Church members in Jos, Plateau State, and Biu in Borno State yesterday came under attack.
In Jos, a suicide bomber drove into the auditorium of Christ Chosen Church, along Rukuba Road in Jos North LGA, during worship hours, in a bomb-laden car which exploded, killing no fewer than 10 worshippers and over 60 critically injured. In Biu, gunmen invaded the EYN Church and opened fire on the worshippers. Many of the worshippers were said to have been killed while others received various degrees of injuries.
Security agencies were not forthcoming with the actual figure of casualties. They however, said there were also reprisal attacks after the Jos suicide bombing in which four motorcyclists were lynched.
The explosion brought down the entire church building, destroying chairs, tables and musical instruments as well as cars and motorcycles.
An eyewitness, Emeka, who narrowly escaped death in the bomb attack and was admitted at the Birgham University Teaching Hospital, BUTH, told LEADERSHIP that they were inside the church and the pastor was preaching when they saw a car which was coming in high speed into the church premises and immediately exploded. The church building was said to have collapsed on people as the building was enveloped in fire.
Another survivor, Odey Randy (29), who was injured on the leg, told LEADERSHIP that he was coming from where he went to buy provision when he saw a blue Toyota Corolla car parked at the junction and, soon after, the occupant of the car drove very quickly to the church premises before the car exploded.
Francisca Peter, a housewife who had burns all over her body, told LEADERSHIP that she was inside the church when the building collapsed on them after the explosion that set the building ablaze.
According to one Mrs Peter, her six-year-old daughter, Blessing, was yet to be found as she was in the children’s section of the church when the blast occurred.
She lamented that she would die if the girl was not found alive, saying that the girl meant everything to her. She was her only daughter, she said, adding that she had reached menopause and would not be able to conceive again.
Bomber disguised as church member
An eyewitness, Mr Richard Jonah, revealed how the bomber drove to the church around 11am after convincing the church security personnel that he was a church member who came to worship. After the security cleared him to enter the church, the bomber accelerated and rammed the car at the wall of the church which led to the explosion. The affected church is located a few minutes’ drive from the Maxwell Khobe army barracks. Read more