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Pupils Hurt as Blast Hits Islamic School in Sapele

29 Dec 2011

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Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan

By Paul Ohia, Omon-Julius Onabu and Seriki Adinoyi

Three weeks after an explosion at the Central Mosque in Sapele, Delta State – and tellingly, two days after the bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State which caused 36 deaths – another blast rocked Sapele Wednesday.

In Jos, Plateau State, reports of peace might have been grossly exaggerated as another attack led to three deaths on the night Muslim and Christian leaders claimed to have reached a rapprochement.

The Sapele incident, which occurred at about 9.30pm on Tuesday, left at least six children with various degrees of injury.

One adult was said to have also sustained some injuries but no death was reported.

A militant group from the Niger Delta claimed responsibility for the attack in an apparent reprisal for the deadly Christmas day bombings by Boko Haram.

Egbesu Mightier Fraternity said it was ready to retaliate by killing Muslims in Southern Nigeria, Press Trust of India said.

"The Boko Haram killing in the north will no longer be accepted and we are ready to equally kill any Muslim we see in southern Nigeria," the group said in an emailed statement.

"We will not regret any soul that will go on the part of any Muslim in the South and any southerner that speaks evil against us will be violently visited by us because they too are in support of the killing of Southerners by Boko Haram," the statement which came with no norm de guerre signatory said.

An improvised explosive device is thought to have caused the explosion, which left a little crater at the foot of a moveable kiosk popularly referred in local parlance as “Caravan”.

Unidentified persons in a moving vehicle were suspected to have thrown the device into the compound near the kiosk and sped off.

The incident occurred at the Quranic School and Islamic Centre on Urhobo Road adjacent to King Street, less than 200 meters away from the central mosque where a blast was reported on December 10.

Sympathisers rushed the pupils to the nearby Sapele Central Hospital, but THISDAY gathered that three of the injured victims were later taken to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for further medical attention.

About 30 children, some of them in their early teens, were said to have gathered for the Quran lesson session, called Makaranta, when the blast occurred.

The police confirmed the reports but said no arrests had been made.

The Delta State Police Command spokesman, Mr. Charles Muka, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP), who confirmed the development to THISDAY in Warri Wednesday, said that the injured children were being treated in an undisclosed hospital.

Preliminary investigation by the police revealed that the “locally made explosive device was thrown into a Quranic or lesson class and not a school as being rumoured”, Muka said.

THISDAY, however, learnt that the device was strong enough to have shaken some nearby building significantly.

Muka disclosed that the perpetrators of the act had not been apprehended “because of the nature and time of the incident” even as he said investigation into the occurrence had begun. 

Police were collaborating with local vigilance groups in Sapele to unravel the mysterious blast, the police spokesman said.

Eyewitness accounts said residents in the area initially mistook the blast for some Yuletide fireworks, which had been a regular feature in the area of the town for several days now.

“We thought the loud noise was from Christmas fireworks until people started running and rushing some injured persons from the scene,” a resident told THISDAY.  

However, operatives of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) had by Wednesday morning cordoned off and prevented journalists and cameramen from going near the scene of the blast to take photographs or video footage.

Fierce-looking soldiers of the JTF allegedly manhandled a cameraman attached to Independent Television (ITV) Benin, Joe Aminah, and seized his audio-visual and still cameras.

The incident in Sapele is coming few days after members of the Boko Haram set off bombs on Christmas day at St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State.

Meanwhile, the peace talks between Christian and Muslim leaders in Plateau State may have yielded nothing as three members of the same family were hacked to death the same night at Wereng community of Riyom Local Government Council of the state.

This is even as the state government expressed sadness over the attack, while a member of the House of Representatives said that the military had failed in providing security for the state.

The community, which is sparsely populated lives in settlements with their roofs made of thatched grass.

Journalists were led to the place Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Hon. Pam Ayuba.

Mother of a victim, in an emotion-laden voice, said the attack started at 11pm when she heard gunshots and had to escape through the window to run to the nearest community there.

“I began to raise an alarm and because of the alarm, many people were awakened and the attackers could not do more harm but to run away. And the people thereafter mobilised and saw that three people were already gunned down. That is all I could recollect,” she said.

Mr. Francis Pam, a victim’s father, said he had not returned home when the incident occurred. The deceased, according to him, are his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

He said he was coming towards home when he heard a staccato of gunshots and he made a u-turn, adding that he too alarmed the community members and rushed to the place.

He emphatically said that the attackers were Fulani herdsmen, but added, however, that he did not know which route they followed as there is no electricity in the community.

