St Rita’s Catholic Church in the Malali area of Kaduna City was very badly damaged in a suicide bomb attack on Sunday, 28 October, 2012.
In an interview with the FIDES News Agency, Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna stated that this was “a cowardly, barbarous and horrible act, that any ordinary person can only condemn. It is unthinkable that anyone is able to commit such actions, but unfortunately it happens.” It is reported that at least 8 parishioners were killed and dozens injured, many of them young people and members of the Church choir.
The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber driving a car bomb that blew up when the car crashed against the Church during morning Mass. It is believed that this is a further atrocity carried out by the Boko Haram Islamist group.
In order to avoid retaliation the Archbishop went on local radio to appeal for calm, stating “I have no direct knowledge of retaliation actions but as soon as the news about episodes of revenge on behalf of Christians spread, I immediately launched an appeal via radio to calm and peace. Unfortunately one cannot control everyone.” Police set up roadblocks and patrols across the city in an effort to prevent further violence.
“The situation is now calm, the police and the army control the streets. Even in the area of the attack the population is dedicated to their normal activities, ” said the Archbishop, who concludes: “the President of the Assembly, who is a Muslim, condemned the attack, today we will see if other Muslim leaders will join in condemning this brutal act.”