Daily Trust (Abuja)

26 December 2013

Nigeria: Low Turnout in Churches At Peaceful Christmas

Kano — Christmas was celebrated peacefully in Maiduguri yesterday though with low turnout of worshipers for church services across the city.

Our correspondents who went round some churches in the metropolis observed a low number of worshipers who turned up for Christmas service. Some of the worshipers told Daily Trust that most people travelled to their hometowns to celebrate. At the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Pompomari area, service was held between 8am and 9pm. A worshiper, Comfort Isuwa, said: "I am very glad to tell the world that we, the Christian faithful in Borno, have in all peace witnessed a glorious Christmas. We peacefully held our services, paid congratulatory visits to one another and exchanged gifts."

Despite fears of attacks, the Christmas was observed peacefully in Kano yesterday. At the time of filing this report, Christians were seen moving peacefully all over the city, especially in Sabon Gari and Brigade, celebrating. Chairman of the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bishop Ransom Bello, acknowledged the peaceful celebration.

"This year's Christmas celebration is very peaceful and better than that of the previous year. The peace attained may not be unconnected with the security beef up and the state government's commitment in ensuring that lives and property are protected," Bishop Bello said. Eze Indigbo, Dr. Boniface Ibekwe, said Christians in Kano were very happy to celebrate the Christmas peacefully. He prayed for continuous peaceful coexistence among Nigerians. Police spokesman ASP Musa Magaji Majiya said peace reigned because of extra vigilance.

"We spent the whole of yesterday (Tuesday) going round the city. Our men were posted to various strategic areas of the city, especially worshipping centres days before the Christmas. All is well, and the Christmas is going on peacefully. We thank God for that, and we will continue to be vigilant to ensure that there is no breach of peace throughout the period of the festivities," ASP Majiya said. Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, through the Wanban Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sunusi, had earlier warned those that want to foment trouble during the Christmas and New Year festivities to desist, urging them to fear God and allow peace to reign.

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