On how he knew that the attackers were Fulani, Pam said that there had been similar attacks before by the same people who came to attack only without stealing anything.

“They attack and kill only without taking anything even money. Definitely they are the same people,” he said.
Ayuba said that government was touched.

“The man is Philip, about 38 years old… his wife is Simi, about 28 years and then the little child. It is unheard of that a family would be singled out for massacre in a pre-planned attack. You know as a government, we have faith with the security of the people. Yet we are very much aware that there are sustained efforts by some people who do not want the state to return to the path of peace by attacking the state at will and they are bent on causing crises day-in-day out,” he said.

Tags: BLAST, Featured, ISLAMIC SCHOOL, News, Nigeria, Pupils, SAPELE

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  • these incessant killings will not get us anywhere. granted we are wounded and angry because of what boko haram is doing in the north but we are not supposed to become animalistic like them. the problem with revenge is that it never gets what it wants because it never evens the score so rather than going on a revenge mission the government should get their acts together and profer a solution to this problem. what is happening today is what ojukwu saw then. if we cant live together why dont we go our seperate ways and let peace reign.

    From: L. uko

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Only nature can tell the end to this!

    From: Olubamidele

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • This is bad omen. The southerners should not become FOOLs like the Boko Haram or some Northerners. Please expose anybody seen making bombs or planning on detonating poor innocent people. I am a christian but the bombing is really bad and should never be allowed. Its obvious the government is not doing enough to cut this menace. The Boko Haram has done it and people now see the government is toothless. This is criminal and show of idiotic animal behaviour. Let religion save itself and not let people kill them self. If Religion can not save itself without using people, then its man-made and have no power. Its a mere myrth!

    From: Emmanuel

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The Egbesu started the bombings in Niger Delta in the name of resource control and now it has spread to other parts of the Country. They should not add another dimension to the strained atmosphere of kidnapping, armed robbery, ethnic wars, etc. We in Niger Delta already have enough problems on our hands.

    Also they should remember there are Muslims from Niger Delta. Moreso the owner of the Quranic scholl is a Southerner and Sapele had record of many indigenous Muslims. Egbesu should not devil our land with the blood of innocent Muslims and children who live peacefully here with christians.

    The governor of Plateau state is a retire General and should be asked to account for the knives lost or resign if the situation is out of his control.

    Egbesu should go to Jos and fight the Fulanis on behalf of the Jos Christains. Do not devil Niger Delta with more blood. Enough is enough

    From: Shola Adeola

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Revenge is certainly not the answer, however, government must be decisive about this; it is obvious the matter on ground is being treated with kid gloves. Government appears restrained in taking on the big wigs behind these problems. The nation should watch it, this issue could disintegrate it.

    From: Tunde

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Well, for what ever you do so shall you see. Who ever killed or destroyed what belongs to God shall see his reward!! Let our leaders remember that the nation's funds is in their hands. Shall they damage any trust vested on them, the nation surely seek the supreme intervention and surely in no waste of time it shall come to be!

    From: mohammed digil

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Government no the solution for such evil act, if we are to continue like this, Nigeria will end up in Religion Crises . �Whoever takes the life of a fellow human being has committed evil irrespective of his religion - whether Christian or Muslim - and will pay for his sins. So, this is an act of terrorism which is against Islamic and Christianity teachings,"

    From: Murtala

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Only God can Change Nigeria no one can do, �Whoever takes the life of a fellow human being has committed evil irrespective of his religion - whether Christian or Muslim - and will pay for his sins. So, this is an act of terrorism which is against Islamic and Christianity teachings,"

    From: Muratla aliyu

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Please brace up for the military come back

    From: concerned

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Good luck please divide this country before things will get out of hand. you better do so urgent.

    From: mike ojukwu

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Nigerian should fear God, stop criticizing individual religion and put hand together on how to combat this crime for our dear country's achievement. I am a Muslim, I also seek Islamic knowledge from 3 different Islamic Scholars but no one among them ever preached me to be a TERRORIST. But today people took Muslims everywhere as Terrorist. Prior there was a word TERRORISM existing, but nobody concise until after the Sept 11, when they laid it on the Muslim. Imagine now a WISDOM KING by named was apprehended trying to bomb his Church in Yenagoa not in Kano or Sokoto�. Why?

