THE
MANCHESTER CONCERT TERROR: A MINUTE SILENCE FOR SAFFIE ROSE ROUSSOS &
Others

On Tuesday, 23rd
May, 2017, I was in high spirit because it was Boluwatife’s birthday.
Boluwatife turned 9 and if anyone wants to know who Boluwatife is, she is the
young girl on my display picture on Whats-app. She is my very good friend. But,
it is quite unfortunate that something else happened on the same day – the sad
news of the Ariana Grande’s concert bomb blast which occurred the previous day
at the Manchester arena shook the whole world in the most unimaginable and condemn-able manner. 
Manchester Arena
said the incident took place “outside the venue in a public space”. The
attacker – 22 year-old Salman Abedi was believed to be carrying an improvised
explosive device which he detonated, the resultant blast was reported to have
hit the foyer of the building at about 10:30pm and multiple witnesses said they
heard an explosion, with one telling the Guardian that the blast shook the
building, before “everyone screamed and tried to get out”. Police have
confirmed that at least 22 people were killed in the explosion at an Ariana
Grande concert at the Manchester Arena and most of them were children. Officers
also confirmed that 59 people were hospitalized and 60 treated by paramedics at
the scene following the explosion, which hit the venue shortly after the concert
finished. 12 of those taken to hospital were aged under 16, North West
ambulance service said.
Victims were taken
to 8 hospitals across the Manchester area and large parts of the city around
the arena have been sealed off, Victoria station has also been closed.  It is the deadliest terror attack to hit the
United Kingdom since the London bombings on 7th July, 2005 when about 52 people
lost their lives. Around 21,000 people are reported to have been at the concert
at the time of the explosion. Three victims have been named: 18-year-old
Georgina Callander, 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and John Atkinson, 26 (as at
Wednesday, 24th May, 2017). I
n messages posted
online, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. (
Source: The
Guardian 23rd May, 2017)
Regrettably, the
attack comes exactly 2 months after the London attack, on 22nd March, 2017, a
terrorist attack took place in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster in
London, seat of the British Parliament. The attacker, 52-year-old Briton Khalid
Masood, drove a car into pedestrians on the pavement along the south side of
Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street, injuring more than 50 people, four of
them fatally. After the car crashed into the perimeter fence of the Palace
grounds, Masood abandoned it and ran into New Palace Yard where he fatally
stabbed an unarmed police officer. He was then shot by an armed police officer
and died at the scene. The attack lasted 82 seconds.
Police treated the
attack as “Islamist-related terrorism”. Masood reportedly said in a
final text message that he was waging jihad in revenge for Western military
action in the Middle East. Amaq News Agency, which is linked to Islamic State,
said the attacker answered the group’s calls to target citizens of states that
are fighting against it, though the claim was questioned by the United
Kingdom’s police and government. Police have found no link with any terrorist organization.
(Source: Wikipedia,
2017)
Honestly, It is
frustrating when you turn on your television set in the morning and you are
welcomed with terrible news of such alarming magnitude, It is always
disheartening to be informed that a lot of innocent people are victims of mass massacre
and I was particularly bothered that a young and innocent girl could not be spared
from the terror and wickedness that have beclouded the sense and reasoning of
these descendants of the devil. I was moved to tears, I was lost in thoughts, and
the young Saffie could have been a medical doctor, a lawyer or the Prime
Minister.
Who is Saffie Rose
Roussos?
8 year-old Saffie
Rose Roussos was a pupil at Tarleton Primary School in Lancashire, United
Kingdom. Her Head Teacher, Chris Upton, said she had been “simply a
beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word” and was “loved by
everyone”. Her father posted a picture of her to Facebook with an appeal
to find her when she lost contact with other members of her family as a result
of the chaos caused by the blast. Saffie was later confirmed to be among the
dead. She and student Georgina Callander were the first victims from the attack
to be named and a number of people remained “very seriously” wounded
and more than a dozen children were hospitalized after the attack, health
officials said.
In the same vein, my
article – Defining Moments of 2016: Omran Daqneesh and the Echoes of the Syrian
War
(https://sheffa.com.ng/2017/01/defining-moments-of-2016-omran-daqneesh.html) reminded the world of the carnage in Syria and how children have
continued to suffer tremendously. Excerpts;
“Omran Daqneesh is a Syrian boy who, at age five, gained media attention after footage of him injured in an air strike appeared on the Internet. He was injured on August 17, 2016, according to some sources – in an airstrike, according to other sources – as a result of fire, caused rebels Al-Nusra Front on residential quarter al-Qaterji of Aleppo, Syria. He suffered a wound to his head and was taken to a hospital known as M10 and later discharged.
Daqneesh was rescued with his parents and three siblings, then aged one, six, and ten. His 10-year-old brother, Ali, died on August 20, 2016, of his injuries. The apartment building collapsed shortly after the family was rescued. Eight people died in the air strike, including five children. The image of him sitting bloodied in an ambulance after being dragged from the rubble of his home caused international outrage and was widely featured in newspapers and social media”. (Source: Wikidepia.com/OmranDaqneesh). (Oluwole Olusanya, 2017)
The Way Forward
I totally believe
that the war against terrorism is a fundamental and continuous one, this is
certainly because religious extremism is deeply tried to certain norms and
values. But one of my readers – Abiodun Ogungbayi suggests that we should be
safety and security conscious especially in difficult times like these and
always. He also gave a number of security tips that can come handy in cases of
eventuality like this. He states that staying away from crowded places,
providing the security authorities with relevant information to aid them in the
discharge of their duties as well as been consciously aware of our environment
would go a long way to make us safer. My sincerely condolence is to Saffie Rose
Roussos’s family and friends and other bereaved people who lost loved ones in
the “appalling, sickening cowardice” of the bombing as stated by the British
Prime Minister, Theresa May. God will heal your wounds.
God Bless Us All.

Oluwole Olusanya

Oluwole Olusanya
Oluwole Olusanya is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of one of the fastest-growing lifestyle and entertainment website in the country. He is a banker, writer, blogger, public affairs analyst and a tax consultant. He anchors Trending Topics on SHEFFA where he shares his thoughts and opinions on trending issues. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the University of South Wales, Wales, United Kingdom. He has diplomas in Banking and Finance, Investigative Journalism, Creative Writing, and Linguistics from Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, Lagos, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland and The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.