For the first time since the dreaded Boko Haram appeared on the country’s scene, Nigerians, especially those resident in the 19 northern States and Abuja, had a bombing-free Christmas and New Year celebrations. In fact, some Nigerians, as investigations revealed, heaved a sigh of relief, thinking, "at last, bombings are gradually reducing." Little did they know that they’d heaved the sigh of relief too soon.
Exactly 18 days after the New Year celebration, the terrorists went for the kill, but they missed their target - the Emir Kano. Although no group, including the new one, Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (meaning Vanguards for the protection of Muslims in Black Africa) has claimed responsibility for the gun attack on the Kano monarch, the signature of last Saturday’s attack, however, bore that of Boko Haram.
Besides, the Saturday, January 19, 2013, an attack came just a day to the one-year anniversary of the first major attack on the ancient city of Kano by the Boko Haram. But the Ansarul group, whose name is similar to one of the major groups fighting in Mali, has since claimed responsibility for the attack on the Mali-bound Nigerian soldiers in a village near Okene in Kogi State, where two soldiers were said to have lost their lives.
Incidentally, the attack on the Emir of Kano occurred on the same day with the one that claimed the lives of the Mali-bound Nigerian soldiers. Since then, series of explosives have been recovered by security operatives in Jos, Kaduna, Gombe, Damaturu, Kaduna, Kano and Maiduguri, with some hitting their targets. The attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, did not just happen.
Investigations revealed that before last Saturday’s attack, there have been pockets of killings within and around Kano by suspected terrorists. Prominent among these is the one that occurred just two days before the attack on the Emir, where four persons, including two suspected terrorists died in a shoot-out with soldiers at a checkpoint in Mariri area of the state capital. Before then, it was further gathered, four policemen were killed in the same week by gunmen suspected to be terrorists.