News / Africa

    Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

    Paramedics treat a victim of Monday's explosion at Asokoro hospital in Abuja, Nigeria,  April 15, 2014.
    Paramedics treat a victim of Monday's explosion at Asokoro hospital in Abuja, Nigeria, April 15, 2014.
    Heather Murdock
    In the aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on the Nigerian capital since an insurgency began in 2009, survivors say they escaped with their lives but lost everything else.  Officials say they are looking at ways to help the bombing victims and boosting security ahead of the World Economic Forum for Africa to be held in Nigeria next month.  

    At this Abuja hospital, some bomb blast victims moan softly, but most sleep.  They’ve lost limbs and been burnt.

    Evere Ivbezim, a fruit seller, had her jaw nearly knocked off by the blast that hit Monday as she was boarding a bus, killing 71 people and injuring at least 124 others.
    But, she says, it's not just lives that were lost.
    A man rests in the hospital after 71 people were killed and 124 injured when a bomb exploded at a bus station just outside Abuja, Nigeria, April 15, 2014. (Heather Murdock for VOA)A man rests in the hospital after 71 people were killed and 124 injured when a bomb exploded at a bus station just outside Abuja, Nigeria, April 15, 2014. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
    x
    A man rests in the hospital after 71 people were killed and 124 injured when a bomb exploded at a bus station just outside Abuja, Nigeria, April 15, 2014. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
    A man rests in the hospital after 71 people were killed and 124 injured when a bomb exploded at a bus station just outside Abuja, Nigeria, April 15, 2014. (Heather Murdock for VOA)
    “All my money.  All my handset.  Everything.  I no get anything.  Only my life, thank God.  Thank God for that, may government help us," said Ivbezim.

    Outside the hospital, Beni Lar, the chair of the Committee on Human Rights in the National Assembly, says many victims of the bombing were working-class people, barely scraping by in Abuja’s “satellite towns.”

    The “satellite towns” are where civil servants and other employees of Nigeria’s pristine capital live, because they can’t afford to stay in the city.  The towns are notorious for lacking electricity, clean water and for bad roads.

    Lar says the government should find a way to help the blast victims recover economically.

    “Those that have lost their breadwinners and their families, they will need some relief and some economic reintegration to the families of the victims," said Lar.

    Emergency management officials say they will be paying the hospital bills but have not determined if there will be any other form of compensation.

    The director general of Abuja’s FCT Emergency Management Agency, Abbas Idriss, says the government is working to coordinate hospital responses to “mitigate the suffering” of any future attacks.

    But Monday's attack - the first in two years in the capital - was so devastating that authorites don’t have enough room for the bodies.

    “The situation is that it’s not really accommodating the victims.  That is why we have to look for alternative places to relocate all the corpses," said Idriss.

    Idriss also says the local government is increasing security ahead of the World Economic Forum for Africa next month.

    No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but analysts blame Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group that has killed thousands of people, saying it wants to enforce its harsh version of Islamic law.

    Most of the violence has been in the northeast, where three states have been under emergency rule for nearly a year.  Nigeria's military says it has largely contained the group, reclaiming formerly occupied lands, arresting and killing insurgents and scattering many who escaped.

    But large-scale, deadly attacks continue, and rights groups say more than 1,500 people have been killed this year alone.

    And at the Nyanya Motor Park hours after the attack, Vera Achoin, a local English teacher, points to dozens of bombed-out city buses and says she fears the conflict is spreading.
     
    “Many died, many.  All those buses you see there.  People were all filled inside to go and yet they had not gone.  The drivers, the one that survived you see them swimming in blood," said Achoin.

    The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps says it will deploy 100,000 extra security guards on the roads and around churches for the upcoming Easter holiday.
    Boko Haram has threatened Christians and previously attacked churches on Christian holidays.  However, the vast majority of its victims have been Muslims.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora