Bomber Suspect – CAN tackles police over identity

The Kaduna State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the state’s Police Command are at loggerheads over the different identity and religious faith of the suspected suicide-bomber arrested on Sunday in Living Faith Church, also known as Winners’ Chapel, situated at Sabon Tasha, Chikun Local Council of the state.

While the police command gave the name of the suspect as Nathaniel Tanko and a Christian, the CAN Chairman, Kaduna State Branch, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, raised the alarm that the name given by the same suspect when he was arrested by the church security officials in the afternoon before he was handed over to the police was Mohammed Sani.

In a telephone chat with The Guardian yesterday, Hayab said: “When the suspected bomber was initially arrested before he was handed over to the police, he gave his name as Mohammed Sani but we are not bothered by his religious faith or background other than the fact that a criminal must be treated as a criminal without necessarily looking at his religion or ethnicity.

“We of the Christian faith found the disposition of the police towards religious background of the suspect as a Christian very unfortunate. Why is the police interested in the religion of the suspect and at what point did the bomber Mohammed Sani suddenly become Nathaniel Tanko between the noon when he was arrested by the church security officials and the time handed over to the police?”

Hayab added that Kaduna State had just come out of a similar scenario involving the police when a criminal was arrested and instead of a proper background check of the suspect “the police quickly rushed to say he was a pastor until it was proved otherwise.”

Meanwhile, the development is already generating heat among the Muslim and Christian faithful in the country as the Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said the fact that Nathaniel Tanko, a Christian, was arrested in Kaduna in an attempt to bomb a church put nonsense to CAN’s nationwide protest against insecurity in the country.

Meanwhile, the command has advised schools, places of worship, motor parks, markets, recreational centres and other public places to revive the usual checks on vehicles and luggage, especially at entrance points.The command also directs all its police officers to intensify surveillance and liaise with stakeholders within their jurisdictions to ensure collective vigilance.

In another development, indigenes of Southern Kaduna, under the ambit of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), have expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Kaduna State.

They, therefore, passed a vote of no confidence on the government, urging it to end the prevailing security challenges.In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of SOKAPU, Luka Biniyat, the group said that “we wish to bring to the attention of Nigerians and international community the unprecedented deterioration of the security situation in Kaduna State,” pointing out that “this grim reality has continued to cast frightening uncertainties on the protection of lives and property in the state.”

According to SOKAPU: “The last time, we called the attention of the public to the killing of scores of persons, sacking of no fewer than 14 Gbagyi communities in Chikun Local Council and the kidnapping of over 58 persons, including a breast-feeding mother with her six-month old baby.

“We want to tell the world that since the abduction of these defenseless people, there had been disturbing silence on the part of both the government and security agencies over the fate of these abducted people.” (The Guardian)

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