We Saw Hell – Taraba Bomb Blast Victims Tell Their Stories


The victims of the bomb blast which occurred at a drinking spot in the Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State have attributed their survival to divine intervention.

Several persons were reported killed and many others injured in the blast in Iware town on April 19.

The Islamic State of West Africa Province had claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, who condemned the attack, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Bala Dan-Abu, described it as barbaric, wicked and an act of unprovoked aggression against innocent people.

However, two of the injured victims, Clement Targema and Joshua Johnson, told Sunday PUNCH on their hospital beds at the Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo, that they.

Targema, who said he lost his wife, said he was making a phone call in front of his shop while his wife was attending customers when the bomb went off.

“The bomb might have been planted there but none of us was aware. All of a sudden, I heard a blast. I went off and when I regained consciousness, I saw my wife lifeless on the ground. Only God saved me and only God can tell how I survived. Many people died in the blast just in a matter of seconds.”

“My wife will be buried tomorrow, it’s painful that I can not see how she will be buried. I can only pray for her soul to continue to rest with the lord.”

The 40-year-old businessman, who said he had spent N43,700 on drugs and tests, added that he had been receiving free treatment since Wednesday.

“We heard rumours that the government has taken over our treatment bills and since Wednesday, they (hospital’s management) have stopped asking us to buy drugs. The Governors of Taraba and Rivers were here to see us. After they left, we were also given N5,000. While I thank them for visiting us, we want the government to do more to stop the recurrence of the incident,” he added.

On his part, Johnson, aged 23 from Mayo Reneo, said he was discussing with his friends when he suddenly found himself on the ground.

“It was at about 4pm when the incident happened. The sound of the explosion was enough to kill a person, but thank God I am alive.”

The Director, Reaching Unreached Refugees and Peace Initiative, Dr Theophilus Songo, who also condemned the attack, urged security agencies and the government to be proactive to prevent further attacks.

Songo added, “It is a wake-up call for our security agencies to brace up and tackle the ugly trend head-on to avoid a repeat of the incident. Taraba residents must equally be vigilant and conscious of the people they relate with.”

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