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
  • July - Attacks prompt government crackdown in Bauchi and Maiduguri; 800 people killed
  • December - Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Jane from: China
April 14, 2014 10:57 AM
Pray for them all.
In Response

by: Obono from: UK
April 15, 2014 2:37 AM
This is sad, painful and Gory. APC and PDP should not politicize at the detriment of the lives of Nigerians but rather both parties should come together as Unity to fight this crime of humanity.
CCTV Cameras should be employed and mounted in Nigeria. It may cost huge money, but what is more important than the security of Nigerians. To fight faceless terrorist, you need to do things differently, no sentiments, fight it back.
Some group thinks they want to embarrass the FG? No the FG is not Asorock; the FG is Nigerians and so these fight is for everyone of us united under the name Nigeria …This is the new strategy…we must all understand because anybody could be a victim.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs