|Scene Of A Recent Bomb Blast In Jos; Photo Credit: AFP|
Today, we mourn the untimely, ill fated and brutal murder of our brothers, sisters and loved ones in Plateau State, who died as a result of the dastardly, treacherous and ignoble act of the murderers who planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in the popular and ever busy Murtala Muhammed Way, near Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Jos, Plateau State which killed over a hundred people and another hundred injured with many shops and properties burnt down.
The first bomb exploded around 2:50 pm while the other went off around 3:20 pm. The first vehicle that exploded was a Peugeot J5 Van, with registration number XG 148 BLD while the second was a Toyota Sienna Van with Gombe State license number plate. It all occurred a few metres away from each other, apparently, with a view to inflict maximum casualties knowing full well that the area is a crowded area which is an extension of the New Abuja Market, around the popular burnt Jos Main Market.
It will be recalled that it is not the first bomb explosion in the once peaceful state but obviously, the deadliest. The state experienced the first bomb attack on Christmas Eve of December 24, 2010 at Kabong Village while the other one exploded close to the Sacred Catholic Church around Gada Biu fly-over in Jos North Local Government Area same day. On September 11, 2011, another bomb went off around the popular West of Mines junction. While another was the first suicide bombing attack of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Headquarters on Sunday, February 26, 2012 and two weeks later was followed by the bomb attack of the St. Finbarr’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos on Sunday, March 11, 2012. The various bomb attacks in the state left many casualties but not as monumental as this.
The Director of the Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity who left our office to the scene of the explosion on on-the-spot investigation and gracefully escaped the second explosion unhurt, having used people as shield from the explosion confirmed that the second explosion went off just few metres away from the first one and blamed the security agents for their culpability in the explosion.
Jide Afolabi explained that he had spotted parked Nigeria Police Force Anti-Bomb Squad Van at the Ahmadu Bello Way which is just adjacent of the scenes of the explosions but that they failed to cordon and carry out holistic search of the area to investigate whether there were more bombs or not. This negligence from the anti-bomb squad no doubt gave room for the second explosion which recorded more causalities than the first one owing to the fact that the site of the second explosion was crowded by rescuers and other onlookers.
As a result of the bomb explosions, some apparently frustrated and angry youths were seen to be marching to another area with a view to ignite another cycle of the ethno-religious conflict which has engulfed the state in last one decade but were promptly dismissed by the security agents. We wish to appeal to the people and youths in particular, not to take laws into their hands and allow security agencies to investigate the barbaric and callous act in order to avert such disaster in the future. Also, we implore people to be cautious of their environments and provide useful information to security agencies.
Christian Foundation for Social Justice and Equity however condemns in strongest possible terms, the attack on Nigerians and the people of Plateau in particular and sends our prayers and thoughts to all affected families.
We urge the government to stop paying lips service to the security of lives and properties of Nigerians but put up policies that can mitigate the spate of insurgency in the country. We also urge the security agencies to be more proactive rather than been reactive. Preventive measures must at all times be put in place rather than showing up after lives have been lost.