How the Blast Targeted at Buhari Occured – Buhari’s Security Aide
Ibahim Abubakar has a been a security aide of the former Military Head of State and the opposition politician, Major General Muhammadu Buhari for about 15years now. He was the person who saw how the suicide bomb attack on the General occurred and its aftermath. He spoke on his hospital bed in Kaduna.
What happened before and after the bomb blast?
We were escorting General Muhammadu Buhari from Kaduna in a convoy of three cars to Daura for the Sallah festivities. But on reaching the highway, there were a lot of motorists and people from the surrounding settlements in Kaduna who trooped into the metropolis to witness the closing session of the annual Ramadan Tafsir by Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi which had closed. They were going out of Kaduna.
On reaching the Hayin Banki U-turn, we noticed a saloon car – not the Sienna as speculated – trying to overtake us from the right at a top speed. I was seated on the right hand side at the back of the car – the owner’s corner. I flagged the driver to slow down to avoid knocking down pedestrians. We were approaching the fly-over bridge when the blast occurred. The first of the three SUVs was containing mobile policemen. The centre was conveying the General and the third was the back-up car that I and my other colleagues were in.
How did the blast occur?
While flagging down the man with my hand, asking him to slow down, I just heard a loud explosion. Smoke covered the whole area. The window glass was shattered. The car’s tyres were flattened by shrapnel and I heard people screaming and shouting for help. I tried to come out, but the cars door switched to automatic lock and refused to open. We then went out of the car through the window, that is through the left-hand side of the car.
We saw many corpses and then rushed to check on the General. The surprising thing was, before we reached his car, the General had opened his car and alighted from it. He was looking at the corpses. He waved at the people, but we quickly surrounded him so as to give him protection. Then, some people realised that it was the General. They started shouting. Note that the General Buhari doesn’t want us to use the siren or revolving light in his convoy to clear the way for him.
When we realized that the cars had been damaged, we then tried to call the house or office for another car to be brought to convey the General back home. We rushed away from the place in case of the explosion of another bomb. We then encircled the General from the people and went to the other lane and got a Golf 3 car to take the General back home. Some security operatives entered the car and drove him back home. We then got some other cars and took the luggage home, while those of us who sustained injuries (there were three of us) went to the hospital.
What time did you embark on the journey?
We embarked on the journey around past two in the afternoon.
Did you hear about the Alkali Road attack, involving Dahiru Bauchi, before you embarked on your journey?
Yes. We heard of the Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi’s attack. It was around twelve to one. And we did not think something like that could happened to us.
Who among you were wounded?
I, Abubabar Ibrahim, Yau Abdullahi and Inspector Mike Reuben. The front and back cars had casualties as the tyres of the cars were flattened.
What was your injury?
My finger has a fracture. And because the bomb exploded on my side, I am suffering from the impact of the loud bang of the explosion. The Inspector has sustained injuries on his head and a big cut on his forearm and Abdullahi Yau has a wound on his hand and on his elbow. We were then discharged.
Why are you back in hospital now?
I came because of the fracture on my hand. The large numbers of sympathizers was too many for me to handle, coupled with numerous phone calls and the impact of the blast. The combination of these did not allow me to sleep. That’s why I came back in the hospital.
Since when did you really notice the car following you?
I cannot remember exactly, because of the traffic and the people who came for the closing sermon of Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi.
What of the allegation that a man was arrested wearing a Muslim women’s Hijab-veil?
I cannot tell. But I can’t remember everything around us because we were trying to ensure the safety of the General.
How long have you been working with General Muhammadu Buhari?
For about fifteen years now. I am happy that the General and all of us in the convoy is alive.
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