National Security Adviser Gen Owoye Andrew Azazi (rtd) last night said St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla was bombed by Boko Haram members from a moving vehicle.
He said two of the suspects have been arrested.
Azazi, in a statement, said the church was bombed out of frustration by Boko Haram as a result of the proactive measures taken by security agencies to checkmate the sect.
He said: “Once again, in a festive season, parts of the country have experienced unnecessary blood-letting by a group, whose objectives are not in consonance with any genuine religious tenets.
“The latest mindless and cowardly attacks by Boko Haram members specifically directed at churches were pre-meditated. Only last week, five Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were recovered in five churches at Mubi in Adamawa State.
“And out of frustration arising from proactive measures taken by security agencies against their chosen targets, they decided to throw Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from a moving vehicle in the glare of everyone at unsuspecting members of congregation of St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla in Niger State at the close of the service.
“Two of the criminals had been apprehended, caught in the action.
“The Christmas Day blast in Jos, Plateau State followed the same pattern. The explosion in Yobe was also checkmated at the gate of the Department of State Security Head of Office in Yobe, after the vehicle carrying the bomb was stopped. The criminals died in the explosion, unfortunately, causing the death of three security operatives.
“It is significant to note that Boko Haram’s major armoury in Yobe was destroyed only last week. Yet another armoury in Kaduna and two in Kano were destroyed also last week, in addition to heavy casualties the sect sustained.
“It is important to inform of the public that the pro-active measures put in place by the security forces during this festive period have so far checkmated a major catastrophic plan envisaged by Boko Haram.
“We urge everyone in our various communities to go about their activities, remain vigilant and urgently report anything suspicious to security agents.
“We renew our appeal to all Nigerians that this is not a fight between security forces and some dissident elements. It is a conflict between some misguided extremists in our midst and the rest of our society, because the victims are not confined to any ethnic boundary .
“We must cooperate to fish them out. And because our cause is just and our collective resolve is stronger, together we shall prevail!”