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Published On: Thu, May 22nd, 2014

Jos blasts: How I blanked out, by survivor

Yobe-VictimBy Joy Baba, Abuja & Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos

A survivor of one of Tuesday’s twin bomb blasts in Jos, Ruth Joseph, yesterday narrated how she blanked out immediately after the first explosion in the New Abuja Market within the Terminus area of the Plateau state capital.

The victim, who is currently on admission at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, where she and her three-year old daughter are still receiving treatment for the burns they sustained during the incident, also urged the perpetrators to repent to God.

Ruth narrated to some newsmen who visited the hospital that: “Yesterday (Tuesday) in the afternoon, at exactly 3.pm when I was sitting down together with my elder sister, whom I visited at the market, suddenly I heard a loud sound and quickly, I stood up to run but could not. Unknown to me, there were various burns on my limbs. I did know when I fell down.

“From that moment I didn’t know where I was. I only saw my three-year old daughter and myself lying on the hospital bed. Both my daughter and myself sustained injuries.

“As I am talking to you now, I cannot tell you the whereabouts of my sister, whom I visited. I cannot equally tell you whether she is death or alive. Only God knows that one”, the survivor said.

Asked what she will tell those behind the bombings, if she was to see them, she said: “If I should have an opportunity to see the perpetrators of this evil act, I’ll advise them to repent because with or without this act, we would all surely die; including those responsible for them (bomb blasts).

Meanwhile, security agents have yesterday cordoned off a long stretch of the road leading from Old Terminus Motor Park in the heart of Jos city up to the market area near the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), the scene of the blasts.

This has necessitated diversion of movements by residents who crisscross the city to go to work.

Also yesterday, the inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed D. Abubakar, vowed that the police would do everything possible to apprehend the perpetrators of the bomb blasts in the city, and bring them to justice.

The IGP disclosed this while addressing newsmen at JUTH, shortly after visiting the scene of the twin explosions, and various hospitals where victims have been taken for treatment.

Abubakar condemned the act and described it as unfortunate, adding that investigation has since started to ensure that those behind it were fished out.

“No government will tolerate this kind of act anywhere in the world.

President Goodluck Jonathan was very sad about the incident and that is why he sent me here to see what has happened and sympathize with the victims and their relatives”, he said.

The IGP also called on the people of Plateau state to be patient and vigilant, while urging them to report any suspicious movements to the appropriate authorities.

Abubakar was accompanied by heads of other agencies, including the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Malam Muhammad Sani-Sidi.

Meanwhile, the Plateau state government has solicited the assistance of the police and other security agencies toward enforcing the ban of street trading.

Gov. Jonah Jang made the request when the IGP visited him at Government House, yesterday in Jos.

Jang, who was represented by his deputy, Ignatius Longjan, pointed out that majority of the victims of the blasts were those trading in the vicinities of the market.

He said that the order was given a long time ago but that the traders had resisted all attempts to move them out of the roads.

“If we can implement this order, we shall minimise the chaos in the market”, he said.

Meanwhile, our correspondent in Jos reported on how various vigilante groups in city worked together and averted what could have led to a major religious upheaval in the state.

The groups, made up of both Muslim and Christian adherents deployed their men at various flash points in the city.

Already, there were reports on Tuesday that some Christian youths had mobilized around Tina Junction, threatening to attack Muslim passers-by, giving suspicions that those behind the bombings were Muslims.

Commandant of a vigilante group in Ibrahim Kashim Ward, Ahmad Bagobiri told our correspondent that: “It has become part of Plateau state that whenever there is a bomb blast, bad people usually stage reprisals on innocent people.

“Realizing that this explosion might also lead to same clashes, we quickly mobilized our members to help calm the youths, particularly those who intended to block the roads.

“Our youths have really listened to us because all of them went to their various homes. We told them that whatever happens they should calm themselves and not take the law into their hands”, Bagobiri added.

Also, commandant of another group in Dogon Dutse area, Sarki Anzem, explained that both Muslims and Christians in the area worked together to ensure that nobody disturbed their existing peace, adding that those who often caused problems are people who want to achieve their personal objectives and not anything else.

“Both Muslims and Christians in our area worked together on the day of the incident to avert any clash that might lead to another religious crisis. That is why we preach to everyone and all listened’, he said.

 

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