The chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Kaduna State has condemned the act of the Nigerian police in the state over the arrest and expected prosecution of a suspected Living Faith church suicide bomber identified as Mohammed Sani.
The CAN chairman made a thought-provoking remark of the police who was invited to pick up the suspect after his attempt to blow-up a Living Faith church in Kaduna State failed and he was nabbed by the church.
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The suspect had revealed his name as Mohammed Sani as at the time when he was arrested by the church, and had been reported to be Nathaniel Samuel by the police.
The “suicide bomber” was arrested with a duffle bag containing items which from all indication looked like explosive devices.
CAN Chairman, Rev. John Hayab, confirmed that the suspect had identified himself as Mohammed Sani when he was apprehended by the church on Sunday, February 2, 2020.
Rev. John Hayab, however, expressed surprise over the sudden change of name by the suicide bomber from “Mohammed Sani” to “Nathaniel Samuel” after he was handed over to the Police while calling for a thorough investigation of the matter beyond the religion or alleged name change.
“The church was in session when the young man came in, dropped his bag and exited as if he was going to the toilet, but didn’t come back in time. Some church members became suspicious. The church had put security measures in place such that they monitor everything going on in the church and they even have CCTV cameras,” the cleric said according to Punch.
“They discovered that what was in the bag looked like explosives, so they called the police. Let me state clearly that it was not the police that arrested him. It was the church that arrested him and then handed him over to the police.
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“The police came to pick him up at the church. At the time he was interrogated at the church, he told the church that his name was Mohammed Sani, but when he was handed over to the police, the police told everyone that his name was Samuel Nathaniel,” he added.
Rev. John Hayab accused the police of failing to thoroughly investigate and profile the suspect, adding that a few weeks ago, the force also arrested a hoodlum and erroneously paraded him as a pastor.
“This incident justifies the US’ decision to place visa restrictions on Nigerians. The US Government told us that one of the reasons for the visa ban was that Nigeria do not do proper background checks on people.
“So, a criminal can go to one part of Kaduna and bear John, travel to another part of the state and bear Abdullahi or Oluwole or Emeka and nobody will know. So, let us stop focusing on his name but his crime. A criminal is a criminal. There are now two versions, one from the church and one from the police.
“I don’t care what his name is. All I know is that a criminal wanted to blow up a church and kill people. The police should find out who his sponsors are and not play politics with names. Last week, a man was paraded by the police for faking his kidnap and identified as a pastor, only for us to find out he was never a pastor.
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“I know Muslims that bear Paul, I know Christians that bear Mohammed. Our CAN chairman in Borno State is Mohammed Laga. I have a cousin that bears Mohammed Paul. So, let us not focus on the name but on the act of terrorism,” Hayab said.
That said, the Police in Kaduna State has assured Nigerians that they would thoroughly investigate the matter.