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How Soldiers Aided Boko Haram in COCIN Headquarters Bombing

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Rev. Soja Bewarang, President of Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Monday, confirmed report that military officers colluded with the suicide bombers that attacked the (COCIN) Headquarters on Sunday morning.

While addressing journalist in Jos, Rev Bewarang recounted how the bombers in collusion with the soldiers deceived the security men on guard to carry out the attack.

In his words 'a navy blue coloured Volkswagen Vento sedan accompanied by two military personnel dressed in desert camouflage was escorted through the church security network, deployed at strategic location from the CBN axis to the Hill Station Roundabout by a Special Military Task Force Hilux Van.

On getting to the church gate, the military Hilux drove on towards the Hill Station junction, while the Vento car made right turn to enter COCIN headquarters where there was a military personnel readily waiting at the gate of the church, requesting the church security to open the gate for the two to drive in.

They told the security personnel at the gate in Hausa language, 'Bude Masu, Sun Kawo taimako ne', meaning 'open the gate we have brought supplies for the church', but the church security refused to honour their request. Consequently, the vehicle rammed into the church gate and made straight to the church auditorium.'

Rev. Bewarang further stated that the driver sped toward the auditorium and on reaching the entrance, the bomb was detonated. He added that the car was shattered into pieces and the engine landed just about five meters from the pulpit and the shrapnel scattered all over while the driver's body was amputated into several pieces.

Continuing Bewarang said, 'The soldiers who work very hard to clear the way for the bombers were disarmed and arrested by the mobile police and military personnel who came to the scene of the incident. They are currently being detained at the military hospital Rukuba barracks in Jos.

According to him, members of the church lost twenty-eight vehicles during the attack, which he said was valued at the sum of over N100 million.

Meanwhile the bombed COCIN headquarters church has become Meca of sort, as thousands of people have been trouping into the church premises to see the extent of destruction caused by the Sunday morning explosion.

As early as 7:00am, Monday, the church compound was packed full with sympathisers who cursed and expressed outrage over the bomb attack.

Among them are, senior citizens of the state including Chief Joshua Dariye, Senators Dantong, Victor Lar, John Shagaya, DIG zone Four(4) Haruna Johan and a host of others.

Speaking with the church leadership after inspecting the incident, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, who was visibly touched by the extent of damage summoned courage and said 'no cause for alarm', according to him the police and other security agencies are working round the clock to unravel those behind the act.

The police chief stated this through his Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone (IV), Haruna John, who led other security chiefs on a condolence and sympathy visit on the bereaved families, victims and leadership of the COCIN headquarters in Jos, affected by the early Sunday Bomb Blast.

He expressed shocked at the magnitude of destruction that emanated from the blast but appealed to the public to take solace in God, stressing that security apparatus have been strengthened  to deal with similar situations in future.

'I am made to understand that this is where the presidents of the church and those senior citizens of the state including the seating governor, National Assembly members from the state and former governor of the state, Chief S. D. Lar worship and imagine if the perpetrators have penetrated into the church'.

Piqued by the spate of terrorist related activities being perpetrated by a radical Islamic sect, popularly known as Boko Haram, the Plateau state police boss has assured that security apparatus are not resting on their oars to unravel the perpetrators of these inhuman activities.

The Senator representing Plateau North at the National Assembly described the incident as devastating and called on the church to remain resolute and law abiding but should rise up strongly and declare judgment prayers against the enemies.

Senator Victor Lar who could not hide his emotions, said it is by so doing that God would intervene in the menace, 'the story I heard, if it is true then it is unfortunate, because I was told that it was even the soldiers that we entrusted them with the responsibility of protecting lives that even smuggled the suicide bomber into the church premise'.

Speaking on the agitation made by the youths in the state during the protest, calling for the withdrawal of soldiers on the streets of Jos, Senator Dariye said, as a lawmaker he does not have the right to call for their withdrawal but noted that only the presidency has the right to do so.

Meanwhile the COCIN President Soja Bewarang was overwhelmed with the visit of security chiefs and other dignitaries who rushed to the premises to give them words of encouragement and assured that as a church, they must always encourage its membership not to translate their anger into violence and that the church has already taken the whole issue to God in Prayer.

"But my concern is that why is it that the church has always been the target, of what reason has the security become their target, so I think it is only prayers that could help?" he queried.

Also, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned the blast, describing it as an 'act of wickedness against humanity.'

CNPP Chairman in Plateau state, Alhaji Mohammed Kanam in a statement made available to, said, 'it was time that those behind the several bomb attacks be exposed and brought to justice', and urged the security operatives to live up to their responsibilities.