It could have been yet another attack on a church, but it wasn’t. According to media reports, the bomb blast in Kaduna which claimed the lives of several people on Sunday April 8th 2012 was originally targeted at a church, Evangelist Church of Winning All (ECWA). But when the suicide bomber couldn’t get entrance into the church premises, he went somewhere else to detonate the bomb and so most of the victims ended up being commercial motorcycle riders.
Reports on the number of people who lost their lives in the blast are still sketchy. While some media sources claim there were 40 casualties, the national body of commercial motorcycle operators in Kaduna claimed that over 100 of its members died in the bomb blast. Punch News reports that an improvised explosive device in a Honda car with a lone occupant early Sunday went off at the Junction/Sardauna Crescent area of Kaduna, killing mostly commercial motorcycle operators, fuel hawkers and passersby.
The blast described as “massive” by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Jingiri, also damaged about 60 houses within the vicinity.
However, a Daily Times report stated that the bomb blast was originally targeted at the Church.
A church guard with the Evangelist Church of Winning All (ECWA) located close to the venue of the car blast that rocked the city of Kaduna on Sunday, Francis Markus, has said that he prevented the vehicle carrying the bombs from gaining access into the church premises.
Markus told journalists that the driver of the Honda Accord vehicle was a man in his 30’s, dressed in a tee-shirt and military combat knickers and with a military uniform inside the vehicle.
According to him, the suspected bomber requested to gain entry into the premises of the church and kept insisting, until some policemen stationed at the church vicinity came to send him away.
“It was 8am. I saw the man coming and requesting to pass through the checkpoint that we mounted to protect worshippers. I refused him entry and told him that he could not because it was during church service. We don’t normally allow people to pass because of the security problems that we are having. If you want to pass, it must definitely be after church hours,” Markus said.
“Then, he said he was going to his house. I asked him which house, he pointed at a house for me, but I know the people in the house and I told him I could not recognise his face because I know everybody in that compound. Then, he changed his mind again and said he was going to another house.
“As, we were arguing with him, the policemen drafted to the church saw what was going on, came over and requested to know what was happening, which I explained to them. After a long argument, we finally managed to drive him away. It was about five to six minutes later that we heard a loud explosion just behind the church.”
According to the guard, the bomber conversed with him in English.
This report points out the evident and annoying inefficiency among our security operatives. I can’t but help to think that this incident could have been avoided. Why should policemen allow a suspicious person drive away without searching his vehicle. “After a long argument, we finally managed to drive him away….” What were they arguing about? Why wasn’t a search conducted?
The report further stated that the explosion happened five to six minutes after the confrontation with the man. It is sad that even though the police had supposedly been on the watch on this particular Christian celebration day, they allowed something like this slip. My sincere plea to security operatives in the country is to raise their standards and be on watch at all times.
My heartfelt condolences goes out to the friends and families of those that lost their lives in this attack.
News Source: Daily Times | Punch News