The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, was yesterday flown to London for proper medical attention following Saturday’s fatal attack on his motorcade in Kano.
Travelling with him were his sons the Ciroman Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, and the Turakin Kano, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, both of whom sustained injuries during the attack.
The attack occurred on Zoo Road when the 84-year-old monarch, some of his sons, several aides and other dignitaries were returning from a Qur’anic graduation ceremony that took place at the Murtala Mohammed Mosque in Hausawa quarters of the city.
Unknown gunmen opened fire on the emir’s convoy, and a bomb also went off.
The emir was driving home through Kwanar ‘Yan Dusa street in the area.
Eyewitnesses said as scores of gunmen appeared from nowhere and started shooting at the emir’s car, his guards quickly covered him.
As a result, the emir’s driver, Kabiru Shu’aibu, who was also the Sarkin Ruwa of Kano, along with the emir’s police orderly, Ado Bala, and personal guard, Ahmadu Dogari, were killed.
Some witnesses alleged that the palace guards decided to give Bayero a human shield because the policemen in the convoy had ducked when the shooting started.
The attackers also shot at the sports utility vehicle (SVU) conveying Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero, the District Head of Tarauni, injuring him in the leg, while the Ciroma was injured on his hand and neck, though they were not in the same vehicle.
The gunmen also killed the Interim Management Officer (IMO) and acting chairman of Kumbotso local government council, Alhaji Salisu Abdullahi Kura, and his driver, and injured several other persons, who were later admitted in various hospitals in Kano.
The attack was coming exactly one year after the January 20, 2012 coordinated attack on Kano in which over 100 people were believed to have been killed.
Palace sources said the emir was injured on his waist, stomach and chest from the shattered glasses of his car on Saturday.
The emir, who left Kano onboard a chartered plane around 1pm, was seen off by the Deputy Governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, government officials, well wishers and family members.
Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso had visited the emir on Saturday before flying to India on the same day for an engagement.
The emir’s palace was yesterday thronged with sympathizers who came from all walks of life to commiserate with the monarch.
At 10:30am, the emir had walked into the Kano Central Mosque situated behind the palace, assisted by two hefty guards, and was received by Dr. Ganduje, the Wamban Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi, and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), who is also the Danmajen Kano, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
A special prayer was organised in the mosque by the Kano league of Ulama for peace to reign in the state and for the quick recovery of the emir.
After the prayers, Bayero took the microphone with shaky hands and addressed the gathering.
“You are all aware of what happened in Kano yesterday, which led to the death of my aides while others were injured,” he said. “I am therefore traveling this morning to London for a proper medical checkup.”
Also speaking, Dr. Ganduje described the incident as sad, and prayed that such would never happen in his life time again.
The attack on a person of the emir’s calibre, he added, has clearly shown that the security apparatus in the state must sit up and be on top of the situation before things get out of hand.
Saturday’s attack is seen by many as the worst incident in Bayero’s 50-year reign.
Celebrations for his 50th anniversary as emir of Kano are billed for October 13, 2013.
The weekend’s incident has continued to generate discussions on the state of security in Kano, with people expressing concern over how security challenges are tackled, as more Joint Task Force checkpoints are mounted in the city during the weekend.
Meanwhile, former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has said that the reported cases of terrorist attacks in the country are becoming frightening and therefore called for security alert by all and sundry.
Babangida, who was reacting to Saturday’s attack on the Emir of Kano, said dialogue has become a preference that should be adopted to reach a truce with the militants perpetrating insurgency in the country.
This was just as the President General of the Jama’atuNasril Islam (JNI), and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, yesterday condemned the attack on the convoy of the emir and called for a thorough probe of the attack.
Babangida, in a statement he issued yesterday, described as disturbing the ugly trend which posed serious security threats on a regular and unbroken basis which he noted has refused to depart from us in spite of the spirited efforts by government.
He said the development called for the need for the government to change tactics and methods in handling the security challenge, stressing that the attack on the emir was a wake-up call to all of Nigerians.
According to him, “Dialogue is my number one preference in this regard. Government must also encourage positive discourses among its political appointees, delivered with respect and rendered in temperate language to soothe the mood of the nation.
“Language of force will not help us in our strong determination to address this insecurity problem. We must engage ourselves constructively and in a manner that puts the interest of the country far and above other partisan consideration.”
Babangida further said, “What could be the motive? What does anyone stand to gain by attempting to kill an emir that is nearing 80?
“The Emir of Kano stands out as one traditional ruler who does not seek favours from those in governments and outside it, and who, over the years, has been able to live an exemplary life, to the admiration of all.
“His record of achievements, the stability and candour he has brought to bear on the throne, are virtues that will live for posterity. May Allah continue to grant him good health for today and the future.”
Babangida said it was against this backdrop that he found it condemnable for anyone to make an attempt on the emir’s life. He advised the federal government to exploit the option of dialogue with members of the insurgent groups in order to arrest what he described as the “prevailing drift in our national security.”
He stressed that the use of force has proven to be inadequate and ineffective to checkmate the ugly trend, adding that Nigerians must therefore put their hands together to find a more rewarding and meaningful end to the security concern.
He condoled with the emir, people and government of Kano state over the sad loss of palace aides and prayed to God in His mercy and grace to reward them with Aljanah Firdaus.
In his own statement issued by the Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, in Kaduna, the Sultan said it was imperative for the federal government to find urgent solution to the insecurity ravaging the country.
The Sultan, who is also the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), also urged the Muslim faithful to pray for the immediate return of peace and security to the country.
The statement said: “Jama’atu Nasril Islam, under the leadership of His Eminence, 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 HRH, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Bayero, on his way from Islamic function on Saturday, January 19, 2013.
“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 property of citizens the utmost priority it deserves.
“The JNI calls 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 the deceased, we call on authorities concerned to carry out thorough investigation in order to unmask and arrest the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”