A series of weekend attacks in northern Bauchi state left at least four injured, several dead and thousands of residents in fear.
According to police reports, the first major attack hit the Bayan Gari area when an explosion at the People’s Hotel disrupted nightlife in the popular area, notorious for commercial sex work activities and drug trafficking.
The hotel, located behind the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa stadium, was hard hit at about 9 p.m. on Sunday night just as customers packed the joint and the hotel business was booming.
He described the incident as very traumatizing because nobody expected something like that to happen. According to him, the hotel has since its commencement not recorded a single ugly incident not to talk of a bomb explosion.
One eye witness, who said he was grateful to be alive, said “we heard a loud bang that almost deafened my ear drums. Before we knew it there was confusion and shouting everywhere. People were scampering for safety and at that time, nobody was sure who was wounded or who died.”
Police reports recorded no casualties, but said four were injured in the attack, including the bomber.
Bauchi state Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan, said the injured victims are currently receiving medical treatment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Hospital.
He said three of the victims have already been discharged.
Ladan said the remaining victim, also suspected to be the bomber, sustained more dangerous injuries and is still at the hospital.
“We are still investigating the matter. Part of the building was blown off by the blast and there was no record of casualty”.
A security guard working at the hotel said the spot had long been a target for sect militants. He said the hotel had been on guard recently, fearing a pending attack and was about to close early when the attack happened.
Meanwhile, two police officers and a civilian were killed during a coordinated attack on two police stations and three new banks in the state.
The attacks occurred at about 1 a.m. on Saturday when the assailants hit First Bank, Access Bank and GTB in the Misau and Shira LGAs in Yana town.
Ladan also confirmed those attacks, but blamed hoodlums for the attacks on the banks.
“The police are yet to ascertain the extent of damage and investigations are still on-going,” he said.
Police sources cited by the Vanguard believe the murdered civilian was in fact one of the attackers.
According to the reports, the assailants were successful in carting away all the funds in the banks attacked.