A survivor of Christmas day church attack on the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) Church, Giri, Yobe State who is presently receiving medical attention has exclusively told SaharaReporters during a phone interview that it was Boko Haram sect members that attacked their church in the early hours of Christmas day, killing the pastor and other five worshippers and also set the church ablaze along with some houses.
The survivor who spoke through an interpreter said, “We had gathered in our church in the night praying and doing our night service. In the early hours we just heard sporadic shooting inside the church. We were confused and had nowhere to go. They surrounded the church building, so if you were coming out of the church they would shoot you, and some of us just escaped by a miracle but with gun wounds.
“They were shouting Allahuakubar and some were speaking in Arabic and Hausa saying that they must kill all of us and set an example. That since we cannot stop, they will also not stop attacking and killing us. We hide in the bush while those they trapped were crying in pain. It is what I will never forget in my life. They were many in numbers, other villagers who were in their homes heard gun shots and also fled. I came only on Monday evening from Gombe where I am based and presently under my relations care here in Potiskum.”
He added that the sect members carried out the attacks without any resistance and left before men of Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived the village, saying, “By then they had finished perpetrating their killings and burning our church and other houses.”
The spokesperson of the JTF in Yobe State Lt. Eli Lazarus, on Tuesday, said that they have arrested one of the suspected killers, who he said attacked the village while fleeing Potiskum because of stiff operations of the JTF. He did not explain if the suspected individual confessed of being part of the Boko Haram sect.