The Secretary General of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria, Nasir Mamman, has said over 100 of his colleagues perished in Sunday’s deadly bomb blast in Kaduna.
Mr. Mamman’s revelation is coming even as the police said only five persons died in the incident while the state emergency agency put the casualty figure at 38.
Mr. Mamman, who spoke to the media in Kaduna Monday, said, “Yesterday was a very dark day for us. This is because we lost our members and other innocent Nigerians. On the average, over 100 of our members lost their lives.”
Mr. Mamman said even as at the time he was speaking to the media, many families of okada riders were still searching for their breadwinners who were commercial motorcyclists, adding that the actual number of dead bike riders could not be determined yet.
He said the compilation of the casualty figure would continue in the days ahead.
Mr. Mamman also said his association was planning an emergency meeting of the Association in Kaduna to conduct an accurate census of members with a view to finding out the exact number of missing riders.
Danjuma Isa, the chairman of the Kano Road branch of the association, who also oversees the activities of the body at Junction Road, the site of the blast, said some members were burnt beyond recognition, thus corroborating an earlier report by our reporter on the scene who said charred remains of victims were seen all over the blast site shortly after the incident.
Mr. Isa said, “Families of some of our members have been trooping to various hospitals in the state to search for their loved ones. You cannot even identify some of the dead because they were burnt beyond recognition.”