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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs