Update: #Yola streets remain quiet after Tuesday attack

Reports now indicate that about 40 people may were killed due to the bomb blast in Yola Tuesday night. A journalist who was present at the site of the bombing, Mr. Sherriff Al Hassan, confirmed the attack was committed by a lone suicide bomber. Emergency services and security officials arrived on the scene late and, as a result of this, were unable to agree on the number of casualties involved in the bombings.

Mr. Sherriff told Ventures Africa there had been no official statement from the government after the attack because the Governor of Adamawa state, Bindow Jibrilla, was in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, when the attack occurred. However, Governor Jibrilla arrived yesterday and immediately called for an emergency security meeting. One of the resolutions of the meeting was a ban on night markets. “Henceforth all markets in the state should not operate beyond  6:00pm. The measure is taken to safeguard lives and properties,” he said to journalist after the meeting. This news was seen as a blow to market women, whose only source of income was selling fruits and vegetables to people returning from their different places of work in the evening.

Most of the victims of the attack were street hawkers, buyers, shop owners, and taxi drivers who were nearby. Yesterday, the streets were eerily quiet as people locked themselves in their homes in fear of a follow-up attack.

Reports emerged from Maiduguri that eight members of the Boko Haram group were wanted by the police. One of the terrorists was apprehended by the military, and confessed that there were eight other associates of the terrorist organisation.  He said they might have crossed the border between Borno State and Adamawa State in a Hilux van filled with explosives. There are rumours that yesterday’s suicide bomber was one of those terrorists. However, efforts are underway to apprehend these individuals who are still-at-large.

President Buhari was in Yola five days ago to visit internally displaced people and soldiers stationed there, where he made a promise to the people that “Boko Haram will be a thing of the past.” However, Tuesday’s attacks suggest otherwise. Over the past few months, the Nigerian Military has recorded significant victories against Boko Haram, pushing them into their alleged headquarters in the Sambisa Forest. But, it appears the terrorist group has changed tactics and has reverted to bombing churches, mosques, markets and bus stations.

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