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Kano bus bombing, controversial pardon lead Nigeria’s newspapers

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This Day caption “Scores Killed, Others injured as Bombers Hit Kano Motor Park”, saying that after a short lull, suicide bombers struck in Kano, on Monday, leaving scores of people dead and several injured.

Those killed in the serial explosions, which occurred at New Road in the densely populated Sabon Gari area of the state capital, other sources put the death toll at between 25 and 60, the newspaper said.

The Punch newspaper also reported “Bomb blasts kill 30 at Kano motor park” with a rider “CAN says explosions show hypocrisy in call for amnesty”.

It said that Monday was yet another bloody day in Kano as over 30 passengers, drivers and visitors lost their lives to explosions at an inter-state luxury bus park in the city.

The cause of the explosions which President Goodluck Jonathan described as barbaric, was uncertain as of 8pm on Monday.

The Chairman of the Kano chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Tobias Idika, said records available to him showed that more than 60 persons died and five luxury buses burnt, the newspaper said.

“25 die in Kano as bombers attack Lagos-bound bus” is the caption of The Nation newspaper and reported that the attack, which occurred at about 4.30 pm during the peak period, was targeted at the 59-seater luxury bus, which was blown up as it was departing the park.

Eyewitnesses said three suicide bombers positioned their Golf car, which had been primed with explosives, between Gobison Luxury Bus and one other before detonating the explosives.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said last night the death toll could not be ascertained. NEMA spokesman Yushau Shuaib, in text messages said: “Rescuers and security personnel are yet to determine the source of explosions that occurred this evening at a motor park for long journeys in New Road, Sabo Gari. While casualty figure is not available at the moment, the seriously injured have been taken to the hospital and bodies evacuated.”

The scene was immediately cordoned off by men of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) to pave the way for the evacuation of the victims, who were taken to the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital.

Newspapers also reported that American billionaire and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has cancelled his proposed visit to Nigeria over the amnesty granted to convicted governor thief and some other criminals as the Punch newspaper captioned it, “Alamieyeseigha: Bill Gates cancels visit to Nigeria”.

The newspaper said Bill Gates has cancelled his planned official visit to Nigeria scheduled for 27th March .

Gates’action, it was believed was part of an unfolding diplomatic row between the US and Nigeria following the controversial pardon granted by President Goodluck Jonathan to ex-convicts Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Shettima Bulama.

He was scheduled to meet President Goodluck Jonathan, state governors and officials of the Federal Ministry of Health on the polio eradication campaign of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Diplomatic sources said the trip was cancelled, two days after the US government expressed disappointment with the Federal Government for pardoning convicted money launderers.

Gate and America’s reactions received a boost as protest march has been planned by a group as captioned by the Nigerian Tribune, “Group plans one million-man march to protest Alam’s state pardon”.

The newspaper reported that an NGO, Veteran Group for Operation Clean Crusade (VGOCC), has demanded urgent revocation of prerogative of mercy granted ex-governor of Bayelsa State, Chief D.S.P Alamieyeseigha, within seven days.

The group threatened to go on peaceful demonstration with one million people if the decision was not rescinded.

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