Nigeria: Suicide Bomber Sparks Nigeria Religious War of Words

Abuja — The arrest of a suspected suicide bomber inside a church in northern Nigeria has revived tensions between Christians and Muslims in the volatile country.

A man named Nathaniel Samuel, said to be a Christian, has been arrested at the Living Faith church in the Kaduna State on Sunday.

He was found in possession of a bag containing items suspected to be Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

About 200 worshippers reportedly attend the church every Sunday.

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) said the arrest of a Christian for the alleged crime exonerated Muslims from the spate of church bombings.

"We are not surprised that the suspect happens to be a Christian," said MURIC director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

"We have said it on several occasions that there is a Christian version of Boko Haram. Christians bomb churches and the whole world blame Nigerian Muslims for the atrocity," he alleged.

MUSRIC argued the arrest of Samuel for attempting to bomb a church was not a new development as Christians had been arrested for similar crimes.

Akintola said one Victor Moses was arrested in 2016 for spying for Boko Haram bombers and confessed carrying out surveillance before the bombing of Madalla church in the capital Abuja on Christmas Day, 2011.

"There is no doubt that there are many other Christians warming up somewhere to bomb churches and lay the blame on Muslims," Akintola claimed.

He singled out the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for criticism.

CAN, which had not commented, this past weekend organised a rally to protest insecurity in the country.

"It gives the impression that the rally itself was nothing but a hocus pocus (meaningless talk)," Akintola charged.

Nigeria, Africa's largest country by population, estimated at 200 million, is equally divided between Christians and Muslims.

Boko Haram terrorists, widely believed to be aligned to Muslims are advocating the overthrow of government and replace it with Muslim religion.

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