By Danladi Al-Hassan
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with families of victims of bomb blasts at a viewing centre in Mandarari, Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, on Sunday.
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina in Abuja, Monday sent condolences to the government and people of the state over attacks by suicide bombers.
President Buhari decried the heinous acts, stressing that perpetrators of evil acts have judgment awaiting them, not only from man, via the long arms of the law, but also from God Almighty.
Thirty people were killed late on June 16 in a triple suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria, in an attack bearing the hallmarks of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall in Konduga, 38 kilometres (24 miles) from the Borno state capital Maiduguri, where football fans were watching a match on TV.
President Buhari urged security agents to sustain surveillance in all theatres of security challenges in the country, taking into consideration the unconventional methods deployed by terrorists to harm innocent and unsuspecting victims.
He commended the efforts of emergency response workers and humanitarian organizations and prayed that God will grant the souls of the departed eternal rest and comfort their families.
An earlier toll from the blasts, the bloodiest in months, gave 17 dead and 17 wounded. The attack happened around 9:00 pm (1800 GMT), said Ali Hassan, the leader of a self-defence group in the town.
The owner of hall prevented one of the bombers from entering the packed venue.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack bore the imprint of Boko Haram, which has led a decade-long campaign to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
The last suicide attack was in April this year when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the garrison town of Monguno, killing a soldier and a vigilante and injuring another soldier.
Konduga has been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers from a Boko Haram faction loyal to longtime leader Abubakar Shekau.
The faction typically carries out suicide attacks against soft civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, often using young women and girls as bombers.
The terrorists are believed to sneak into the town from the group’s haven in nearby Sambisa forest. Eight worshippers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in the town last July.
The bloody operations of Boko Haram’s insurgency has claimed more than 27,000 lives and forced some two million to flee their homes. The violence has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting the formation of a regional military coalition to battle the insurgents.
In 2016, a faction of Boko Haram split from the group, becoming the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).