‘We have been abandoned’ — Victims of the bombing of Kaduna church in 2012 recounts their ordeal

Victims of the Boko Haram bomb attack at St. Monica Catholic Church, Malali area of Kaduna, said they have been abandoned.

In 2012, a suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into the Catholic Church where worshippers gathered, killing eight persons and leaving 100 others injured.

While receiving Shehu Sani, a former senator, on Saturday, the survivors who called for assistance from the government and “good citizens”, described the trial and the difficult times they faced to make ends meet.

Polycarp Lawrence, a member of the church who lost an eye in the attack, said he has been paying his medical bills with the little support from the church.

Sani inside the church with some of the victims

“Since the bomb blast of 2012, I have not found my rhythm. Life has been so difficult for me and my family. There has been a lot of empty promises from government and some individuals,” he said.

“I was on duty that fateful day the suicide bomber rammed into the fence of the church. I risked my life to save a lot of people and I found myself unconscious in the hospital.”

Another survivor of the bomb blast, simply identified as Jonathan, complained of government not support them, saying while he was admitted at St. Gerald Hospital in the Sabo area of Kaduna, he never got any assistance from government.

A nursing mother identified as Galadima, who was heavily wounded in the attack, also called for support, saying her life has not remained the same since the attack.

“I’m facing a lot of hardship. The church really helped us because we have no money to spend for emergency operations,” she said.

Sani promised to render assistance to the victims of the attack, saying “it is unfortunate that such people are left to cater for themselves after going through trauma”.

He said it is the duty of state and federal governments to cater for victims of violence.

“When a tragedy happens, it is on the front pages of the newspaper. Years after, the victims of such violence will be left to fend for themselves,” he said.

“Victims of violence, victims of banditry are supposed to be in the custody of the state and federal governments. They should be seen as people who died in service to their country”.

“Those people suffered prosecution; people who lost part of their bodies simply for being peaceful, respectful and obedient citizens of this country”.

“We always say we thank God that there are no bombings in this country, but we cannot say there is an end to killings in this country”.

“Churches and mosques are not bombed; it is a fact today. We are grateful to God for that and appreciate the efforts of the federal government and president Buhari in that respect. But people are still killed in large numbers, and people are kidnapped in large numbers. Just today in southern Kaduna, apostle Emmanuel Bako and his wife, Cindy, were abducted from a prayer ground”.

“A spade is a spade and not a spoon. The insurgents and the bandits claim to be Muslims and are targeting churches and Christians, but they are also attacking mosques and Muslims. Christians and Muslims should be united against intolerance, extremism and violence.”

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