MURIC, CAN trade blame over identity of suspected Church bomber

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), and controversial Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) traded blames following the release of the name of the suspect arrested at the premises of the Living Faith Church at Sabon Tasha in Kaduna state, Nathaniel Samuel, in possession of items identified to be Improvised Explosive Devices (EID).

The Executive Director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, referring to the prayer walk organized by CAN, said in a statement that the coincidence of Samuel’s arrest on the day of CAN’s prayer walk was divine; saying it gave the impression that the rally itself was a ruse.

Kaduna State Police Command had announced that the suspect arrested was one Nathaniel Samuel.

Akintola argued that, “Samuel’s arrest is the outcome of our prayers for Allah to expose all those who are behind the bombing of churches.

“We are not surprised that the suspect happens to be a Christian. 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.   The arrest of Nathaniel Samuel for attempting to bomb a church is not a new development. Victor Moses was arrested on March 1, 2016, for spying for Boko Haram bombers. He confessed that he carried out surveillance before the bombing of Madalla church in Abuja on December 25, 2011.

Interrogating the Kaduna suicide bomber (in middle)
Interrogating the Kaduna suicide bomber (in middle)

“We give kudos to the Kaduna Police Command for this feat. People blame the security agencies for no just cause sometimes. This arrest must have been the outcome of careful planning and prolonged surveillance. Those who handled the operation deserve promotion.

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“The rally was called ostensibly to protest against alleged rising insecurity in the country but God works in wonderful ways. He exposed another plot by a fellow Christian to bomb a church on the same day CAN called for the rally. The coincidence is equally divine and it gives the impression that the rally itself was nothing but a hocus pocus.

But the chairman of the CAN in Kaduna State, Rev. John Hayab who spoke to Vanguard accused the police of stoking the controversy behind the identity of the suspect.

He claimed that the police failed to execute thorough background checks on him before announcing his identity as Nathaniel Samuel.

Hayab insisted that church members who apprehended the suspect reported before he was handed over the police, said the suspect had identified himself as Mohammed Sani rather than the name announced by Kaduna State police command.

Hayab said:  “The attempted bombing of a Living Faith Church in Kaduna is a continuation of the sad experiences that Nigerians are no longer safe, even in places of worship.

“This is a clarion call to the security agencies to do more to protect the people. However, we must commend the church for taking precautionary measures.

“We must make it clear that it was not the police that arrested the suspected suicide bomber. It was the church members that noticed his actions, became suspicious and arrested him.

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“But the controversy we have before us, is that the police clearly did not do thorough background checks on who the suspect was before announcing his arrest to the public.

“Church members who arrested the suicide bomber reported that he gave his name as Mohammed Sani, and that he was on a mission to kill.”

“However, as a religious body, we don’t care whether he is Muslim or Christian. We only know he nursed a criminal intention to shed innocent blood. That should be the concern of Nigerians rather than debate over his identity.”

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