This Day (Lagos)

27 December 2012

Nigeria: Fear of Attacks Mars Christmas Celebration in Kaduna

Kaduna — Christmas celebrations in Kaduna was low key and devoid of the usual merriment and visits to amusement and relaxation spots in the city, as many residents restricted their movements to their immediate environment.

THISDAY gathered that residents in areas like Kakuri, Narayi, Sabon-Tasha, Television, Barnawa and Gonin-Gora all in the Christian populated southern part of Kaduna metropolis were wary of the security situation and had to restrict their movements for fear of bomb explosion.

According to Mary Oseni, a resident of Kakuri area, the Christmas celebration was no longer exciting because of the security challenges.

"I am even afraid to go anywhere because you don't know what is in the mind of the evil people. When we finished our church service, I just went home because it is dangerous to move about," he said.

Also speaking in an interview with THISDAY, Mr. Augustine Nwosu, a resident of Sabon-Tasha, said previous experience of bomb attacks made many people very apprehensive about attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

"Many people were apprehensive of what will happen during Christmas so many of us were very careful even during our church service. So people were scared for the fear of the unknown, but so far so good everywhere seem to at peace in Kaduna.

"We are waiting to see whether they will stop bombing churches in Kaduna now that a Muslim is the governor of Kaduna state; if they were killing us because a Christian is the governor of Kaduna state, now a Muslim is the governor," he said.

Despite the heavy security presence at amusement parks, most families stayed away from such places for fear of the unknown. At the popular Gamji Gate, only a few young people braved up to the place to have fun.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Matthew Man'Oso Ndagoso, has asked Christians to forgive the sect for the series of bomb attacks on the Church.

Ndagoso in his Christmas message, said the act of forgiveness became imperative since Jesus Christ born on Christmas day as a peace maker, adding that the essence of celebrating the birth of Christ was forgiveness.

He noted that there was no point celebrating Christmas with rancour, malice and revenge, saying the need to forgive the sect was in line with the Forgiveness Christ exhibited when he was betrayed and crucified.

He appealed to Christians to refrain from any act capable of causing violence, political and social upheaval in the state, saying whatever evil that was being perpetrated in these modern days by the sect should not be a thing of surprise to anybody "but to restrain the urge to retaliate as Jesus did to his attackers."

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