Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State ,yesterday, said the aim of the suicide bomber that blew off himself and killed eight worshippers at St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Badarwa, Kaduna last Sunday was to kill the entire 1000-plus worshippers attending mass that day.
The governor, who returned from a one-week holiday, Sunday evening, took a tour of the bombed church and visited the injured taking treatment in five different hospitals, saying government will foot their bills and “assist” owners of affected property near the church.
Meanwhile, normal activities have resumed in the town with schools, markets, shops, and all public offices opened. But, a convoy of armed soldiers patrol the major streets of Kaduna to establish their presence.
Speaking at a press conference, yesterday, after what he said was a five-hour tour to see for himself what happened, Yakowa said: “I have gone to the affected church, and I have visited all the injured patients and I am deeply saddened by what happened, but I thank God, because it could have been worse.
“I met the officiating Priest during the Mass Service. His name is Rev. Father Mike Bunni. He was able to tell me that the bomber was very determined to kill all the over 1000 worshippers in the church. And you could see how daring he was. He did not go through the gate. He drove straight against the fenced wall of the church.
“The Priest said if the fence of the church was not strong, he could have driven through the walls of the church and detonated the bomb there. But the bomb went off just outside the door of the church and brought it down. That was why the casualties were not that much. Four were killed. That was what I was told. About 100 were injured. So, you see, we have to thank God for his infinite grace, because the situation could have been worse.
“I was at the 44 Army Referral Hospital, St Gerard Hospital, Garkuwa Hospital Barau Dikko and Multi-Clinic Hospitals. I want to say that though they are in various degrees of pain, they are all in high spirits. I spoke to them, and they all said it was an act of God.
“The Priest told me that no amount of terror will frustrate him from worshiping Christ, and that terror cannot dictate how we worship God.
“I want to use this opportunity to also say that no amount of wickedness of terrorism will deter us from pursuing our agenda of peace, development and security. The few evil ones in this state cannot frustrate the state.
“All the victims will be treated at the expense of the state government, and I have assured all the Medical Directors of these hospitals. We will also assist the owners of the damaged property near the church. And this means that we have to spend on what we have not planned for.”
He then thanked all that came out to assist the victims and praised Christian youths for not going into reprisal attacks.
The Deputy Speaker, Kaduna House of Assembly, Dr. Dogara Matto, spoke at the press conference and said the House was ready to pass into law under 24-hours any law that would improve peace and security in the state.
The Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna, Matthew Man-Oso Ndagoso, also addressed the press and said: “I want to appeal to all our youths to always refrain from taking the law into their hands by taking on innocent people each time this kind of evil takes place. Evil cannot set the pace on how we should leave with one another. I thank them for heeding to this advice.”