World Bulletin / News Desk
Hundreds of angry youths staged a demonstration late Tuesday in Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's restive northeastern Borno state, to protest a car bombing which left at least 30 people killed.
The protesters went round the heavily guarded city burning tyres and setting ablaze any vehicle bearing the insignia or pictures of former Borno governor Ali Modu-Sheriff.
"The thinking among the youths is that Modu-Sheriff was behind the blast that killed many people today," Hassan Zanna Boguma, an indigene of Maiduguri, told Anadolu Agency.
"Never again will our people watch while some selfish individuals continue to endanger the lives of millions for selfish gains," he said.
At least 30 people have been confirmed dead in the car bombing.
"We have counted up to 30 bodies as at 3pm but our colleagues on the field said more bodies are coming and that there are charred bodies at the scene of the attack," Ismaila Dogo who works with the Red Cross told AA earlier this evening.
He said the bodies have been deposited at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
More than 20 vehicles and many roadside tents have reportedly been destroyed in the explosion.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
But many of the angry protesters blamed Modu-Sheriff, a powerful politician alleged to have links with the Boko Haram militant group.
Modu-Sheriff, known in local politics as SAS, was once a top target for questioning as security agents pounced on alleged sponsors of the insurgency.
No case was brought against him in spite of allegations that he has "strong links" with the Boko Haram fighters.
Late Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf served in Modu-Sheriff's government as commissioner for religious affairs before he resigned to protest alleged government corruption.
Modu-Sheriff, who was governor of Borno between 1999 and 2007, was not immediately available for comment.
Repeated calls to his phone went unanswered.
The angry protesters attempted to burn down a house belonging to Deputy Governor Zannah Mustapha, an associate of Modu-Sheriff.
Modu-Sheriff, a chieftain of the country's mega opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), is believed to be visiting Maiduguri today, more than one year after he last visited the troubled city.
He was instrumental to the election of incumbent governor Kashim Shettima. Both men have since parted ways.
Borno is one of the three northeastern states slammed with emergency rule as a result of Boko Haram insurgency.
Local politics may have been at the roots of the protest, especially that security agencies merely repelled the protesters without casualties or any arrest.
Politicians are notorious for funding such protests to discredit their rivals.Last Mod: 15 Ocak 2014, 14:16