Worshippers at some of Kaduna’s major churches were Sunday greeted with unsightly scenes of anti bomb squads and riot police keeping watch as they arrived for service.
To forestall a repeat of deadly bomb attacks by Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram that killed more that 70 people, most churches in the Northern city conducted Sunday’s services under heavy security presence that required screening of members as they arrived for worship.
Living Faith Church located at Banawa; Queen of Apostles, Kakuri and Saint Joseph Catholic Cathedral, Taiwo Road, among others recorded fairly large turnout of worshippers. Worshippers were duly screened by guards with bomb detecting devices
Last weekend’s bombing and the subsequent reprisal attack by some aggrieved Christian youths forced the Kaduna State government to impose a curfew that was only relaxed during the week from 12 am to 4 pm on Friday for Muslim worshippers and from 9 am to 1 pm on Sunday for Christians to allow faithful of the two faith conduct their respective services.
The Post understands that the measures put in for Sunday’s Church services place were aimed at forestalling fresh violence.
Notwithstanding the security presence, our correspondents observed that most churches still experienced large turn out of worshippers as they defied the threats by Boko Haram to attend the traditional Sunday morning service.
Secretary, Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, Rev. Chris Annger, said church leaders clerics would leave no stone unturned to bring lasting peace in the state through prayers
“Although, there is tension but not high because of what happened last Sunday. Today’s services in the metropolis is wonderful, things went on smoothly. We are calling on residents to love and embrace one another for peace and unity of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large. As clerics, we will continue to preach peace to our members” he said.
On his part, spokesman for the Kaduna Police Command, Mallam Aminu Lawan, commended residents for their cooperation with security agencies.
“We cannot tell you our strategies but we thank Almighty Allah for today’s peaceful co-existence. We also commend people for their cooperation with us and we called on them to be vigilant,” he said.
Meanwhile, some states worried by the continued insecurity in some of the Northern states have started to make arrangements for the relocation of their indigenes.
The Post understands that Cross River and Rivers have sent vehicles to relocate their indigenes who are students at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna and Federal College of Education, Zaria over last round of unrest in Kaduna.
One student who spoke with The Post but who asked that he should not be named said about five Marcopolo buses with government plate numbers were seen on the two campuses of ABU, Zaria at the weekend although there is as yet no official confirmation.