Angry reactions have trailed Wednesday’s twin bombing that killed at least 40 people in Kaduna.
The two bombs targeted a leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari and a prominent Islamic Cleric, Dahiru Bauchi, respectively.
While Mr. Bauchi was attacked in the first explosion, Buhari, a former Head of State was attacked in the second one while on his way to his home town in Daura, Katsina State.
The APC leader, whose two aides were injured in the attack which took place in Kawo area of the city, said it was an assassination attempt on him.
The two men escaped unhurt.
President Goodluck Jonathan in a statement by his media aide, Reuben Abati condemned the attacks.
“President Jonathan denounces the dastardly targeting of the prominent political and religious leaders by terrorists and enemies of the nation in an odious attempt to inflame passions and exacerbate disquiet, fear, insecurity and sectional divisions in the country,” the statement said.
“While thanking God Almighty for sparing the lives of General Buhari and Sheikh Dahiru Bauchi, the President extends sincere condolences to the families of those who were sadly killed by the bomb blasts.
“President Jonathan also commiserates with all those who were injured in the attacks in the Holy Month of Ramadan which defy the tenets of Islam, and provide further proof that the terrorists are nothing but blood-thirsty extremists bent on undermining the unity and progress of the nation.”
Mr. Jonathan assured residents of Kaduna and all other Nigerians that the Federal Government would further intensify its ongoing efforts to curb the menace of terrorism in the country.
He directed the police and other national security agencies to take all necessary actions to apprehend the perpetrators of Wednesday’s attacks.
A former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, said the attacks confirmed that Nigeria was in the grip of terror and that sadly, Nigerians were now in the hands of a “buck passing and blackmailing” presidency.
“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on General Buhari and his convoy and the innocent Nigerians that suffered untimely deaths,” Mr. Tinubu said in a statement.
“I thank God that Gen. Buhari’s life was spared for greater service to the fatherland. Under an increasingly incompetent and incoherent PDP- government, Nigeria slips into a low intensity war. We are all marked people under a government that prefers to label and attack opposition rather than apply itself to providing security and good governance.”
Mr. Tinubu, who is also a leader of the APC, stated that the attacks were a bad omen that signposts a future filled with danger and uncertainty.
He said the party had put forward concrete suggestions on how to tackle the terrorism, but the Jonathan administration had consistently rejected them.
He said, “Unfortunately, Nigeria is saddled with a leadership totally intolerant of ideas, suggestions and advice that do not emanate from them. We in the APC has put forward concrete suggestions which have been consistently rejected and snared at by the PDP led Jonathan government.
“Instead of reaching out and paying attention to our suggestions, they have turned the guns on us and are manipulating and doctoring reports and stories to label us. It is a label that is false. It is a label that will not stick. We are patriots and stand united against anyone who wants to do this great country harm.
“This government has raised the art of ‘scapegoating’ to a new level. Rather than govern, they have politicized everything to the detriment of Nigerians and Nigeria.
“There can be no justification for the continued loss of innocent lives and the unending attacks. I call upon those with the power, the resources and in charge of the security apparatus of this country to get up and do something before we all are consumed.”
Some loyalists of Mr. Buhari under the aegis of Buhari Vanguard said the government must act quickly to curb terrorism in the country.
“We are frightened that these attacks by suspected Boko Harram members have assumed a dangerous dimension and we fear that if this is not controlled immediately, our nation Nigeria may never recover from the negative results of this insurgence,” the group said.
“One cannot help but imagine what would have been happening in Nigeria now if Gen Muhammadu Buhari and the popular Islamic cleric, Dahiru Bauchi were killed in these attacks today. The nation would have been in turmoil and the extent of further damages may be unimaginable,” the group said.
The umbrella body of Islamic organisations in Nigeria, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, also condemned the bomb blasts.
JNI prayed God to bring an end to “this nagging evil, disgrace the perpetrators”.
Also in a statement by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, demanded a thorough investigation.
“Our recent history reminds us of the NADECO days when we witnessed series of bomb blasts in Lagos traced to then General Sani Abacha’s regime. This makes imperative it for thorough investigation,” Mr. Okechukwu said.