News / Africa

At Least 71 Killed in Nigeria Explosion

People gather at the site of a blast at the Nyanya Motor Park, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the center of Abuja, Nigeria, April 14, 2014.
People gather at the site of a blast at the Nyanya Motor Park, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the center of Abuja, Nigeria, April 14, 2014.
Heather Murdock
President Goodluck Jonathan visited the bus terminal on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, several hours after a bomb went off during Monday morning rush hour.

The president urged Nigerians to be vigilant about suspicious movements, and suggested Islamist militant group Boko Haram was behind the blast, although there has been no claim of responsibility.

"We console with our country men and women, we will continue to work very hard.  The issue of Boko Haram attacks is quite an ugly history within this period of our own development.  We will do everything to make sure that we move our country forward.  These are unnecessary distractions that are pushing us backward.''

Police say at least 71 people died when the bomb went off at a bus station in the suburbs of the capital, Abuja, on Monday.  Some analysts say the latest attack is a sign that Islamist insurgents in Nigeria have expanded their reach.
 
Shortly before 7:00 a.m. Monday morning, taxi driver Joseph Suleiman was driving into the city for work.  He was about a half a kilometer from Nyanya Motor Park when the bomb exploded.

“We were inside the car. We heard the bomb blast and my car was shaking," he said. "Everybody, we were totally confused.”

 
Major attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram
 
2009
  • July - Attacks prompt government crackdown in Bauchi and Maiduguri; 800 people killed
 
2010
  • December - Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86
 
2011
  • June - Attack on a bar in Maiduguri kills 25
  • August - Suicide bomber kills 23 at U.N. building in Abuja
  • November - Bombings in Damaturu and Potiskum kill 65
  • December - Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39
 
2012
  • January -- Gun and bomb attacks in Kano kill up to 200
  • February - Maiduguri market attack kills 30
  • June - Suicide car bombings at three churches kill 21
  • July - Attacks in Plateau state kill dozens, including two politicians at a funeral for the victims
 
2013
  • February - French family kidnapped in Cameroon, held hostage for two months
  • April - Fighting with troops in Baga kills up to 200; residents say troops set deadly fires
  • May - Attacks in Bama kill more than 50
  • July - Gunmen kill 30 at a school in Yobe
  • August - Gunmen kill 44 at a mosque outside Maiduguri
  • September - Gunmen kill 40 students a dorm in Yobe
  • October - Attack Yobe state capital Damaturu, clash with military in Borno state
They were confused, he explained, because there hasn’t been an attack in the Nigerian capital in two years, when Boko Haram blew up a prominent media house, killing several people.  In 2011, more than 60 people were killed in other attacks that targeted the local U.N. headquarters and a church.
 
Suleiman said he saw scores of badly injured people as he passed the bus depot.
 

“People told us that it was Boko Haram that put the bomb inside the Elruafai car that exploded that killed many lives.  But actually it is only God that knows the truth,” he said.
 
According to some officials, despite nearly a year of emergency rule in three northeastern Nigerian states, the Boko Haram insurgency is growing.

“We’ve allocated huge sums particularly for security in this country and I don’t see any improvement," noted Herman Hembe, a member of parliament. "It’s just been getting worse.”
 
Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths since the insurgency began in 2009.  Amnesty International says 1,500 people have been killed in attacks this year alone, and about a half a million people have fled their homes.  
  • Bystanders react as victims of a bomb blast arrive at the Asokoro General Hospital in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • Bomb experts search for evidence in front of buses at a bomb blast scene in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visits the site of an explosion in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • A nurse helps an injured bomb victim sitting at the back of a pickup truck at the Asokoro General Hospital in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • People gather at the site of a blast at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • Victims of a blast lie on the ground as fire and smoke rise at a bus park in Abuja, April 14, 2014.
  • People gathered at the scene of an explosion at a bus park in Abuja, April. 14, 2014.
  • People assemble near where a bomb exploded in Nyanya, 16 kilometers from Abuja's city center, April 14, 2014. (Sulieman Hudu/VOA Hausa)
  • People assemble close to where a bomb had exploded in a motor vehicle pool in Nyanya, 16 kilometers from Abuja's city center, April 14, 2014. (Sulieman Hudu/VOA Hausa)

 
Islamic law

Boko Haram says it wants to enforce its harsh version of Islamic law and destroy the government but many analysts blame the unrest partially on extreme poverty, saying unemployment drives young men to fight for small sums of money.  
 
However, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, says the insurgency is a result of religious extremism. 

“It’s about ideology.  It’s not poverty.  It’s not marginalization," he insisted. "Yes it is true that if when you deal with poverty you may reduce the number of recruits -- people that they can recruit.”
 
Attacking the ideology through education and the religious leadership in Nigeria’s mostly-Muslim northern states is the only way to end the insurgency, he said.
 
