By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.
Another female suicide bomber Wednesday detonated an explosive in a school compound, killing herself and three students of Kano State Polytechnic, in Kano.
It is the sixth time in less than a week the female terrorists suspected to be members of Boko Haram would hit the ancient city of Kano.
The victims were on queue checking their results at the school when the bomber walked into premises and blew herself up. Police said three persons including the bomber died in the blast while seven persons were critically injured.
The college, established in 1976 as a training centre under Kano state judiciary in order to train middle level personnel for the Area Courts (now Shari’a courts), is located within the school of Arabic Studies (SAS), Kano as its temporary site with only four teaching staff and twenty students.
However, the college was affiliated to the Kano state Polytechnic in 1987. In 2012 the approval was granted to the college by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to run the NCE programme.
Kano state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Musa Majiya Magaji, who confirmed the incident said the students targeted were prospective Corps members who had earlier received text messages from the polytechnic’s Administrative unit, informing them that their postings to various states for the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC] programme had been released.
Said he: “A female teenager blew herself up at about 2:30 p.m. and she was targeting the students of Kano State Polytechnic.
“Apart from the suicide bomber, two students died in the blast, while seven others were injured and have been evacuated to a hospital,” Magaji said, adding that the area has been cordoned off and investigation has already commenced.
Director General of the National Orientation Agency and Coordinator, National Information Center (NIC), Mr. Mike Omeri, also told journalists in Abuja thus: “This afternoon at about 2.20pm, another female suicide bomber exploded an Improvised Explosive Device at the Kano State Polytechnic where some final year students who had completed their work had gone to collect their call-up letters for the national youth service.
Omeri said, “so far, three persons have been reported killed. Thirteen others are reported to have sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
He said investigations are on-going to determine the forces behind the blast and also to ascertain the final number that may have been involved in this dastardly act.
Meanwhile, security forces on Tuesday arrested three Boko Haram suspects in Katsina.
According to Omeri, “security forces on Tuesday July 29 at about 10pm along Zaria Road, Tudun Wada, Funtua Metropolis, arrested three suspects believed to be members of the Boko Haram sect.”
He said, “the three suspects included a male named Iliya Haliru and two females – Zainab Musa, 18 years and Hadiza Musa, 10 years. The three suspects were arrested in a Honda CRV car.
“When they were directed to disembark for security check, 10-year old Hadiza was discovered to have been strapped with an explosive belt. And immediately, Iliya and Zainab made attempt to escape with the car but were later blocked by other concerned Nigerians and subsequently arrested. The police successfully unstrapped the explosive,” he said.
He urged parents to watch their children’s activities to to ensure that they are not misled into acts of terrorism.
“It is clear that some parents are also into this that they are willing to take their children as young as 10 years into act of cowardice and self-destruction.
“We ask Nigerians to remain vigilant and to appreciate that the fight against insurgency will be eventually won. We wish to emphasise that the Nigerian armed forces have no other priority apart from securing the nation and conducting all operations to defeat Boko Haram and counter the strength of terrorism in our country.
“The government is closely liaising with domestic and international intelligence agencies within the newly established regional intelligence fusion unit to track and capture all terrorists and their sponsors in the country.
“With this action, the government is sending an unequivocal message that terrorists will find no safe haven in any corner of this country.
“We wish to reassure all Nigerians that the government is putting all efforts and resources into successfully and definitively countering insurgency and the menace of Boko Haram in our country,” Omeri added.
Also speaking on the incident, Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said female suicide bombers are being used for the dastardly act because women raise less suspicion.
“The major reason why terrorist go for women is because women generally raise less suspicion particularly when there are security layers,” Mba explained.
“And so, they take advantage of the fact that women raise less suspicion to indoctrinate and recruit female suicide bombers.
“The suspicion becomes even much lesser if the woman in question is a minor. In addition to that, by our rules of engagement and by our culture too, male security operatives generally are not allowed to frisk or search females,” he added.
He said, however, that the Police authorities are equally developing a counter terrorism strategy to deal with that.
“You will begin to see increased female security personnel presence on our roads and other places where such exercises are being carried out,” he said.
The Wednesday incidence was the sixth in the last one week.