Gunmen killed 23 people in Borno and Kano states in attacks that appeared to target gamblers and people selling ‘forbidden’ meat that Islamist militants disapprove of, officials and locals said on Tuesday.
In a ruthless attack late on Monday, gunmen opened fire at a market in the town of Damboa, targeting local hunters who sell bush meat from animals such as monkeys and pigs, which strict Muslims are forbidden to eat, a local official said.
“Gunmen suspected to be members of BH (Islamist sect Boko Haram) came to the town market and shot dead 13 local hunters on the spot while five others died from their injuries at the hospital,” Alhaji Abba Ahmed said. “They came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car, carried out the operation and left.”
In a separate attack in Kano on Tuesday, suspected Boko Haram members, riding on motorcycles, shot dead five people playing an outdoor board game, witnesses and a hospital source, who received the bodies, said.
Two others were wounded.
Damboa is in the remote northeast, the sect’s heartland near the borders with Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Meanwhile, President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, on Tuesday condemned the attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.
The condemnation by Abubakar, who is also the Sultan of Sokoto, was contained in a statement by Ustaz Amin Igwegbe, Director of Administraion, NSCIA, in Abuja.
The statement quoted Abubakar as describing the attack as senseless and irresponsible.
He described the attack as “incomprehensible, irresponsible and a senseless gun attack on one of the most revered traditional rulers in the country.”
It appealed to security agencies at all levels to intensify investigations into that act of terrorism and extremism with a view to bringing the culprits to book.
Also, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, on Tuesday expressed sadness over the recent gun attack on Bayero, praying that God would perfect his healing process.
Oritsejafor in a statement by his Personal Assistant, Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, said, “The attack is disturbing and totally condemnable.”
The cleric said, “Although, Nigerians are yet to know those behind the barbaric act, I want to, again, appeal to northern political, religious and traditional leaders to say and do more in order to, practically, engage those responsible for the ‘madness’ going on in northern Nigeria and find ways to help end this nightmare.”
In the same vein, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has advocated a conscious youth employment policy between the Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation to solve “assassination attacks” in the country.
Aregbesola in a statement on Tuesday described the attack on the Kano monarch as “unconscionable and sacrilegious”.