Survivors recount ordeal
Christians host Muslims to break Lent fasting in Kaduna
THE Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) and the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday condemned Sunday’s bombing of St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Jos, Plateau State, which claimed no fewer that 11 lives.
In the same vein, Christian and Muslim groups in the North have condemned the attack reportedly carried out by the Boko Haram sect.
In a statement, Chairman, NGF and Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, urged the perpetrators of the dastardly act to respect the sanctity of human life and embrace dialogue.
The forum commiserated with the families of those killed or injured in the blast and called on all security agencies to re-double their efforts towards protecting lives and property.
Aliyu reiterated the resolve of the governors of the 19 northern states to work with the Federal Government to ensure that normalcy returns to the country.
In a statement, National Publicity Secretary, ACF, Anthony Sani, said the Boko Haram menace must be opposed collectively.
The ACF scribe stated: “ACF is disheartened by the situation whereby young men are indoctrinated to kill themselves and innocent people.
“The ACF and northern leaders reiterate that all Nigerians of all religions, of all the regions and of all ethnic extractions must stand up and deny the common enemy the pleasure of knocking our heads and unleashing religious conflict, which will do one no good.
“Standing up against terrorists requires patriotic courage, some measure of risk and sacrifices…it is the duty of every citizen to try and prevent terrorists’ activities through community policing by keeping an eye on people with suspicious movements.
“If Nigerians fail to realise that the problem of insecurity across the nation is a collective responsibility, we would be helping the attackers to succeed in their aspirations to destroy the country.”
The ACF condoled with the government and people of Plateau State, the Catholic Church and families of the victims.
Meanwhile, the Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, in association with several Muslims, held a breaking of lent fast on Sunday night at the State Headquarters of the CAN in Kaduna.
Chairman of CAN Youth Wing, Kaduna State Chapter, Diji Obadiah Haruna and leader of the visiting Muslim groups cum National President, African Youths for Conflict Resolution, Dr. Suleiman Shuaibu Shinkafi, said the Jos bomb attack and reprisals that trailed it were “uncalled for at this time the country was trying to find solutions to its numerous social and security problems.”
The Muslims were provided with a makeshift mosque to conduct their Magrib prayers in the premises of the CAN. Their hosts later served them food, signaling the breaking of the lent fast.
In his welcome address, Haruna said: “The aim of today’s gathering is to host our Muslim brothers to break today’s Lent fast with us as has been the practice many years back before the unfortunate current crisis threatens to divided us.
“Love is the key and I believe we will conquer those evils that do not wish our coming together well.
“We pray that this gesture will help to create harmony between the two religions in Kaduna and Nigeria at large. We are all from one God and we all believe in the same God and return to Him for prayers.
“We pray that these serve as the beginning of a better understanding and sustainable peace among us and I urge all of us to take the message of togetherness out there to our fellow brothers and sisters.”
Shinkafi called on all Muslim and Christian youths “to respect each other’s religion and to stop the incessant killings and bombings of each other. We pray that God will expose those who want to see us apart and may God continue to join us together in his glory and mercy”.
The Muslims groups came from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kwara, Zamfara and Jigawa states.