Witnesses described hearing multiple blasts and seeing wounded victims in bloodied clothes flee the area as authorities cordoned off the scene.
“I was boarding the bus to Lagos when I heard a huge explosion,” Abdulaziz Baban-Lamma, a 47-year-old trader, said from his hospital bed.
The blast left him with severe injuries to his abdomen and other survivors ran to assist him when they saw his condition, he said. He later underwent emergency surgery.
“May Allah curse whoever was behind the act,” he said.
Magawata Goje, 45, was selling dried meat at the station when the bomb went off.
“Something sharp hit me under my right ear,” he said.
“Blood gushed out and I was drenched in my blood.”
When he regained consciousness, “I could see many people burnt to death,” he said.
Emmanuel Bassey, a 37-year-old bus company employee with burns across his body, said the bombers slammed into one of the buses at high speed.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack and said his government would continue “its unrelenting war against terrorists.” But the government has so far shown little ability to halt violence linked to an insurgency by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.
The bus station targeted on Monday primarily services passengers heading to the mostly Christian south of Nigeria. It was also attacked in January last year in a blast that wounded several people.
Authorities have not said who was behind the bombing and there has been no claim of responsibility, but it was similar to previous attacks by Boko Haram.