Boko Haram Kills Six In Yobe Church Attack | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Boko Haram Kills Six In Yobe Church Attack

Posted: Jul 6, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chesa Chesa, Chibuzor Emejor, David Odama and Ignatius Okorocha Abuja

Following a female suicide bombing at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) during service in Potiskum, Yobe State on Sunday July 5, 2015, killing six and injuring one person, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness, vowing that he would defend  freedom of worship in the country.

bomberAn Aso Rock statement said the President deeply regretted the unfortunate loss of lives, noting that “the President reaffirms his administration’s total commitment to doing everything possible to eradicate Boko Haram, terrorism and mindless extremism from Nigeria in the shortest possible time.”,

The statement issued by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, said Buhari assured Nigerians that terrorism would ultimately be defeated and full security restored in all parts of the country for people to safely practice their respective faiths with liberty wherever they may reside in the country.

Also on Sunday, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, expressed concerns over continued mass killings and bombing of churches and mosques by Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

Despite this resurgence of bombings in a week when over 200 people have been killed, Dogara warned that Nigeria would not succumb to terror.

The Potiskum bombing according to a resident of the area was by a “female suicide bomber who pretended to be a worshipper, entered the Church and detonated the bomb at about 10:00am

Bodies of the dead were deposited at the Hospital Mortuary in Potiskum, while one of the injured who was seriously injured is receiving treatment.

Bomb Blast Boko HaramACF, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, called on the military to redouble its efforts in the fight against insurgency, especially during the holy month of Ramadan, describing it as cruel, barbaric and un-Islamic.

Dogara, reacting also to the incident, said the mass killing of hapless citizens, is “barbaric, inhuman and wicked.”

Dogara, expressed deep worry over the “new dimension” taken by the terrorists as exemplified by the increasing spate of mass murder by the Boko Haram insurgents in recent days.

The Speaker called “on all men and women of faith, Christians and Muslims alike, to intensify prayers to God as Nigeria is in dire need of divine intervention from the Almighty God to overcome.

“With God on our side, there is no challenge that is insurmountable. I have strong conviction in my heart that this too, shall pass away.”

Meanwhile, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), on Sunday, also in Abuja, advised the Federal Government to prepare for the post-insurgency rebuilding of the North East, destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.

UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Analyst, Matthew Alao, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria was in the last phase of insurgency in the North East.

“We are getting into the last phase of insurgency in the North East.

“There is need for everybody to put hands on deck to ensure that the post-conflict reconstruction, reconciliation and rehabilitation, are done inclusively,” he said.

Alao said efforts should be geared ensuring that the post-conflict reconstruction, reconciliation and re-integration, were done inclusively, particularly with regards to women.

He regretted that women were the worst-hit in the Boko Haram attacks, as many of them had lost their husbands and children.

“You will agree with me that women generally in this part of Nigeria (North East) may be excluded, maybe not deliberately, but culturally.

“They may be excluded from taking active part in the post-conflict phase; women need to be included in all aspects of the post-conflict phase of the insurgency.

“Be it socio-economic, infrastructure rebuilding, reconciliation, mediation, or any other programmes that either government or donors want to bring to the North East, women have to play critical role.

“I believe that the various state governments will include women in the decision-making, programme design and implementation.

“We, the development partners, will also ensure that in all aspects that we are intervening, women are carried along,” he said.

According to the ACF: “The renewed direct attack on the people in the Monguno, Kukawa, Maiduguri and many villages in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states is cruel, barbaric and condemnable especially in the holy month of Ramadan. This clearly shows that the Boko Haram insurgents are cultist in form, character and operation as their claim to be Muslims is untenable.

“ACF therefore condemns in strong terms these unwarranted killings of people in Monguno, Kukawa and Maiduguri by Boko Haram terrorists and the recent attack on a mosque in Maiduguri on Friday and a church in Potiskum today Sunday by female suicide bombers.

Former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, however blamed the inability of security agencies to agree on strategies to adopt in containing incessant attacks for the prolonged insurgency in North East Nigeria.

Okiro, who spoke at the weekend in Abuja at the first emerging business destination summit organised by African Legacy International, said such indecision by the security forces has led to colossal loss of lives and property across the country.

He identified poor inter-agency collaboration due to lack of national policy on criminal intelligence sharing, as well as lack of a well-defined policy on joint military operations as being responsible for the seeming inability to contain the Boko Haram insurgency.

Okiro, who is also Chairman, Police Service Commission, noted that low civil society participation in internal security management initiatives, distrust and “clandestine extra political activities by elite and politicians to weaken the state system” in the fight against insurgents, was another factors militating against the defeat of insurgents.

Consequently, he called for the restructuring of the Nigeria Police, as Nigeria “needs a policing policy that should harp on proactive crime prevention and control in line with the United Nations Guidelines for creating safer and more secure environments.”

According to him, “Restructuring of the Nigeria Police/re-organisation of internal security apparatus to give the Nigeria Police Force its pride of place as the lead agency in-charge of internal security.

“As of now, the Nigeria Police who is the end-user of 90 per cent of intelligence on internal security has none of the nation’s major civilian intelligence outfits under its control”

Okiro commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for visiting Borno and Adamawa states last week, where he reiterated the Federal Government’s desire to rebuild the region. He said a motion calling on government to convene an international donor conference to rebuild the region has been drafted and will be considered by the House after the recess.

“One must commend President Buhari for his directive a couple of weeks ago that the Nigeria Police be left to assume responsibility for the internal security of the nation.”

As part of measures to end Boko Haram insurgency, Okiro advocated “more pragmatic policy and strategy in the control of small arms proliferation in the country.”

He further urged the government at all levels to tackle unemployment head-on by resuscitating the National Directorate of Employment and re-positioning the agricultural and mining sectors so that they could play active roles in job creation.

Another panacea to the insecurity challenge bedevilling the country, according to Okiro, is the reformation of the nation’s judicial system to ensure that justice is seen to have been dispensed, no matter whose ox is gored.