The Nigerian military maintains that it has beaten back Boko Haram and re-claimed many areas formerly held by insurgents.  The military said a jailbreak last month where hundreds of fleeing detainees were killed was an attempt by Boko Haram to replenish its depleted ranks.
 
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the jailbreak and threatened more violence.  The group has not claimed responsibility for this latest attack, but typically Boko Haram communicates with the public through video messages, which can take days or weeks to release.

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by: Odi from: Biafra
April 16, 2014 5:34 PM
The contraption by Frederick lugards remains what it is, a contraption costing uncountable lives while the beneficiaries of exploited oil wealth refuse to let the peoples go. Dis-integration of Nigeria fondly called a Zoo is only a question of time. It will only cost more lives as it has for the past 68 years.

by: Bello Bichi from: Colorado Springs CO
April 15, 2014 2:49 PM
The Nigeria’s president (Mr. Goodluck Jonathan) speech yesterday after the Nyanya (Abuja) bomb blast was not convincing that his government is very serious about fighting the insurgency in Nigeria, this so because it is always the same story from the president and the security agencies and no much improvement.
We believe that there is crime all over the world today, but the main concern is what follows after, what is the government’s action after a crime. In Nigeria, when an attack is committed the government and the security officials will announce to the media what happened in the act and that is the end of the story, no serious action will follow after on how to deal with future acts or attempts, till another strike then the government and the security will come with another story. I can bet now that no proper action will be taken at this time because as far the president and the security are concern this is a bygone issue, it has happened and it is gone. This government is a total failure to the Nigeria and the Nigerians. It is a demonstration of madness and stupidity or crazy demonstration but not democracy as proclaimed. Why most you serve the people if you cannot. Why can’t you resign instead of failing the people.

by: Asuquo from: calabar
April 15, 2014 2:09 PM
These is no islamic law, its just some political war. And very soon all the politicians that are sponsoring boko haram will soon be disgraced and the law will catch up with them

by: Dr. Masta Marina from: Finland
April 15, 2014 12:10 AM
Islam is going to destroy the whole of Africa...!!! we may be next if we continue importing these Muslim scumbags into Europe.

by: duamlong john gfegory from: lagos
April 14, 2014 11:25 PM
IT IS QUITE UNFORTUNATE THAT LIVES ARE LOST. ALL THESE ATTACKS BY BOKO HARAM OR THERE REPRESENTATIVES ARE THE SIGNS OF THE END TIMES. WE MAY NEVER HAVE SEEN TGE END OF IT YET BUT THE ONLY ANTIDOTE IS THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST WHICH WILL WORK AS A COVER FOR ONLY TRULY BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS & NOT JUST CHURCH GOERS OR NOMINAL. CHRISTIANS. WHEN YOU ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST SS LORD AND SAVIOUR, HE PUTS A MARK O. YOU & YOUR HOUSEHOLD SAYING TO THE ENEMY" TOUCH NOT MY ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHET NO HARM" BE WISE AND ACT RIGHTLY & TIMELY TOO.
In Response

by: Benicio from: B'more
April 15, 2014 11:47 AM
Ignorant .... "signs of end times" Small minded people are brainwashed by religious beliefs. You yet you say signs of end times.... i am always fascinated by how these foreign religions have so brainwashed our people into lack of thinking.


by: GARLAND HANSON from: USA
April 14, 2014 11:08 PM
GOD BE WITH THEM I WILL BE PRAYING FOR THAT COUNTRY AS IT IS GOING THROUGH ROUGH TIMES .I THANK GOD THAT NOT THAT MANY GOT KILLED. I PRAY AS THEY REBUILD.,I KNIOW GOD IS A MIGHT GOD. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU I WILL BE PRAYING


by: Joseph Effiong from: Nigeria
April 14, 2014 5:27 PM
Anyone that deceive people that poverty is the cause of boko haram is a liar. When northern politicians mostly muslims, formed and finance this terrorists to topple Jonathan's government, they thought they can force the president out from seat . Who are the people that are crying now. They know their stupidity has boundary. If it cross the boundary, the boko idiot will drop their bombs but it refused to be dropped. All this interfaith programmes is nonsense to this fools. They will never see peace.

by: G C Nduka from: Portharcourt Nigeria
April 14, 2014 1:35 PM
This is the handwork of APC

by: Chennae from: United States
April 14, 2014 12:23 PM
Bless all the ones that lost their love ones

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
April 14, 2014 11:52 AM
Nigerians were woken from sleep this morning with a "peaceful" demonstration of the islamic fashion of peace. Over 71 people have been killed and many more are hospitalized when a bomb went off in a crowded bus park where people were rushing to work. Trade of islamist boko haram and all islamist terrorist networks in the world. I felt insulted when the sultan of Sokoto appeared on screen telling us how "peaceful" islam is. I do not know whether he does not know where the birds live to tell that to them, for we have seen how peaceful the religion of islam can get - in Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Iraq, even in London where it butchers innocent people on the road trunk to avenge whatever, and USA where it shoots at comrades in the armed forces.
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