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Untold story of Kano female teen bomber

Zahara’u Babangida told newsmen at the Kano State Police Command headquarters last week Thursday December 24, 2014, that her father was the one who took…

Zahara’u Babangida told newsmen at the Kano State Police Command headquarters last week Thursday December 24, 2014, that her father was the one who took her to a bush and handed her over to Boko Haram insurgents to be used as suicide bomber.
She also said she left her mother in the bush as her father took them there together. She explained that she decided not to detonate the bombs  arranged on her body, as she was against taking innocent lives.
The Kano State Commissioner of Police, Tashheed Adenrele Shinaba, said the police decided to parade Zahara’u to dispel the rumours making the rounds on the two recent bomb blasts in Kano.
One of the revelations made by Zahara’u when the police paraded her was that her parents had lived in Dawanau area of Kano before they relocated to Bauchi State. Dawanau is on the outskirts of the city where the famous International Grains Market is located.
Findings by Weekly Trust confirmed her claims as the house where Zahara’u and her parents once lived was traced. Neighbours said  they had identified her to the management of the hospital that she had visited for treatment of the injuries she sustained after the attack at Kantin Kwari Market, because they recognised her as a girl who lived in the area with her parents.
A neighbour, who preferred anonymity, said: “On the day of the attack she arrived Dawanau at about 6pm. After she had alighted from the Adaidaita Sahu (tricycle) that brought her to the area, she told the people around that she was one of those who were affected by the bomb blasts at the Kantin Kwari Market. She therefore requested them to take her to a hospital.
“The Adaidaita Sahu rider together with the residents around took Zahara’u to a hospital in the neighbourhood. However, having seen her condition, the hospital management demanded that someone who knows her as a resident of the area to identify her. She mentioned the name of a female resident in the area, and the woman went down to the hospital and innocently identified her as the daughter of a neighbour who once lived in the area.”
The hospital where Zahara’u was treated is just a stone’s throw from the house  her parents lived in before they left for Bauchi, Weekly Trust learnt.
As Zahara’u was being attended to at the hospital, some residents noticed that the Adaidaita Sahu rider was offloading some packages.’
“When the rider was queried, he told the residents around that the consignments were Zahara’u’s. When she was confronted, she denied that the load was hers. An argument ensued between her and the rider. This raised anxiety among residents. At the end Zahara’u accepted that the load was hers. Nobody knew what the load was, but the argument between Zahara’u and the rider made residents to suspect foul play. It was on this ground that the police were invited. As the police arrived and inspected, they called special policemen. Those specialists identified Zahara’u’s load as bombs,” our source said.
He added that: “So they took Zahara’u away from the hospital. The police also came back to arrest the woman who identified Zahara’u, her husband and his other wife, and they are still in police custody. We are disturbed by this arrest because the women in police custody are all nursing mothers.”
Weekly Trust learnt that the name of the man who was arrested is Idris Usman, aged 43 years, and he was arrested because his house is attached to the house in which Zahara’u’s parents lived.
A friend of Usman’s, Auwalu Usaini, said when Zahara’u’s parents were leaving the area, Usman bought their house for N500,000.Usaini, a close friend of Idris, said the two wives of Idris were first arrested by the police soon after Zahara’u was taken away.
“In this type of settlement, it is difficult to know what your neighbours do in secret.  When he returned home and found that his wives were taken by the police, he followed them to the station. Up till now they have not returned,” Usaini lamented.
Many residents of Dawanau interviewed confirmed that they knew Zahara’u’s father before he relocated from the area.
“There was nothing unusual about him. I know him because I was even involved in the process of selling the house when he was about to leave the area,” one resident said, declining to give his name.
The District Head of Dawanau, Malam Mukhtar Sa’idu, said Zahara’u’s father relocated to the area from Bauchi State, and did not stay long in Dawanau before he left.
“Zahara’u’s parents lived in this area for about two years, and it is 18 months since their departure. As far as I know when the man was living here, there was no report of suspicious activity that was linked to him,” Sa’idu said.
On the man that was arrested with his wives over the incident, the District Head said he has met him twice, stressing that: “His worries were about his wives who are with him in detention for no fault of theirs. That is why I want to call on my people to be more vigilant by reporting anybody found to be involved in any suspicious activity.”

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