The people who bombed the Nigeria Police Force headquarters and the United Nations building in Abuja, as well as the St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, are currently in police custody, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
The three attacks took place within the same year.
The June 16, 2011 bombing of the police headquarters, believed to be the first suicide bombing in Nigeria’s history, killed the bomber and a traffic policeman, although authorities said there may have been up to six casualties.
On August 26, 2011 a bomb blast at the UN office in Abuja claimed 23 lives made up of 13 UN staff and 10 non-UN staff, while at least 37 people died and 57 others were injured in an attack at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, a satellite town of Abuja, during Christmas Day church service.
The attacks were claimed to have been carried out by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram.
The President spoke about them yesterday at the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus Christ and New Year Service at the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Diocese of Abuja, All Saints’ Church, in Zone 5, Abuja.
He attributed the various problems facing the country to the unhealthy attitude of Nigerians, saying it is the “ambition to get rich overnight that leads to robbery, kidnapping and all sorts of crime.”
Jonathan said: “We have moved to another phase of terror – kidnapping and armed robbery. But these are momentary challenges.
“I receive constant briefings on security daily, though we don’t publish. Most of the terror suspects have been arrested. People may not know what our men in uniform have been doing; they have been doing a lot to check the situation.
“The people who bombed Police Headquarters, United Nations building and St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla have been arrested.
“We will continue to improve on our security architecture.
“The New Year will be better for the country. We have a huge population and we will continue to provide employment for our people and encourage entrepreneurship.”
The President said his administration has laid solid foundations for the country’s critical sectors and will continue to provide employment for young people and encourage entrepreneurship.
In his sermon titled, “Circumcise Your Heart,” the Primate of All Nigeria, Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, urged the church, businessmen, civil servants, politicians, teachers, academicians and students who dress indecently on campuses to “circumcise their hearts.”
He also urged market women who sell fake products and transporters who hike prices during festive periods, kidnappers, armed robbers and members of the Boko Haram sect to “circumcise” their hearts.
“To be regarded as uncircumcised means you are a godless person,” he said. “Jesus demonstrated his circumcision by being obedient. We ought to be obedient to God’s laws. Circumcision as it affects us today means cutting of sin, corruption, bitterness and so on and so forth.
“As we enter the New Year, we should cut off certain things. I ask Nigerians, the clergy, business community who exploit people, civil servants who hide files, politicians at all levels, teachers who persecute girls for refusing to sleep with them, traders who sell substandard products, petroleum product sellers who short-change Nigerians, kidnappers, armed robbers and Boko Haram to circumcise their hearts.
“This is important so that in the New Year we will build a nation that our children will be proud of.
“Those looking for opportunity to make money without working, young graduates seeking for contracts instead of an employment, who want to ride a jeep, this is a deformity of the heart. It is a wrong lifestyle to start from the top.
“All of us Nigerians should circumcise our hearts.”
Also present at the church service were the president’s mother, the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Police Affairs, Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd); the Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, some lawmakers and senior presidential aides.