Shuaibu Bala yesterday gave an account of how his elder brother, Alhaji Ado Bala, a personal aide of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, died while trying to protect the monarch when he was targeted by gunmen on Saturday.
The attack on the Emir left at least seven people dead and several others injured, including Bayero’s two sons, Chiroman Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero and Turakin Kano, Alhaji Nasiru Ado Bayero.
The late Ado Bala, who was holding the title of Dan Murin Sarki, was responsible for selecting the Emir’s cook and delivering unofficial messages to the monarch.
In his narration, Shuaibu said his 34-year-old brother appeared to have a premonition of his death before joining the Emir’s motorcade to a Qur’an recitation ceremony at Murtala Mosque in Kano city on Saturday.
"He was sitting at home, unaware that he was going for the event when someone came to notify him. He then quickly wore his dress which was hanging on a wall in his room and came out. I noticed he was behaving strange as if he knew he was would not return. He placed his hands on the heads of his three children, and bid them goodbye,
At the time of the attack, the deceased, according to his brother, was sitting in the vehicle next to the emir.
"Suddenly the gunmen appeared from nowhere and began to fire shots at the emir’s vehicle. When my brother sensed that the monarch’s life was in danger, he came out of the car and rushed towards the Emir’s car. As Bala positioned himself at one of the vehicle’s windows, the gunmen shot him in the upper arm, but he still resisted and continued to stay by one of the vehicle’s rear windows together with the monarch’s orderly to shield the bullets from reaching the Emir.
"But the gunmen continued to fire at the Emir’s car, killing his driver instantly. They then turned to my brother and fired four shots that hit him in the head, chest and the left side of his stomach. The Emir’s personal guard was equally fatally shot at that moment. Both of them died on the spot," Bala narrated.
He continued: "When the assailants noticed that everyone in the car was not moving, they turned to leave, saying they were certain that they had killed the Emir who ducked in the car with his clothes all stained by the blood of his aides."
Shuaib says that the deceased’s wife was so distraught by the attack that she had to be hospitalized.
"All the deceased’s three children were less than ten years old," he said.
The monarch’s driver Kabiru Shuaibu, famously known as Sarkin Mota, according one of his relatives, was 35 years old and left behind a wife and five children. "The last of his children is less than two years old," the relation said.
The driver of the rider of Bayero’s horse-driven carriage, known as Magayaki, also lost his life in the attack. He was said to have left three wives and many children.
Similarly, at Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital it was gathered that about seven victims that sustained various degrees of injury were receiving treatment at the hospital’s emergency unit.
Some of them had blood stained bandages covering their arms and legs, while others were still receiving intravenous fluids.
One of them, AbdulRazak, who was driving one of Bayero’s sons, Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero, at the time of the incident, said he could not fathom how the attack was carried out.
"All I saw was the glasses of my vehicle breaking and collapsing as I was along Murtala Mosque Road near a police station. Before I could make sense of what was going on, I felt a painful sting in my neck. The spot started bleeding. It was a very frightful experience," he recalled.
Another injured victim, Junaidu Abdullahi, who was wounded on his upper thigh, was selling recharge cards close to the area. He recalled that the gunmen, numbering six, came in a vehicle and began sporadically into the neighbourhood after attacking the Emir’s motorcade.
"Everyone was scared and we all tried to rush indoors. It was in my attempt to lock the gates of the house I ran into, that one of the attackers shot at me," he recounted.
According to witness near the Murtala Mosque, the assailants first began to pick their weapons from a Volkswagen Golf car, which had been parked in the area for a long time.
"The youths sauntered out of the various lanes in the surrounding, took the weapons and stationed themselves in vantage points that enabled them to launch the assault without problems," one of the witnesses said.
"Everybody around fled when they heard sounds of gunshots rattling the environment," he said.
Another witness, who was selling dates, recalled that all the traders around the scene abandoned their wares and fled. "I lost all my dates to surging crowds of people fleeing to safety. Children and other adults passing by stole them as they bolted...But I have taken the loss as an act of God," he said.
It was noticed that most shops and businesses operating near the scene of the attack have closed and movement of both human and vehicles was scarce. "You don’t expect to see life normal here just a day after such a horrendous event. Everybody is thoroughly terrified," a resident said.