Eighty two days after the devastating terrorists attack on the New Road Luxury Park, the management of the Park yesterday cried out over the non-challant attitude of the Federal Government to compensate victims of March 18 bomb attack in the park which killed dozens and left many wounded.
The secretary of the Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria, Kano branch, Brother Godson Nwokoma in his speech during the remembrance ceremony for the dead in that attack said families of the deceased were yet to receive any form of reparation from the government.
He, however, commended Kano state government for footing the bills of the wounded who were admitted in various hospitals across the state, while stating that from their records, only 39 people were confirmed dead in the attack and 79 wounded.
According to him, the families of the deceased are in agony and they continue to express worry over the delay by the Federal Government to fulfill its promise by assisting them, adding that many of those who lost their lives were bread winners to their families.
“We are aware that government has been doing its best over this issue, but much still need to be done. We receive several calls from the family of the victims and we have been assuring them that government will come to their rescue. We have also been receiving help from nongovernmental organizations, especially, the ECWA Church.
“The ECWA Church has been very supportive in terms of prayers and words of encouragement. They have also donated food items and financial support to the wounded victims. As we gather here today, we have the hope that God will listen to our prayers and avert calamities of this magnitude. In spite of what happened to us, we do believe in the unity and progress of Nigeria. This is our country and we are determined to live in peace and harmony with the host community,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Eze Ndigbo in Kano, Chief Boniface Ibekwe coomended President Goodluck Jonathan, “for the decisive action he has taken by imposing State of Emergency in three states. This action by Mr. President has gone a long way to curtail the antics of the Boko Haram insurgents in this part of the country.
“I also commend Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso for his efforts to ensure that peace and stability is maintained in Kano. The Igbos will remain in Kano and we will protect our investments. We will continue to live in peace with our host community. I also want to use this opportunity to call on the government to come to the aide of those who lost their lives during the attack; and I have no doubt in my mind that by the efforts being made by the government, the victims of the bomb attack in this Park will surely be assisted.”
Ibekwe also commended the Joint Task Force, the police and other security agencies for contending with the security challenges in the state, and called on Kano residents to assist them with useful information,
“security is everybody’s business and I believe we all has a role to play to ensure that our lives and properties are well secured.”
The traditional ruler of Edo Community in Kano, Deacon Fred Ahigbe said the occasion called for sober reflection, pointing out that, “those who died ion that attack died so that we can live. When this calamity befell us on that day, everybody thought it was the end of Nigeria, but we are happy that today, Nigeria still remains. We should not be mourning like people without hope. We still live in Kano and we shall continue to pursue peace, maintain peace and live peacefully.”
The presiding priest at the event, Pastor Victor Akure of Halleluyah Assembly International who represented chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kano branch, Bishop Ransom Bello preached peace and love.
He prayed that, “never again shall we gather to mourn, but to celebrate our country. I brought you the message of love—the Hausa man will love the Igbo man, the Igbo man will love the Yoruba man. We should love one another because that is the only way that we can survive these bad times.”
Meanwhile, Ndigbo in the commercial city of Kano, as well as the entire North yesterday joined their counterparts worldwide to observe the sit-at-home–order.
In the process, businessmen of Igbo extraction boycotted business activities, ostensibly to draw the attention of the international community of t plight, particularly as victims of indiscriminate killings and ill-treatment worldwide.
However, in the ancient city of Kano, our correspondent observed partial compliance to the sit-at-home-order, as majority of Igbo traders, particularly tyre dealers closed their shops in the morning hours but later opened at noon at about 12.30 pm for business transactions.
In an interview with the president of Ohanaeze in Kano, Chief Tobias Michael Idika, he confirmed that Ndigbo in Kano complied with the directive from the national leadership, just as he appealed that people in the North should desist from taking Ndigbo’s disposition for granted.
Idika however reminded them that If they fail to retract from their footsteps, nemesis will at he close of the day catch up with them.
In order to ensure the success of the sit-at-home-order, Idika disclosed that Ndigbo traders in the metropolis dedicated Saturday as a day for sober reflection, as well as in memory of all those who lost their lives, including the maltreated.
Also, Idika noted that Ndigbo in Kano, particularly the business community complied with the sit-at-home directive, as majority of business enterprises owned by Ndigbo were under lock and key.
President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Kano, therefore appealed to the Federal Government to use the period of sober reflection to consider compensating all Boko Haram victims of Igbo extraction, particularly those of the March 18, 2013 Luxury Motor Park bomb attack on New Road, Sabon Gari, Kano, during which so many people lost their lives, while some sustained varying degrees of injuries.