    From: Malam

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Nigerian should fear God, stop criticizing individual religion and put hand together on how to combat this crime for our dear country's achievement. I am a Muslim, I also seek Islamic knowledge from 3 different Islamic Scholars but no one among them ever preached me to be a TERRORIST. But today people took Muslims everywhere as Terrorist. Prior there was a word TERRORISM existing, but nobody concise until after the Sept 11, when they laid it on the Muslim. Imagine now a WISDOM KING by named was apprehended trying to bomb his Church in Yenagoa not in Kano or Sokoto�. Why?

    From: Malam

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Nigerian should fear God, stop criticizing individual religion and put hand together on how to combat this crime for our dear country's achievement. I am a Muslim, I also seek Islamic knowledge from 3 different Islamic Scholars but no one among them ever preached me to be a TERRORIST. But today people took Muslims everywhere as Terrorist. Prior there was a word TERRORISM existing, but nobody concise until after the Sept 11, when they laid it on the Muslim. Imagine now a WISDOM KING by named was apprehended trying to bomb his Church in Yenagoa not in Kano or Sokoto�. Why?

    From: Malam

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • they 1 2 join una head fight....so that they go come separate wo...shine your eyes

    From: galku

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • the problem is that the federal government doesn't want to do anything.
    i think that president Jonathan is dual and being control with group of people.if he want to do something about that he will do, without looking to anybody's face
    he is the head of the state of Nigeria, is him will say what will happened.

    From: uche

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • I am from the South South and will support an amnesty for Boko Haram . After all MEND (Ijaws) were given amnesty. The issue of Bombings, Kidnapping, Robberies have been politicized before. Engage BH and give them amnesty. Start what you can finish. If our memories are so short, The Ijaws brought in and introduced bombing and kidnapping into Nigeria.

    From: Terry Onye

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I would like to advise govt to take a decisive step on what they have been running away from all these years. It is an irony that Nigeria is a secular state but a blank truth that we are multi-religious country. Hence, if govt recognised this fact they should provide for it in our day to day affairs. It is not too much if there is a separate ministry named ' Ministry of Religious Affairs' where each religion will present what they have according to their teachings and their devine books. This would be examined and scrutinised to ensure that no one exceed limits and use his or her religion to disturb others or infringe on other peoples right. I think if this well managed and not politicized it will minimise the conflicts between religious people if not totally eliminated.

    Long Live Nigeria

    From: Baba Hamzah

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • I would like to advise govt to take a decisive step on what they have been running away from all these years. It is an irony that Nigeria is a secular state but a blank truth that we are multi-religious country. Hence, if govt recognized this fact they should provide for it in our day to day affairs. It is not too much if there is a separate ministry named ' Ministry of Religious Affairs' where each religion will present what they have according to their teachings and their divine books. This would be examined and scrutinized to ensure that no one exceed limits and use his or her religion to disturb others or infringe on other peoples right. I think if this well managed and not politicized it will minimize the conflicts between religious people if not totally eliminated.

    Long Live Nigeria

    From: Baba Hamzah

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Mind you it is hazardous to any body or any group of people to kill human beings in a temple where they are worshiping Almighty Allah, death is awaiting all of us and we are going to the same destination. Every soul must taste death..... May Allah bless the soul of those who are murdered and the wrath be to those who did the murder here and thereafter. Moreover, you that are killing innocent people try to expand this world so that you can be safe and not dying forever. Again! whosoever killed men drastically must be killed by same....

    From: Isa Abba

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • WE ARE NOT ONE NIGERIANS. PLS LETS BREAK UP. HOWCAN U PUT A CAT AND A RAT IN THESAME ROOM. PLS AM TIRED LET US DIVIDE I HATE THE NOTHERNERS

    From: SHERIFF

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It is a lie! The same group that bombed Madalla bombed that School. This is what they want to achieve. They want Christians to get up and start bombing Muslims and vise versa. Their target is President Goodluck Jonathan. They want to make the Country ungovernable for him.
    CAN should pray these group out and not allow them to use Christians to distabilize the Country's peace.

    From: Adeniyi Gideon

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • The government is showing weakness and will lose control if they fail to declare emergency rule in any state that take part in terrorizing the country everyone will be a victim in many ways, the time is now so far the government is treating the situation with bandage until the people are fed-up. I believed OBJ government would have handle this situation more decisive

    From: Goodwin Wilson

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Please let us not pay back evil with evil, rather lets find a peaceful way of bringing this whole catastrophe to an end. In the mean time the bombing on going in the north is not an attack on southerners alone but also on northerners that are Christians. I plead that we should be objective in our judgement and not sentimental, because that is the only way we can achieve result, and finding permanent solution to these bombing wahala.

