By Okon Bassey and John Shiklam
National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has raised the alarm over silent and unreported killings of Christians in the North.
This however came on a day pandemonium broke out at the busy Ahmadu Bello Way in Kaduna metropolis following a bomb scare, which made residents and traders along the area scamper for safety.
Oritsejafor who called on leaders of all the blocks of CAN across the nation to organise prayers and fasting of all denominations in the country to overcome its security challenges due to the activity of the Boko Haran sect, said it was imperative for Christians to be security conscious at all times.
Consequently, he directed that June 16 of every year should be observed as a special day in the Christian calendar for prayer and fasting for the country.
The CAN President who made the call in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during an extra-ordinary national council meeting of CAN, specifically, disclosed that a Pastor in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, contacted him complaining that the “killing is going on from door to door.”
“We owe our brother in the North prayers and solidarity. How can I keep quite when my people are killed every day? We cannot fold our hands; Nigeria belongs to all of us. We believe this country will change. I got a text message by 6 a.m. yesterday (Tuesday) from a Pastor in Maiduguri, he said my President, please don’t stop praying for us, the killing is going from door to door, shop to shop, church to church.
“But these things are no longer heard on television. Nobody talks about it. It is only when police station is burnt or bomb explosion that catches people’s attention. My President people are dying everyday, don’t stop praying for us,” he said.
Oritsejafor, in an emotion laden voice said: “Prayer is the key to opening all doors and shutting the door on Boko Haram. In fact I want to say that we remember the June 16, as a special day of prayer and fasting and many more days for prayers and fasting for this country. But definitely, the June 16 is one day that we will cry to God for our great nation.”
Earlier, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa ibom State had during a courtesy call on him by the CAN President, called on Nigerian leaders to repent and purge themselves of actions and decisions that could plunge the country into backwardness noting that the actions of the past and present leaders were responsible for the predicament in the country.
“'All the leaders in Nigeria, both past and present, must repent. We must purge ourselves of actions that can lead to war. We must collectively come together to face the challenges we are facing,” he declared.
Meanwhile, an eye witness in Kaduna, said a black polythene bag suspected to be bomb was placed in a water chamber near the Baptist Model Nursery/Primary school located at the Ahmadu Bello Way causing a stir as people run for their dear lives.
Traders were said to have abandoned their wares while motorists, along with their passengers ran away leaving their vehicles on the road.
“We saw people running and vehicles taking other road and people started saying there was a bomb planted there, but it was later discovered that it was a black polythene bag containing loaves of bread said to have been forgotten by an unknown person on the chamber,” Ahmed Aliyu, who witnessed the confusion, said.
The bomb alarm was said to have been raised by the security men attached to the Baptist Model Nursery/Primary school when they spotted the black polythene bag.
The Head Mistress of the school, Mrs Aderonke Adetunji, who confirmed the incident, said the bomb scare was caused by a polythene bag that was found on a water chamber which was later discovered to contain loaves of bread.
Men of the Anti-Bomb Squad Unit of the state Police Command and security agents promptly intervened by condoning off the area to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order.
The Police Public Relations Officer in state, Aminu Lawan, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who confirmed the incident, said the Anti-Bomb Squad that was deployed to the scene of the incident discovered that there the polythene bag did not contain explosives.