Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday criticized the series of bombings that took place in four states in the North on the day Christmas was celebrated across the world.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin and made available to LEADERSHIP, Buhari also condoled with all those who lost their loved ones in “these heinous acts of terror and prays that the Almighty Allah would grant them the fortitude to bear their irreparable losses”.
The former Head of state further called on all people of goodwill to condemn these occurrences that had sent sorrows to many families in a festive season.
He said: “Bombing other human beings to death at any time is callous. It becomes much more reprehensible on a Christmas Day and all lovers of peace must condemn this gruesome acts and demand that the perpetrators be fished out and brought to book”.
He added that he was worried about the seeming mute indifference of the Nigerian authorities to the unfortunate incidents.
“How on earth would the Vatican and the British authorities speak before the Nigerian government on attacks within Nigeria that have led to the deaths of our citizens? This is clearly a failure of leadership at a time the government needs to assure the people of the capacity to guarantee the safety of lives and property” he added.
He called on the Nigerian government to rise up to the challenge of security in our country and not to believe that it’s just about voting almost a quarter of the budget to security.
He said, “You can devote the entire budget to security and there won’t be any result if there is no competence in leadership to know what to do at the right time.”
Meanwhile, a former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Dangiwa Umar, has faulted the Christmas Day bombings in Niger, Plateau, Borno and Yobe states.
In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Umar said that the development was uncalled for.
He said: “It goes without saying that all true believers - particularly Muslims and Christians - whose religions preach peaceful co-existence are shocked and saddened by the bombings of churches and other places in northern Nigeria on - of all days - Christmas. These acts are an assault on our religious sensibilities.
“The perpetrators are enemies of all humanity and cannot be said to represent any religion. Hell is their abode in the hereafter. We pray for the dead and injured as we extend our condolences to their loved ones.
“The aim of the perpetrators is very clear. It is in effect to sow the seeds of disaffection between the adherents of the two great religions of Christianity and Islam.
“At a time like this, it is all very tempting to engage in inter faith recriminations and destructive vengeance.
“Needless to say that this can only succeed in giving traction to the forces of evil. We must forge a united front to this threat to our national unity and well - being.
“I pray that God will deliver us from our tormentors. I wish all our Christian brothers a very merry Christmas and to all Nigerians, a prosperous New Year.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, urged Nigerians to eschew violence and work towards building bridge of understanding among the various ethnic group and religious groups in the country.
In a message of condolence and support to the victims of the Christmas Day blasts issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Imam Imam, the Speaker said the cases of insecurity witnessed in various parts of the country would soon be a thing of the past.
He said the House of Representatives will work closely with other arms of government to ensure that the country is more secured in the future.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said that it will beef up security in churches and mosques in the country to forestall further attacks by terrorists.
Minister of Police Affairs Caleb Olubolade, said this yesterday in Madalla in Niger State while inspecting the bombed St. Theresa Catholic Church.
Olubolade condemned the bomb blast and vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to book.
“It is now clear that places of worship like churches and mosques are increasingly becoming targets of attacks. We need to provide security accordingly,” he said.
The minister called on Nigerians to be vigilant and security conscious as the government beefs up security.
Also many prominent Nigerians have called on FG to announce a national emergency following the Xmas bombings.
Prof. Pat Utomi, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) in the 2011 April elections, said that the blast represented a breaking point for the nation’s patience.
Utomi told NAN, “The Christmas bomb-blast is a great tragedy, coming on a day that represents peace on earth as Christians celebrate the birth of Christ.
“This latest development calls for a national emergency and the need for a summit to enable Nigerians to decide on where the nation is going,” he said.
Utomi said that where the nation was heading towards should no longer be the concern of security officials alone.
“It is obvious that these security officials seem not to understand what is going on and how to handle it. Nigerians must sit to discuss the way forward; ignoring this would spell greater disaster for the nation,” he said.
In his reaction, Chief Maxi Okwu, the Coordinator of the Patriotic Alliance of Nigeria (PAN), a group of opposition political parties, said, “Government and security agencies across the nation seem to be losing the war against terrorism. Government must change its tactics by doing more of counter terrorism, intelligence gathering and infiltration.”
Okwu also stressed the urgent need for Nigerians to sit down and talk about the state of the nation before the carnage ripping though the country became impossible to handle.
“Nigeria must go back to the original agreement on federalism, which has been abandoned. The Federal Government must coordinate and fine-tune the basic agreement,” he said.