27th February, 2012
Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State has directed security agencies to beef up security around churches and mosques to check further attacks on religious places.
Jang was reacting to the bombing on Sunday of the COCIN headquarters Church in Jos, where five people were confirmed killed.
Jang, who gave the directive when he visited the scene of the attack, said that government would stop at nothing to sustain the peace that was gradually returning to the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the church, incidentally, is where Governor Jang worships every Sunday during the second service but the attack occurred during the first service.
The governor, who condemned the attack on a peaceful gathering, urged the people to remain calm as everything was being done to forestall a recurrence. “We are doing everything to make sure that churches and mosques are protected from these attacks, the security offices and major buildings are also being protected.
“I urge that we should all calm down and remain law-abiding, people should not take the laws into their hands, we should allow the security personnel to handle the situation.
“It will not help anybody if we start rioting. In any case, who shall we riot against? These are the people that the security should be able to unravel. So, allow the security to do their work.
“Everybody should go back home but I want to assure you all that we will maintain the peace that we have started enjoying.”
Jang, who later visited the injured at the Plateau Specialist Hospital where the dead and 40 injured persons were taken to, commended the workers for attending speedily to the victims.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, the Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr. Desmond Agu, and the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, accompanied the governor.
However, the new Commander of the Military Special Task Force (STF), Maj.- Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim, did not go with the other officials as protesting youths were chanting anti-military songs.
The angry youths had also blocked the roads leading to the church and barred soldiers from entering.