Monday, 1 December 2014

Kano mosque attack, sin against God – Pope

LAGOS—CATHOLIC Pontiff, Pope Francis has condemned the deadly attacks that occurred at the Emir of Kano’s Central mosque in Kano, which claimed about 200 lives, describing it as an “extremely serious sin against God.”
Pope Francis made the comments yesterday, the final day of his trip to Turkey.
Apart from those killed, about 135 people were wounded when two suicide bombers blew themselves up and gunmen opened fire during weekly prayers on Friday at the Grand Mosque in Kano.

In a meeting with Turkish political and religious officials, at the start of his second trip to the Middle East this year, the Pope further urged Muslim leaders to condemn the “barbaric violence” being committed in Islam’s name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria.

The Pope’s comment is coming two days after the attack in Kano, which was also condemned by President Goodluck Jonathan, who has ordered full-scale investigation into the attack, emphasising his administration’s commitment to ending the incessant attacks which the Red Cross says had displaced more than 400,000 persons.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Boko Haram sect is the prime suspect, as the group had carried out similar attacks in the past.
In like manner, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who condemned the attacks urged Christians and Muslims to join forces to defeat the terrorists.

Health workers suspend indefinite strike
To reduce the number of deaths arising from the attacks, the leadership of the Joint Health Workers Union has directed its members to return to duty, urgently.
The Secretary of the health workers’ union, Comrade Kabiru Ado Minjibir told journalists that its indefinite strike “is hereby suspended following the Friday attack on Kano central mosque where hundreds of worshippers were now rushed to the hospital.”

Members of the union at Aminu Kano teaching hospital and National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dala had joined their counterpart across the country on indefinite strike over age-long demands from the Federal Government.

Meantime, thousands of residents, yesterday, trooped to hospitals to donate blood in response to the clarion call to assist victims of the blasts.

Blood donors troop to hospitals in Kano
At Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, voluntary donors patiently waited to donate blood.
Chief Medical director of Aminu Kano Teaching hospital, Prof. Zakari Muhammed, confirmed that the hospital recorded large turn out of voluntary donors who were eager to assist the victims.

“The large turn out of people here this morning is quite impressive and we are very happy to have them and on our part we have deployed our staff to ensure the exercise went smoothly,” Professor Zakari said.
We won’t be deterred —JNI

Umbrella body of Islamic groups in Nigeria, Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, has said that it will not be deterred nor cowed by the way Muslims were being killed in Nigeria, particularly in the North. In a statement by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI said: “We are indeed shocked and pained beyond words over the news of the bomb blasts in Kano Central Mosque, which claimed the lives of over 100 innocent Muslims.

“But must blood be spilled to justify the extension of state of emergency? Why is it that anytime, the ineffective state of emergency is about to elapse and or an extension is being sought, attacks are carried out with sophistication? Are we really aware of the repercussions of spilling the blood of innocent souls? What is the essence of the government’s war on terror and its attendant huge budget? Where are the intelligence and security agencies? Can we afford to continue relying on them for our safety and security? Why? We ask ad infinitum with no satisfactory answers. Without mincing words, Nigeria is being misgoverned to the brink!
“JNI condemns in the strongest term, these repeated acts of terror being unleashed on Muslims and calls on Muslims to remain calm and keep vigil over happenings around them; take all defensive measures within the purview of the laws to protect themselves since government has clearly failed.”

Christians, Muslims must join hands to defeat terrorists – Tinubu
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday, condemned the Kano terrorist attack, urging Christians and Muslims to join forces to check the terrorists.

Commiserating with the people of Kano and their Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi Tinubu, in a statement by his media office said: “During the last few days, Nigeria has suffered intense attacks and grave loss of lives due to the evil work of terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Attacks against numerous locations in the North-East demonstrate how heinous and debased Boko Haram and those who sponsor it have become. So depraved, they have become heartless and filled with enmity against all that is good and proper. This was not the act of human beings. These attacks could only have come from the hands of those who do not know God or serve God. This is the act of godless people.
“Those of us who love peace, who love unity and who love Nigerian can never allow this vile group to achieve its objective – to turn us into a bloodied and divided nation. Nigeria can and will defeat this terrorist machine and those behind it. We have no other home. We have no other choice.”

CAN condemns Kano blasts
Umbrella body of Christians in the country, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN also condemned Friday’s attacks in Kano, saying that “the entire Christian community in Nigeria received the news of the latest in the series of bomb explosions, this time around at the mosque near the emir’s palace in Kano, with shock and disbelief. This is most unfortunate given the number of people that lost their lives in their bid to offer prayers to their Almighty in the usual Friday worship at the mosque.”

On behalf of the entire Christian community under the auspices of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), its President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor commiserated with the families of the victims especially those who lost their lives in the attack.

CAN said a recent interfaith meeting that had representations from the hierarchy of both faith in attendance emphasised the need for dialogue, mutual relations, cooperation and unity in the renewed fight against insurgency in the country.

Attacks ‘re barbaric–S/East govs
On their part, the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) while commiserating with the families of the victims, described last Friday’s Kano Mosque attacks as “senseless attack on innocent worshippers.”

The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji who conveyed the condolences of the forum also commiserated with the people and government of Kano State over the unfortunate incident.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, the governor described as “barbaric and incomprehensible” the activities of those behind the bombing “whose mission and agenda have no trace of sanity”.

The South East governors also described as “the height of profanity and disdain for God”, the killing of worshippers at the place of worship. Anyone that has the temerity to kill a worshipper before his God for whatever reason or cause has no regard for God and can never claim to be fighting for Him as Boko Haram wants us to believe”. They also appealed to the international community not to sit idle and watch Nigeria tackle her security challenges alone.

B/Haram has rendered one million Nigerian homeless –Red Cross
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Red Cross Society said more than one million Nigerians have fled their homes and over 8,600 civilians have been killed since 2013 following Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

Secretary General of the Nigerian Red Cross, Mr. Bello Hamman made this revelation in a press release made available to Vanguard at the weekend.

He revealed that over 70 towns and villages in the mostly affected Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Kano, and Kaduna states have been deserted because of Boko Haram attacks.
Those mainly affected are women and children seeking refuge in some states in Nigeria and neighbouring countries of Cameroon and Niger republics.

As part of it social and humanitarian concern and responsibility to the Internally Displace Persons IDPs, the Nigerian Red Cross has launched CHF 2,777,899 appeal fund to reach 150,000 IDPs in the country.

The organization calls on individuals and corporate bodies to support the Red Cross to enable it assist IDPs in areas of improved health care, provision of clean water, sanitation facilities, emergency shelter, non-food items and hygiene among other things.