Following the bomb attacks which occurred at the Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners’ Chapel) and the Harvest Field Church in Yelwa area of Bauchi State, the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has confirmed that 21 people were killed, while 45 others sustained varying degrees of injuries during the bomb incident.
The confirmation came on a day the state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, called on Muslims and Christians to unite to fight terrorism in the country just as he visited the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital to condole with those receiving treatment there.
Similarly, General Overseer of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (aka Winners Chapel), Bishop David Oyedepo, who was in Bauchi yesterday on a sympathy visit, condemned the attack in its entirety.
But Monday, the Boko Haram group claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, according to Associated Press (AP).
Addressing a press conference at the COCCIN Headquarters in Bauchi, the state Chairman of CAN, Rev Lawi Pokti, said: “As at press time, 20 people have been confirmed dead, out of which 12 died as a result of the bomb blast while eight were shot dead by the military who went to the blast site in order to maintain law and order. A total number of 45 persons have confirmed wounded out of which 25 were wounded by bomb blast and 20 sustained various degrees of injuries from gun shot from the military.”
The CAN chairman said in as much as the Christian community appreciated the efforts of the state government in responding to the bomb incident by taking the wounded persons to the Teaching hospital for emergency help, it utterly condemned the extra-judicial killings of innocent civilians, mostly women and children by the military.
“We declare that the site of the bomb blast, the security agents has no moral, ethical and empirical justification to open fire on the women, youths and children who came out to mourn their loved ones. We see this act as extra judicial killing and worthy of remorse by the Nigerian Army,” he said.
Yuguda in a state-wide television and radio broadcast over the act Monday, declared that he received the sad news with shock wondering why a human being would wake up with the intention of killing a fellow human being for no just cause.
He said: “It is time we stood together to fight the terrorists no matter who they are and their numbers.”
Yuguda described the incident as a “dastardly act, an unprecedented tragedy, a callous and animalistic behaviour that must be condemned in its totality and i hereby condemn it in its entirety.”
Also, Oyedepo who was accompanied by Bishop David Abioye, other Bishops and senior pastors of the church, in a fiery prayer of vengeance, pronounced a curse on the activities of the Boko Haram, other terrorists, their supporters and sponsors in the country.
Oyedepo, who was received at the airstrip by the presiding pastor of the church in the state, Pastor Gaius Biyal, said: “We serve a God of vengeance who has vowed to avenge the saints. He will descend his instrument of death on the camp of the enemy. We invoke the vengeance of God on the camp of Boko Haram and their sponsors.
“We decree that this week is a week of vengeance and God will unleash his instrument of death on their camp. This month is a month of vengeance and so we release arrows of humiliating deaths on them.”
The AP reported that Boko Haram in a statement sent to journalists yesterday through it spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.
The statement also threatened journalists over what the statement described as biased stories about the sect’s actions.
Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi, Dr. Mohammed Alkali, told journalists in an interview that the hospital recorded 16 deaths and 61 injured from the incident.
He added that the ATBUTH received 87 cases from the incident, while also stating that it received support from Jos Teaching Hospital because of the critical situation the hospital found itself. Alkali pointed out that six persons were treated and released on Sunday, while 17 were found stable to go home yesterday with four still in critical condition.
(AllAfrica June 5. 2012)