Alhaji Mohammed Manga, Nigeria’s First Suicide Bomber
Full Names & Titles: Alhaji Mohammed Manga
He was a Fulani from Adamawa State but grew up in Maiduguri where he later succumbed to the Islamist teachings and ideologies of the late Mohammed Yusuf, the slain leader of the Boko Haram sect.
BIRTH & EARLY DAYS
He was born around 1976 as he was 35 as at the time he carried out the suicide bombing.
CAREER AND LATER DAYS
As reported by the Blueprint, Mohammed Manga was a business man and he did fairly well before he decided to kill himself. Amongst his friends and business associates, he was referred to as Alhaji Manga. He started out as a commercial and private driver and later, few years before the Boko Haram uprising in July 2009, he began travelling to Cotonou in Benin Republic and then later Dubai, United Arab Emirates to buy various goods. He was also described as one of the main pillars behind the provision of weapons for Boko Haram.
LOVE, MARRIAGE & FAMILY
He was married with five children. Before he left for his journey of terror, he had left the sum of more than N4 million in his will for his kids –two girls and three boys. He had also encouraged other Muslims to sacrifice their lives in the path of jihad.
THE SUICIDE BOMBING
On the 16th June, 2011, the first case of suicide bombing was recorded in Nigeria when Manga rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the Louis Edet House, the headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force and blew up the whole cargo on behalf of Boko Haram. He had driven overnight all the way from Maiduguri to Abuja to execute the attack in the morning, where he killed five people including a police officer and destroyed many cars in the blast.
It is also believed that Manga must have been accompanied by at least one collaborator, who was responsible for taking his last photograph alive as he drove through the streets of the nation’s capital. The accomplice(s) might have left the car before Manga reached the Force Headquarters.
Contrary to the initial reports by the police, Manga used a Honda 86 model to carry out his heinous act, and not a Mercedes Benz V-boot. This piece was revealed to theBlueprint newspaper by the top commanders of the Jama’atu Ahl-Sunnati-Lil-Daawati-Wal-Jihad, better known as Boko Haram in a phone interview done in Hausa with the group’s spokesperson named Abu Zaid who said: ‘He was calm and never hesitated or showed fear.’ Abu Zaid said further that everyone at the scene that night on the eve of the bombing felt jealous and envious, wishing that it was their ‘chance to act and gain entry into paradise’.
He also said that the primary target of the attack was none other than the then Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Hafiz Ringim and stated that it was no different from their attacks in the past and that this particular one was catalyzed all of a sudden in response to Ringim’s boast that Boko Haram would be eradicated in a matter of weeks. On the 15th of June 2011, Ringim was in the Government House, Maiduguri where he told a gathering which included the Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima while receiving 10 armoured personnel carriers that the Borno State Government had donated to the police:
“Now that the (general) elections are over, our attention would be concentrated and I want to assure you that the days of the Boko Haram are numbered.
Abu Zaid who also insisted that the explosives used in the meticulously-planned attack (the IGP narrowly escaped) was a ready-made one acquired from abroad, also saying that several of them will be used in future attacks. He also said:
“I was surprised when the police said the car was a Mercedes ‘V-Boot’…It was never a Mercedes. The car used for the attack was an ash-colour Honda 86. We are surprised over the way the police are confused anytime we strike.”
CREDITS & REFERENCES
–Ahmad Salkida, Blueprint, Sahara Reporters.