by the attack on a mosque and market in Mubi and promised that relevant agencies were working to apprehend the criminals behind the attacks. He condoled with the victims and their families as well as government and people of Adamawa State.
It would be recalled that Mubi town had in the past suffered devastating attacks from Boko Haram. For example, while 50 persons were killed in an attack on November 22, 2017 many died in explosive attacks on October 29, 2014. Mubi town had in the past six months enjoyed relative peace. Although no person or group has claimed responsibility for last week’s attacks on the mosque and market, the explosions are similar to the attacks launched by Boko Haram insurgents in the past, particularly in northeast Nigeria. It is typical of this extremist group to aim at soft targets in their terrorist activities. The resurgence of these deadly attacks is apparently a consequence of the group’s loss of its stronghold, the Sambisa forest, to the Nigerian military which through several successful operations has significantly degraded Boko Haram.
In its attempt to remain relevant and attract attention, the Boko Haram group has returned to the use of suicide bombers to kill innocent Nigerians. The recent pockets of suicide bombings and attacks on soft targets and defenseless communities in parts of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states are indications that the war against Boko Haram is yet to be over. While we encourage the military to sustain its current onslaught on Boko Haram in order to see the end of insurgency in Nigeria, we also recommend that security checks should be revived especially in places where they have been relaxed including the entrance to places of worship, schools and other public buildings and facilities.
The use of explosive detective devices should also be restored where they have been withdrawn. The collective vigilance of citizens could also avert suicide bombings or deadly attacks by insurgents.