    From: Julian

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • This shows that the Southerners are brave, but the reprisal killing should be carried out heavily is the South West as we have large concentration of Muslims there. They should start bombing Lagos, Ogun, Ekiti, etc.

    From: Adekunle Awolowo

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • It is no retreat no surrender. South West has high concentration of Muslims, as they are bombing and killing Christians in the North so Christian Boko Haram should be bombing Muslims in Soth West being Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Ekiti, Oyo, Osun and Ondo.

    From: Adekunle Awolowo

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • If we allow sentiment to take better part of us, we're doomed!

    From: Qareeb

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Is Southern Nigeria is coming to that ?

    From: Alib

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • No baba hamazh i dont agree with you, christians and muslems never stay in peace, Nigeria will be divided into two part muslem on the north and christian on the south. That is to say northern Nigeria for muslem and southern Nigeria for christian, then we will have peace in that country.

    From: WAZOBIA

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • I am a Nigerian living in USA, but we must face the fact below:
    1. President Jonathan is weak, 2.President Jonathan is ill advised, 3.President Jonathan is afraid to face the truth and afraid to be killed by the northern gang up, 4.President Jonathan feels that it will not be good for Nigeria to break up in his tenure, 5. Senate, Federal House of Reps, SSS have all failed Nigeria, with exception of the Nigerian Armed forces. Our pretends are over, Nigeria will break up and in order to break up peacefully, it is the right time now for President Jonathan to know what to do.
    WHO ARE BOKO HARAM, Please Nigerians do not be fooled, there is nothing like BOKO HARAM, why is it that it is Jonathan’s presidency that Western education become a sin?, why was Boko haram not fighting all the northern head of states and northern presidents? why are they targeting Christians now?, Only someone with military background can rule Nigeria because the weakness we noticed in Jonathan is as a result of his calmness and democratic disposition, was it not in Nigeria Buhari challenged a whole commander in Chief( arrest me if you can?) can someone say that to General Obasanjo? or even Babangida?or even to General Buhari himself when he was in power?.
    Now the northern elites are really the brain behind this drama and the target is to humiliate and intimidate President Jonathan to his knees, let all Nigerians face the fact. This killing of the ibos, youruba, efiks, ibibios, anangs,ijaws,orons ishekiris, orobos started not now, the history of the civil war is fresh now in mind, when killings like this was the order of the day, no one was able to rise up to condemn the maiming of southerners in the north until SIR (KING)OJUKWU of blessed memory rise out of frustration against such senseless killing, declared a Republic. Gen. Obasanjo, reportedly said once to President Jonathan. OOOH Jonathan, OHHH Jonathan you have the power use it'' I am really saddened that this thing is happening during Jonathan presidency, but he should know that, all this Boko haram thing is all about dirty politics the northern elites are playing, now it is time the Ibos come together, Niger Deltans come together, the yourubas, come together to decide on Confederation. Nigeria is only one when it comes to football, I love Nigeria to be One but how long can one chose to live with his brother who feels that the other brother should not pass through the door but the window. I am a,Metaphysician, I am 99% sure that Nigeria is heading to disintegration, prayers can only postpone the day but no need to pray for one Nigeria again, let us all dedicate most of our energies in meditation an affirming that let the break up of Nigeria be agreed and peaceful and let the emerging republics be the one that will safeguard her people. This should not escape my mind, why should the senator who support this idiots about to get bail?????or bailed????, why was it a deal between the SSS and the northern religious leaders to release this idiots to them whenever they are arrested, in the pretext of reprimanding those arrested or reintegration?, If President Jonathan Contact me, I will advise him how to stop Boko haram, but let me give one open advise to him here, Create Anti terror court in Nigeria, where bail can not be offered by any court in Nigeria, urgently amend the constitution to contain this, make act of terror and support directly or indirectly a dead penalty by open electrocution, start it my by making Senator Ndume or any elite/s involved in this act to be publicly executed. create fear and be resolute, any judge in Nigeria, who give judgment in favor of this idiot should be charge for supporting terrorism, Judges are afraid of their lives and family. is it not in Nigeria last months I heard in the news how a Judge send a text message to boko haram saying, I have done it the way u want, what do you want me to do?) I cry for Nigeria my beloved country, lastly please let no civilian be a part of this Tribunal, Let only the Military or retired military men with proven records be the judge of the tribunal. Then call a sovereign national conference to decide on the way we can start confederation. Another aspect is the lure for money from all this new generation churches, why must you continue operating churches in such hostile environment. if the northern elites want illiteracy then so be it, if they like to practice sharia Oja no problem, but south south oil will never reach north, let them go into farming, enough is enough, the Yorubas have oil and bitumen. Ibos have oil too, Niger delta have oil too, then to your tent Oooh Israel. I will not fail to admit that we still have some northerner who may not support this boko haram act, they must rise against their elites, in the street of kano, because their elites have failed them and Nigerians too. Greater suffering is still in northern Nigeria despite their grip on power for so many years. Finally to you my beloved Jonathan, Rise, fear no one, be prepared for the challenges ahead, I voted for you, Nigerians voted for you as a birth of new Nigeria but alas, you are not the problem, they want to embarrassed us all, this killing has changed and has entered a new dimension, heed a call for confederation and if that do not work. please Sir Split Nigeria NOW a word is enough for the wise, and to you faceless boko idiots, your days are numbered, u have broken the will of a united Nigeria but you will never break the will of a United Niger Delta Republic, Oduduwa Republic and Republic of Biafra, Like the words of Dele Giwa, Any evil done by man to his fellow man must be redressed back to him, if not now, then certainly later and if not by man then by God, for the victory of evil over good is temporary. ADIEU NIGERIA.
    Dr. O Victor
    From: Maryland USA
    Response to this letter can be forwarded to the writer.
    Vobo2007@yahoo.com

