By Heba Girgis
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa
ABUJA, Nigeria—At least six people were killed today, January 20, 2013, when a number of gunmen attacked the convoy of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero. Around noon today, the gunmen attacked the convoy of the Emir along the Zoo road. The gunmen killed the driver, his orderly and the traditional guard who tried to protect the Emir. The gunmen also wounded two of the Emir’s sons who were also part of the convoy. The Emir’s sons, the Turakin Kano and the Ciroman Kano Alh sustained some injuries and have been taken to the hospital for treatment.
Kano police spokesman Magaji Majia said, “The interim chairman of Kura local government and his driver were also killed by some gunmen who pursued them from the scene of the attack on Emir Ado Bayero.” Another official in Kano also reported, “Nothing is clear, but people are saying the attackers were not from Kano because one of them apparently asked, ‘who is the emir.’” “Two of those who died did so while shielding him from bullets,” he continued.
The Emir had been on his way back from a Quranic graduation ceremony that had taken place at Masallcin Murtala when his convoy was attacked. During the attack, the window opposite where he was seated in the vehicle was shattered, but there have been no indications that he suffered any injuries.
The 82 year old Emir fled the country after the attack and found refuge in the United Kingdom. An official noted, “The Emir left for London around 1:15pm to cool off after the traumatizing event of yesterday.”
This incident comes just one day before the first anniversary of the deadly bombings and shootings that killed 184 people in Kano last year. The assault was blamed on the Islamist sect called Boko Haram. This group has called for Sharia, Islamic law, to be applied more widely and more strictly across Nigeria. This attack marks the third such attack by gunmen on Muslim figures in northern Nigeria since July of last year. The violence linked to Boko Haram’s insurgency has left about 3,000 people dead since 2009, also including people killed during operations by the country’s security forces.
Shehu Sani, a civil society activist from northern Nigeria said it was unlikely that the attack was directly related to the events in Mali, where French soldiers have joined the Malian government against al Qaeda linked militants. “This Kano attack is a continuation of other attacks on emirs in Nigeria, who are viewed by Boko Haram as the traditional wing of the political establishment and opposed to their own Islamic agenda,” Sani said.
For further information, please see:
All Africa – At Least 6 Killed in Attack on Emir of Kano’s Convoy – 20 January 2013
Financial Times – Muslim Leader Attacked in Nigeria – 20 January 2013
Naharnet – Death Toll in Nigeria Emir Attack Rises to Five – 20 January 2013
Voice of America – 3 Killed in Nigeria Attack – 19 January 2013