25 June 2012

Nigeria: Christians Worship in Kaduna, Jos, Kano, Abuja Under Heavy Security

Photo: Vanguard
Remains of Kaduna church blast.

To avert possible attack on churches, security was yesterday beefed up around places of worship in Kaduna, Kano, Jos and Abuja.

Yesterday's church services in Kaduna and Kano were held amid tight security as most of the presiding pastors prayed for God's mercy on those behind frequent attacks in the states and other parts of the country.

Also, in Abuja, there was heavy presence of security men around most churches with thorough search of vehicles by security operatives and church security guards.

Around A.Y.A. junction in Asokoro, military men were seen conducting searches on vehicles and motorcycles going into and coming out of Abuja.

As part of the measure, cars and motorcycles were prevented from entering into church premises throughout the church services.

Plain-cloth security operatives moved in and around the church premises, while armoured tanks and helicopters continued to hover in the sky to provide security surveillance.

Some Christians who attended the church services said the presence of heavy security operatives in major streets in Kano state had rekindled confidence and hope in them.

Speaking on the current situation, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ransom Bello, said the government of Dr. Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso deserved commendation for its proactive way in ensuring continuous security network in the state.

He also commended both the Christians and Muslims for their collective and concerted prayers, noting that the gesture had continued to ensure peaceful co-existence across the state.

Bishop Bello equally lauded the entire security operatives, especially the Joint Task Force, (JTF) which comprised of military, Nigeria Police, and other security personnel for their collective efforts in providing peace in the state.

Similarly, in Jos, the Plateau State capital, there was heavy presence of military men and other security operatives on the streets of the city and mostly around worship centres.

Members of the special task force, known as Operation Save Haven, were also seen conducting thorough search on vehicles while also patrolling the city centre and its environs.

But many residents of the city worshipped in churches near their residence while others stayed indoors for fear of the unknown.

Meanwhile, the commissioner for police, Plateau State, Dipo Emmanuel Ayeni, has called on residents of the state to always be security-conscious and report suspicious movement to law-enforcement agents in the state. Ayeni stated this yesterday in Jos during a tour of worship centres in the state.

In most of the churches he visited, the state police boss encouraged worshippers to install more security gadgets and to be vigilant. He also advised members of the churches he visited not to loiter around the church premises after church services.

9 Injured in Bauchi explosion

Meanwhile, nine people were last night injured when an explosion rocked the Bayan Gari area in Bauchi metropolis.

Confirming the development, the commissioner of police, Bauchi State Command, Mr Muhammad Ladan, told LEADERSHIP that the incident occurred at about 9.30pm in an uncompleted church building near a television viewing centre.

The commissioner of police further claimed that the victims had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

The area is located behind Bauchi Stadium, which accommodates hotels, drinking spots, clubs and the Muda Lawal Market. The incident was said to have made the people in the area scamper for safety.

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