How I survived Abuja EMAB explosion, injured student narrates

I could not tell if I was still on fire. All I knew was that my whole body was so hot and for a second I was restless.”

Michael Anyanacho woke up in the early hours of Wednesday morning to go
to EMAB Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, where he works to earn extra money for

The student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, works as a
phone repairer at the plaza, visited by hundreds of Abuja residents

“When (school is) on break I repair phones so I can earn little to
take back with me but, presently, school is in session. I just came home
for a little break and decided to work as usual because I don’t depend
solely on my parents,” Michael explained.

However, on that fateful Wednesday, towards the close of work,
Michael found himself running away from EMAB Plaza, his body on fire.

“My legs and hands were on fire,” he narrated to PREMIUM TIMES from
his hospital bed at the National Hospital, Abuja. “I had to run as fast
as my legs could take me, to put out the fire on my body and also to
prevent my whole body from burning up.”

Michael was repairing a customer’s phone when the bomb explosion occurred at about 4:00 p.m.

“A customer of mine brought his hardware for repairs so I told him to
wait at my stand while I take the phone to my colleague on the other
side of the plaza who repairs software to help with the repairs,” he
said. “The repairs were taking too long so I headed back to ask my
customer to wait a bit longer. I was just two steps away from the plaza
when I heard a loud sound. Before I could turn around, my hands and legs
were on fire.”

He said that as he ran, he was no longer aware of the fire on his body.

“I could not tell if I was still on fire. All I knew was that my
whole body was so hot and for a second I was restless. It was a friend
of mine that held me and took me to the street were a man helped and
took me to Maitama Hospital before I was referred to National Hospital,”
he explained.

No hospital bills

Michael was one of the 52 people, according to the Nigerian
Government, who escaped from the bomb explosion at the plaza with burns
and other injuries. At least 21 people were not as lucky; they died
either at the scene or in the hospital.

Alphonsus Anyanacho, Michael’s father, told PREMIUM TIMES that at the
time of the explosion he, like millions of Nigerians, was about to
watch the match between Nigeria and Argentina at the World Cup.

“I was at home but went out around that time to watch the Super
Eagles match. When I saw on the television screen breaking news about
the bomb blast at EMAB Plaza, I remembered my son because he goes there
every morning to hustle,” Mr. Anyanacho said. “I then called his number
immediately but someone else picked the phone; a friend of his that
helped him to the hospital.”

He said he left for the National Hospital immediately and got there to find his son “wrapped up.”

Based on the Abuja administration’s resolve to foot medical bills of
victims of such incident, Mr. Anyanacho confirmed that he was not
charged a dime as hospital bills for his son’s treatment.

Sitting beside his son’s hospital bed, the father said the doctors had not told him when his son would be discharged.

“All I was told was that he is responding to treatment,” Mr. Anyanacho disclosed.


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