Even as Islamic jihadists murder still more people, Muslim leaders in Nigeria have the audacity to complain about the plight of Muslims and demand special accommodations from President Goodluck Jonathan. The shamelessness with which they maintain the victimhood narrative, even as their coreligionists are murdering people wholesale in accord with texts and teachings of their religion, is breathtaking to behold.
“Nigeria bus bombing: Blasts at bus station kill 71,” from AFP, April 14
Twin blasts at a bus station packed with morning commuters on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital killed dozens of people on Monday, in what appeared to be the latest attack by Boko Haram Islamists.
The explosions rocked the Nyanya station roughly three miles south of Abuja at 6:45 am (0545 GMT) and destroyed some 30 vehicles, mostly large passenger buses.
The head of search and rescue operations at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Charles Otegbade, said one of the blasts “emanated from a vehicle” within the station but the precise nature of the explosion was not immediately clear.
No group has yet claimed the apparent attack, but suspicion is likely to fall on Boko Haram, an insurgent group blamed for killing thousands across northern and central Nigeria since 2009.
The Islamists have attacked Nigeria’s capital in the past, most prominently in a 2011 car bombing at the UN headquarters in the city that killed at least 26 people.
“Dozens of people were killed in the bomb blasts in Nyanya bus park this morning,” NEMA spokesman Manzo Ezekiel told AFP, adding that witnesses reported hearing two separate explosions.
The explosions left a hole roughly four feet deep and scattered personal items as well as human flesh across the compound, an AFP reporter and witnesses said.
“I saw bodies taken away in open trucks,” said witness Yakubu Mohammed. “It is difficult to count them because the bodies were burnt and in pieces.”
A second witness, Suleiman Aminu, said he believed the initial blast came from a minibus parked near larger commuter vehicles, and that commuters who had queued up to board were the likely target.
Nyanya is a densely populated suburb of Abuja, filled with government and civil society workers who cannot afford the city’s exorbitant rents.
Boko Haram violence has cost more than 1,500 lives already this year, but most of the unrest has affected villages in the remote northeast.
The military in May of last year launched a massive offensive to crush the Islamist uprising and has described Boko Haram as being in disarray and on the defensive.
A major attack in the capital, just a few kilometres from the seat of government, will likely cast further doubt on the success of that campaign.
Bus parks have been among Boko Haram’s most favoured targets, including multiple, coordinated bombings at a terminal in the northern city of Kano last year that killed more than 40 people….
Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has in recent video messages vowed to widen his insurgency outside the group’s northeastern stronghold.