Still more jihadist violence to report against Nigerian churches on Christmas Eve. “Christmas Eve tragedy: Serial blasts, arson in Jos, Borno,” by Moses Gbande and Gbenga Akinkugbethe for the Nigerian Compass, December 25:
While the world prepared for the celebration of Christmas yesterday, the residents of Jos, in Plateau State, and Maiduguri, in Borno State were thrown into tears, blood and death .
At least four successive bomb explosions rocked Jos, killing no fewer than 30 people, while suspected members of the Boko Haram sect unleashed mayhem on Maiduguri.
More recent reports indicated seven bombs.
No fewer than two people were feared killed in Maiduguri.
The explosions in Jos, which began around 7:30 pm, occurred at different intervals with the fourth one recorded some few minutes after 9pm.
The blasts sent many people scampering for safety. It occurred at a major area in the Jos metropolis but at different locations.
According to witnesses, the first blast was in front of a popular Catholic Church at Gada Biu which is barely a kilometre to the Plateau State Police Command’s headquarters.
The other blasts sites are also within this vicinity but they were not concentrated. [...]
The situation was further aggravated by security agents who were shooting heavily and sporadically. This caused further tension and panic among the already shell-shocked and traumatised public who further took to their heels almost aimlessly.
There was no explanation for the shooting by the members of the security outfits.
This would not be the first time government forces were caught underprepared by jihadists.
Distress calls to the four hot lines of the State Command Police were neither acknowledged nor answered.
In Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, pandemonium reigned as people suspected to be members of the Boko Haram religious group went on the rampage torching churches and structures believed to be owned by Christians.
A pastor of the Baptist Church , Rev. Bulus T. Narya, was confirmed killed at the front of his church at the Alamderi Dala area of the city and the place of worship was set ablaze.
Also, the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) was said to be on fire as at press time.
And like in Jos, security agents were also reportedly shooting sporadically, a situation which forced many of the residents to stay in-doors in self-imposed curfew.
Sources informed the Nigerian Compass on Saturday that the security agencies had a prior knowledge of yesterday’s attack by the Boko Haram sect which necessitated the beefing up of security around all the churches in the city.
It was learnt that the intelligence report by the State Security Service (SSS) had it that the attack would take place on Christmas eve. However, despite the seeming preparedness of the security agencies, suspected members of the dreaded sect still struck.
At least one local official questioned the level of preparedness, and how seriously security forces took the threats in Jos.
Meanwhile, the Plateau State government has called for calm.