By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Kano met families of victims of the explosion in Kano to express his condolences and that of the nation.
The president described the incident, where nine people were officially reported to have lost their lives and 22 were injured and receiving treatment, as sad and unfortunate.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, confirmed the president’s meeting with the affected families in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
The family members, accompanied by various community leaders resident in Sabon Gari, Kano, including Chief Nicholas Ibekwe, the Eze Igbo, were assembled at the Palace of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, for the meeting with the President.
The president, who was on a short visit to officiate at the Nigerian Air Force Day and 58th Anniversary Celebration, veered off the official programme to start with a condolence visit to the Palace.
In a brief address, the President said he was “extremely pained by the loss of lives and injury to many due to the explosion.
“My thoughts and that of the nation are with the bereaved families. I hope the injured will recover fully at the earliest possible time.”
Buhari drew parallels between Kano and his native Daura and described the palace of the Emir as his own home.
He commended the traditional institution and the people of Kano for standing with him at all times.
The Emir thanked the President for the condolences and commended him for providing a fair and just leadership.
He conveyed Kano community’s appreciation for the numerous things the federal government had done in the state and prayed for the emergence of good leaders in the coming elections.
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje announced cash support in various sums for the families of the deceased, the injured and others whose property were partly damaged or destroyed.
According to police, an investigation revealed that the explosion occurred after a mixed chemical/gas soluble was exposed to a source of heat.
The police said the chemical that caused the explosion was from the store of an alleged illegal dealer in toxic chemicals, Michael Adejo, who was also killed in the blast.
At least nine people were killed and a building destroyed in the blast in the densely populated Aba/court road, Sabon Gari area of the city. (NAN)