Zaria (Kaduna State) – Three remaining casualties of the June 17 explosions that rocked two churches in Zaria, Kaduna State, were laid to rest on Thursday in Zaria after a requiem mass at St. Enda’s Parish, Basawa, Zaria.
Addressing journalists shortly after the interment, the Catholic Bishop of Zaria, the Most Rev. George Dodo, said that 16 people lost their lives in the incidents.
He said six persons were members of the Christ the King Church, Zaria, adding that three others had earlier been buried.
The bishop said 10 Muslims, who lived or worked opposite the church, were also killed. This figure does not include the suicide bombers, he said.
“Many of our parishioners sustained injuries from the shattered glasses, falling ceiling and the stampede as people tried to look for escape route,” the bishop said, adding that three had earlier been buried.
Dodo appealed to Northern elders, religious leaders, politicians and traditional rulers to check the rising violent activities of the Boko Haram sect and the reprisal attacks.
“We should realise that the economy of the North and education of our children are being brought backward because of attacks.
“I call on members of the Boko Haram, who claimed responsibility of most of these attacks, to put an end to them and seek redress through dialogue and/or through legal means.
“I call on government to use all available human and material resources to put an end to this untold grief and sorrow brought to bear on people’s lives.
“I call on government to create more jobs and more youth empowerment centres to provide them with skills which will make them more useful and productive to themselves and the society.
“I call on religious leaders to, as a matter of urgency and moral obligation, impact correct teachings of the tenets of our faiths and focus also on the things that unite rather than divide us,” Dogo pleaded.
The bishop charged politicians to play politics with the spirit of sportsmanship to pave way for national growth and development.