    From: Dr.O.Victor

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Isreali special forces noe on grounf in yobe, bornu and taraba. 80 more isreali elite crack commando units expected in plateau in teo days time. Most of them are black ethopian jews

    From: aminu

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Isreali special forces noe on grounf in yobe, bornu and taraba. 80 more isreali elite crack commando units expected in plateau in teo days time. Most of them are black ethopian jews

    From: aminu

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • This is what the detractors want to happen, and it is about to happen on a large scale. The bait has been swallowed and the fish (Nigeria) is about to be caught in the net. We should focus on developing the country, we are about dividing the country along religious line. Best of luck

    From: layi

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • Isreali special forces noe on grounf in yobe, bornu and taraba. 80 more isreali elite crack commando units expected in plateau in teo days time. Most of them are black ethopian jews

    From: aminu

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

  • It appears the terrorist are winning as all I hear is talk of North and South. Weather Northerner or Southerner, Christian or Muslim no one has the right to cowardly end the life of an innocent human being. We are all Nigerian, we are all black and we all bleed red. It is about time we stop talking in terms of North or South, abeg make we marry each other make mixed babies devoid of this nonsense hatred.

    From: Kimu

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Nigerians,we should turn to God.these people instigating these bombings and killings are mostly not of Nigerian origin.there are higher powers abroad that have targeted Nigeria for destruction.and so, knowing how volatile Muslim extremists av been in d past, they target xtians,blame it on the Muslims to provoke a retaliation from d xtians thereby erupting in a religious war.sum greedy Nigerians high up d ladder stand to gain a lot from this war and chaos.wot am i sayn,there is NOTHING,ABSOLUTELY NOTHING our govt can do for us cos our president is just a puppet, a figure head that takes orders from d powers that be.the good news is, there's a supreme power that supercedes the powers of this world.and that power is in the name of Jesus Christ.this is not a muslim/xtian issue,its purely political under d guise of religious diffs. my people,turn to God and pray for He alone can help us now. GEJ can do nothing but promise us peace dat will neva cum cos he is mere human just like us,the police and military,sss all of them r mere humans like us2.them go save their family first b4 any oda pesn.so ,people its a survival of the fittest.God is our only hope.pray and fast for God's intervention cos He's already angry wit us as it is.lets turn to God now as a country so that He will have mercy on us and save us and our children from the evils that have befallen us. God Bless Nigeria.

    From: anonymous

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • killing of one christain or igbo man should attract the killing of 100 muslems. those who have the got to revange should do it at Abuja, kano, sokoto and kaduna etc where the real, wealthy and influential Muslems. 2 things. civil war or peaceful seperation. we can,t continue to be at the recieving end all the time.

    From: ndu

    Posted: 2 years ago

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  • Two Wrongs
    don't make a Right...

    Muslims/Christians
    profess faith in Allah/God who creates
    man in His image and
    likeness, and who love man unconditionally...

    Let's see God in every man, and love them
    as God love us, irrespective of
    differences in faith!!

    These Killings is
    not Justified.

    From: wise 1

    Posted: 2 years ago

    Flag as inappropriate

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