Jos— Many Christian worshipers in Jos, Plateau State capital, Sunday, got the rough side of the security beef up, following road blocks that frustrated movement on many streets.
Amidst the threat by Boko Haram Islamist sect to unleash further terror on the city, additional security measures were taken by security agencies and churches to forestall any attack.
Meanwhile, in Kaduna, normal church activities proceeded peacefully, yesterday, but there was elaborate security arrangement in all the churches visited by Vanguard.
However, many Christians going to church in Jos were frustrated as they were barred from driving through many roads. Vehicles were diverted to alternative roads, which ended up being blocked at the other end by other churches, thereby making it impossible for many Christians to go to their churches.
Many returned home without attending services after going back and forth on many streets without making headway.
An angry worshiper said: “I have been going round and round for an hour. I was diverted to another road and by the time I got to the end of it, I was told I could not pass. I had to go back all the way.”
Attendance was low in some churches as people stayed away following rumours that churches would be attacked by Boko Haram. Rumour was rife on Saturday that movement was banned from morning till 2pm, but security agencies later dismissed the rumour.
State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, who went round some churches to assess the security arrangements called for vigilance by all to checkmate any planned attack.
He advised some of the churches visited to put in place additional security measures that would make it impossible for would-be attackers to penetrate their church. He cautioned members against loitering after service.
Boko Haram sect had listed Jos among those targeted for renewed attack over what it called reprisal attacks against Muslims following the attack on Christ Chosen Church of God a few weeks back.
Elaborate security arrangement in Kaduna
According to Vanguard findings, churches in Sabo, Barnawa and Sabon Tasha had full attendance, with most members leaving their cars at home and trekking to their various places of worship, as part of security measures agreed upon.
“At the Barnawa ECWA Good News Church, Hausa section that I attend,” David Kajang said, “we have a membership strength of 420. Today’s attendance was 395. A very high figure compared to other Sundays. No one can scare us from worshiping the living God.”
Soldiers, Police, Civil Defence Corps and church security restricted traffic to a single lane in many areas of the town where churches were close to the streets.
In Zonkwa, Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, about 150km South of Kaduna, youths were reported to be combing the bushes after it was reported that some bomb-making materials were discovered on a farm close to the town.
But there was no official confirmation from the Police.
Governor Yakowa, according to a statement by his Media Aide, Mr. Reuben Buhari, held a meeting with leading stakeholders in the state on Saturday to find lasting solution to the recurrent crises rocking the state.
The meeting was convened to address the ethno-religious and political crises in the state.
Those in attendance included the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muktar Yero; members of the national and state assemblies, including Senators Ahmed Makarfi (PDP), Nenadi Usman (PDP) and Sani Saleh (CPC).
Others were Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, PDP National Organising Secretary; Amb. Nuhu Bajoga, state PDP Chairman, and members of the state executive council and local government interim committee chairmen.