Posted by News Express | 25 December 2014 | 4,226 times
The ancient city of Kano was thrown into shock yesterday following the confession of a 13-year-old suspected suicide bomber arrested by the police in the wake of the twin bomb blast that rocked the city's textile market. The girl revealed that she was conscripted as a suicide bomber by her biological father.
Zaharau Babangida said: ‘it began one day when my father took my mum and I to a forest in Bauchi where we met people claiming to be working for God.”
The frail-looking Zaharau also said: “In the Bauchi forest I met some other girls who I guessed were my age mates and their leader told us to give our lives to God and enjoy the bounties of heaven.
“I was not moved by the soul-stirring preaching of bounties in the heaven and it was at this point that their leader resorted to threat and intimidation to obtain my consent. We were shown a deep hole where the leader of the group threatened to bury us alive at any point if any of us refused to play along, and at another time he picked a big gun and threatened to shoot anyone who failed to obey his command.”
Zaharau, who told reporters that she hails from Damaturu, the capital city of Yobe State, disclosed that “it was at this point my father stepped forward to persuade me to play along, and told me to prepare to die as martyr and clear the way for him to join me soon.”
Speaking in a fluent Hausa dialect, she further said: “When I was confronted with option of death, I chose to play along hoping to find an escape route one day.”
On the Kano bomb blast, Zaharau Babangida said: “I and two other girls were conveyed to Kano and quartered at the outskirt of the city by a man I could hardly remember his name, and this same man conveyed all of us to the market square and deployed us at strategic positions at Kwari market on the day we struck.
“I was taken aback when my partners were shattered to pieces barely a second after they detonated. I then rushed out of the scene to pick a commercial rickshaw to a hospital in Dawanau area of the city for medical treatment, and doctors were already attending to me when the driver of the Keke NAPEP resurfaced and showed me a metal object and requested to know whether it was mine, to which I answered in affirmative.
“I told him the object he dangled before me is a bomb and it's mine, and in no time armed soldiers picked me from my sick bed to their headquarters.”
Earlier in the day, the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigeria Police had paraded Zaharau as one of the suicide bombers that attacked Kano Textile Market on December 10.
The Commissioner of Police, Adelenre Shinaba, who was flanked by the State Director of DSS, Mr. Basey Ettang, explained that the arrest was as a result of synergy among the security agents in the state.
•Adapted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows failed suicide bomber Zaharau Babangida.
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