Wednesday, 20 March 2013

KANO BOMBING: I packed my intestines with my cloth – Survivor

Thirty seven-year-old severely burnt Emmanuel Bassey lies in a hospital bed at Murtala Mohammed Specialist hospital in northern Nigeria's largest city of Kano on March 19, 2013. Two suicide bombers rammed their car into a bus loaded with passengers at the bus station, killing at least 22 people and injuring 65 others, the following explosions burnt five buses.
As Nigerians continued to express outrage over Monday's suicide bombing at a bus park in Kano which claimed over 60 lives, survivours of the bomb attack, yesterday on their hospital beds, recounted their harrowing experiences and agony, saying they saw death.

Abdullahi Maiagogo Gayawa, a 70 year-old wrist watch seller who was affected by the blast said: "I was at the motor park as usual for a routine business when in a middle of the transaction, I heard a loud bang that sent me sprawling on the ground.

Initially, I could not comprehend what happened but rose and took to my heels only to notice that my stomach was ripped open,with my intestines gorging out.

I quickly packed my intestines with my cloth and was trying to escape from the scene when suddenly I woke up in the hospital surrounded by a team of medical doctors".

We saw death — Survivors

The Septuagenarian, looking frail and worn out told Vanguard on his sick bed: "I saw death at a close range and I had almost given up hope of living but all praises to Allah for His intervention.

Gayawa further explained that "as you can see I am still active and I struggle hard to feed my family and this particular motor park where the incident occurred is my place of business and I had been getting serious patronage from the travelers."

In the stretch of my life spanning seven decades, I have never seen this kind of trouble, the bang was so loud that I saw many going down, covered with their blood and the wailing that followed was such that I thought the end of time has come".

Another lucky survivor, Magawata Goje, 45, told Vanguard on his sick bed thus: "I was inside the Lagos-bound luxury bus when the blast occurred. I was seated at the back seat, and it was Allah that understands how I survived the blast.

"I heard people saying that I was dead because I was covered with blood and I could see a lot of people in comatose position and I had to raise my hand to draw the attention of the rescuers before they attended to me. Goje who sustained second degree burns then appealed for quick intervention of government to save his life.

In pains, he struggled to raise his burnt neck and hand and looked through the window pointing at where his children and members of his family were anxiously waiting and monitoring his health from the sideline. "Look at my wife and children watching from outside and you can imagine what will become of their lives if adequate measure is not taken to save my life".

Also speaking to Vanguard in the same vein, Hamisu Usman, another survivor, told Vanguard that "I was in a Port Harcourt-bound bus when a blast ripped through, and the rest I knew was that I found myself in the hospital where the doctor was telling me to remain calm".

I spoke with the suicide bomber before he struck —Emmanuel Bassey, 40 years old tout.

In his account, Emmanuel Bassey, a 40-year-old bus park tout who survived the blast revealed to Vanguard his encounter with the suicide bomber before he struck.

Bassey who claimed to work for Ezewanta Group of Motors stated that "the guy came in a blue Golf car, I could recall that he was dark in complexion and appeared to be in his mid 30's. He was calm during my brief interaction with him and did not look harmful. I asked him where he was going, and he said, 'I have not decided', and in no time some of my colleagues at the park were rushing towards him and suddenly he sped off, applied brake close to a loaded vehicle and in a twinkle of an eye, I heard a loud bang that sent me sprawling on the ground", Bassey explained.

He revealed that four of his colleagues who were running after him to ascertain which part of the southern part of the country he wanted to go all died on the spot due to the impact of the blast.

Bassey who suffered second degree burns cried out: "Men, I saw hell and believed that I was going to die before some good Samaritan brought me to the hospital.

Bassey lost his skin and his stomach was ripped open by the blast but has undergone several procedures and appeared to be in a stable condition. Bassey who complained of excessive heat on his sick bed displayed a deep hole on his stomach saying: "I was simply not lucky on the day of carnage but all the same I give glory to God that I am alive but I hope government will do their best to bring the perpetrators to book".

In the meantime, Kano State Government has offered to foot the medical expenses of those affected by the blast.

Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, the Acting Governor gave the assurance in Kano shortly after paying a visit to the injured victims at the MurtalaMuhammadSpecialistHospital, Kano.

"The carnage perpetrated by whoever is behind this is totally condemnable, this is not religion, and definitely this is not the teaching of Islam. It is there for everyone to see and it remains the basic truth", Ganduje stressed.

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