Victims of 2011 Christmas day bomb blast in Niger still carrying bullets - Catholic Church

By Ummi Ismaeel,
Minna
The Catholic Diocese of Minna, Niger State, has cried out over alleged abandonment of the 2011 Christmas day bomb blast survivors at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla in Suleja Local Government of Area of Niger State.
The church said that while many of them were still carrying pellets of bullet in their bodies, the masterminds of the unprovoked bloodletting was walking a free man.
The Administrator of the Diocese, Rev. Father Augustine Fokchet, while marking the seventh year anniversary of the martyrs, also disclosed that families of the 21 persons who died in the attack were yet to recover from the trauma.
According to the Catholic priest, “Most of the victims’ families were currently suffering psychological challenges.
“The ugly incident was not just very painful but very, very unfortunate though it had come and gone to the Glory of God”.
Coming exactly seven years after the unfortunate incident that attracted global condemnations when a Boko Haram suspect attacked the church filled to capacity with worshippers celebrating the Christmas mass.
“Thank you very much for coming to find out from us what happened on that fateful December, 25 Christmas day morning in the year 2011 in which one of our parishes, St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla was attacked”.
According to Fr. Fokchet, “It was really very unfortunate but it has come and gone and to the glory of God and since then every year the Catholic Diocese of Minna dedicated every first Friday in February to remember the 21 victims of the bomb blasts whom we see as our Martyrs.
“The Bishop of Minna Diocese, Most Rev. Martins Uzoukwu has made the place a big pilgrimage and events centre. First Fridays in February, we go there to celebrate Mass and pray for the souls of those who died in the attack. We go to their graves side to pray on their tombs.
“In such occasions, we usually go down to Madalla with the Rev. Fathers or Reverend Sisters and the Laities and those who are not yet to be ordained. We go there every year to celebrate Special Mass, commemorate and pray for them”.
Meanwhile, the cleric has said that Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla has become a pilgrimage and events centre of sort every first Fridays in February yearly as many Christians, Catholics in particular gather to celebrate special Mass and pray for the departed souls.

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