Lagos: Bomb blasts at two bustling bus stations killed 29 people and wounded 105, officials said today after Nigeria’s new president warned that the US refusal to sell his country strategic weapons is “aiding and abetting” Boko Haram. Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency called today for urgent blood donations to treat 105 wounded people, according to spokesman Sani Datti who said at least 29 bodies have been recovered.
Yesterday night’s bombings in northeastern Gombe town are the latest in a series by Islamic extremists that has spilled across Nigeria’s borders. In neighboring Cameroon yesterday, two suicide bombers killed at least 18 people at a marketplace near the border, officials said. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari returned home Thursday to the capital, Abuja, from a four-day visit to the United States where he was warmly received by President Barack Obama, but failed to get all he wanted. “Buhari returns to Abuja, with no weapons sale from USA,” said a headline in The News.
Buhari told policy makers at the US Institute for Peace on Wednesday that Nigeria’s armed forces are “largely impotent” because they do not possess the appropriate weapons to fight Boko Haram. He urged the US president, Congress and government to find ways around the Leahy Law that prohibits sales of certain weapons to countries whose military are accused of gross human rights violations.
Amnesty International charges Nigeria’s military is responsible for the deaths of 8,000 detainees — twice as many as Boko Haram’s victims in the first four years of its 6-year-old insurgency. “The application of the Leahy law … has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorist group in the prosecution of its extremist ideology and hate, the indiscriminate killings and maiming of civilians, in raping of women and girls, and in their other heinous crimes,” Buhari said.