SECTARIAN crisis in the northern part of the country, especially in Plateau and Bauchi States which has claimed hundreds of lives took a dramatic turn, yesterday, as the State Security Service and the police averted a bomb blast in a church in Bauchi even as anti-riot police corporal was slain and an inspector injured by hoodlums as they tried to repel an invasion of the students’ hostels of the University of Jos
In Bauchi, the death toll in the crisis that engulfed Tafawa Balewa Local Government has been put at 20 even as 20 suspects had been arrested with dangerous weapons including guns believed to have been used during the crisis.
The Bauchi State chapter of the Nigerian Red Cross Society declared that 4,000 people were displaced as a result of the crisis. Also the Borno Police Command said it had arrested 19 suspects in connection with the killing of the ANPP governorship candidate Alhaji Modu Gubio and six others in Maiduguri.
SSS, police avert bomb blast in Bauchi
Security operatives, yesterday, said they averted a bomb blast attempt by an unknown person during a church service in Bauchi.
The state’s Police Commissioner, Muhammad Indabawa and the Director of State Security Services, SSS, Mr Adeola Ajayi, separately disclosed this at news conferences in Bauchi.
Ajayi said that an unknown bomber had gone to the United Methodist Church, UMC, opposite the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, Bauchi, during a church service and dropped a bag which contained the improvised explosive.
The SSS boss said a member who saw the man with the bag trying to leave the church after he dropped it, raised an alarm while church members run after him but could not arrest him.
The man, the SSS chief added, had rushed to the motorcyclist who brought him and escaped to an unknown destination. Efforts by the police to arrest the suspect did not yield result as he had escaped, using the commercial motorcycle.
The explosive device, which was made with a metal casing, was jointly detonated by officers and men of the SSS and police.
Ajayi said investigation had started but appealed to the public to provide the security agents with relevant information that would ensure the security of lives and property.
Indabawa, at a news conference, said that following the receipt of the information from the church leaders, SSS personnel and some bomb experts attached to Governor Isa Yuguda detonated the explosive.
He noted that experts said if the bomb had exploded, it would have killed many people and destroyed many property. The police chief urged the people to be more vigilant and report any suspected person to security operatives.
In Jos an anti-riot police corporal was slain and an inspector injured by hoodlums as they tried to repel an invasion of the students’ hostels of the University of Jos.
Scores of hoodlums wielding sophisticated guns and other weapons were said to have attempted to gain entry into the Village Hostel of the university from the back though a place called Yelwa following which an alarm was raised.
A team of mobile policemen were said to have been deployed to the area but were attacked by the apparently well armed hoodlums who shot one of them and slit his throat forcing the others to retreat and call for reinforcement.