Two Church Attacks in Nigeria


Nigeria’s Islamist sect Boko Haram said it was behind a suicide bomb attack Sunday that killed at least three outside a church in the central city of Jos, and warned of more such assaults.

Witnesses said a car packed with explosives rammed the gate of a perimeter fence and exploded a few metres (yards) from the wall of an 800-seat church hall in the volatile city.

Three people including a toddler were killed in the attack, igniting brief riots by Christian youths that left another three people, believed to be Muslims, dead on the streets of the capital of Plateau State.


Bauchi State Police Command Sunday arrested eight persons in connection with an alleged attempt to bomb COCIN LCC Church in Miya Barkatai village in Toro Local Government Area of the state.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, said in a statement in Bauchi, that the timely intervention of the police prevented the occurrence of an ugly incident in the state.

Aduba said the act was to be carried out by members of a rival group in the COCIN church in the village due to some misunderstanding among them.

The incident in Jos marks, I believe, the first suicide bombing in that city as well as another attempt by Boko Haram to incorporate Jos into its zone of regular attacks. The resulting killings by Christians demonstrate the secondary effects that Boko Haram’s violence can have. And the plot in Bauchi reminds us that not all violence now in the North is coming from Boko Haram; perhaps the plotters even hoped that the larger wave of violence would cover up their own involvement and direct suspicion away from them.

I don’t think I’ve posted the recent New York Times piece on Boko Haram in Kano, so here it is. It gives some insight into the group’s presence there, and how people are reacting to it.


8 thoughts on “Two Church Attacks in Nigeria

  1. The Bauchi incident is as believable as the “Iranian plot against the Saudi Ambassador in the US”. It doesn’t pass the smell test, there are far too many inconsistencies for it to be believable.

    These people were claimed to be in “possession of sophisticated weapons”, yet were beaten back by a mob. And they attempted to burn down a Church in broad daylight, are we supposed to believe that a Christian that wants to burn down a Church would do it in broad daylight?

    Interestingly, these “Christians” coordinated their attack to occur on the same day as a suicide bombing on a branch of the same COCIN church that was bombed in Jos!

    In that article, the president of COCIN described the Police statement as “completely untrue” and I am more inclined to believe him than to believe the same Police Force that allowed Kabiru Sokoto to escape (with the full connivance of a senior police officer).

    There is a confidence trick being played here. This is not the first time “Christians are being accused of attempting to burn Churches”. These accusations have been made in the past without concrete evidence being provided. In Adamawa State, the governor attempted to explain away the murder of 12 traders (from the same community in South-Eastern Nigeria) as being due to “business rivals”. Their widows begged to differ.

    As usual, people who covertly support Islamic Fundamentalists and their liberal apologists eagerly lap up these stories, because they help deflect attention from the larger, wider and more serious issue of Islamic terrorism. Christians are “always attempting to burn Churches” while Islamic terrorists always succeed in bombing actual Churches.

    • Odder things have happened. I had thought the idea of Israeli agents murdering Iranian scientists in Iran during the 2009 protests (when Iranian police, paramilitary and intelligence should have been at its highest) was ridiculous but recent attacks have given the idea more credibility.

      • We are not talking about the Mossad here, we are talking about Nigeria. It is important that we talk fact and not speculation.

        The last “Christian” accused was purported to be “commercial sex worker”, nobody knows what became of her, what motivated her or even if that story is true.

        I lived in Nigeria long enough to smell nonsense from a mile.

      • I wasn’t accusing Mossad (indeed it would be rather strange of them) I was pointing out that politics can get very strange.

      • Let’s desist from making any judgments until someone is arraigned before a court.

        Remember that a serving Muslim senator was arrested in connection with Boko Haram, but apparently nothing has come out of it.

        Trust me, I am a Nigerian, I don’t believe a word from the Nigerian police – it’s all lies and half-truths.

  2. We have to be very careful about what we write and what conclusions we draw. Already the “Christian attempt” is eagerly being lapped up by the Northern media as proof that Boko Haram is actually a “Christian plot to destabilise the North sponsored by President Jonathan”.

    With literacy rates around 20 – 30%, you can only imagine the damage this story will do in the North.

    Which seems to be the intention all along.

  3. Pingback: Two More Churches Attacked in Nigeria -

  4. This is unrelated.

    The leader of the Nigerian Christian Association is advocating that Nigerians should be allowed to carry guns. Before you accuse him of being “anti-Christian”, please read this scripture:

    “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.” (Luke 22:36 NASB)”

    This is exactly the kind of problem that opponents of Sharia law like myself envisaged. You cannot create an environment in which one religious tradition is favoured over another and expect the other religious tradition not to demand its “own space” in Nigerian politics. This is just the beginning, I expect to see references to St. Augustine’s “City of God” or “The Theory of Just War” or the theology of Bonhoeffer or any theology that supports a more militant expression of Christianity.

    Let me remind us, that Nigeria is not Egypt and Nigerian Christians are not Copts. The last time Sharia was tried in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious nation, it left that nation divided. That should be a cautionary tale.

    If the current regime of Islamist inspired violence continues, Christians in Nigeria will arm themselves, anyway.

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