By Emeka Mamah & Suzan Edeh
Bauchi— Bauchi State Government has condemned last Sunday’s suicide bomb attack at St. John’s Catholic Church which claimed three lives including the suicide bomber with about 44 others including two policemen, seriously injured, promising that the perpetrators would be fished out.
This is even as the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has expressed shock over the bombing and advised the perpertrators to embrace the offer of dialogue by the Federal Government.
Those injured during the attack are said to be receiving treatment at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, in Bauchi.
The state government described the attack as “barbaric, condemnable and an act of terrorism which governments at various levels in the country were fighting hard to eradicate.”
The government spoke through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Isa Yuguda, Mr. Michael Adeyemi, yesterday.
In a statement, Adeyemi said: “After an emergency security council meeting, the state government condoled with the families of all those who lost their loved ones in the barbaric act praying God to give them all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and asked them to take solace in God the giver and taker of life.
“There is no way we will allow criminals and terrorists to continue to live among us and continue to terrorise innocent people even in their places of worship. We must join hands to stop these heinous acts.”
“We must all come together to fight these evil men, they live among us and we must expose them at all cost, these wonton killing must stop now… Let us allow the security operatives to do their work and eventually track down the criminals, we should please avoid anything that will lead to the loss of more lives and disrupt the peace that we are enjoying in the state.”
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, had earlier said that rescue workers had found that that three people died in the explosion.
“Apart from the suspected suicide bomber who was killed by the explosion, a woman and a child also lost their lives after the incident,” NEMA spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib, said in a statement adding that, “ 22 other injured victims are currently receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Bauchi.”
However, in a statement entitled, ‘’Killing yourselves in order to kill others is unGodly,’’ the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Mr Anthony Sani, said: ‘’the Forum is shocked by the news of yet another suicide bombing of a Catholic Church in Bauchi yesterday morning,which claimed about four lives and wounded about 40 others.
More troubling is the fact that this has taken place despite the popular appeals by most Nigerians to perpetrators of such dastardly violence to lay down their arms and embrace the offer of dialogue by the Federal Government as the only viable approach to addressing any perceived grievances that can bring about peaceful coexistence and national security needed for systematic socio economic development of the country, particularly the northern parts of the country.
’’The heart of the forum goes to the families of those who lost their loved ones,and pleads with them to leave vengeance to God who is capable of fighting His cause, yet has enjoined human beings to melt the hearts of persecutors with love. May God provide those left behind with the fortitude to endure what has taken place.And may the souls of those who died rest in peace.’’