The morning of April 14th a series of bombs exploded at a busy bus terminal in Abuja, violently setting 16 luxury- and 14 mini-buses ablaze, killing 71 and wounding more than 130. Though secular news outlets and human rights organizations are unclear as to Boko Haram’s reason for the bombing, Christian rights groups contend the attack specifically targeted Christian worshipers traveling with friends and family in respect of the Easter Passion Week.
04/17/2014 Nigeria (Catholic Sentinel) – The Catholic Church in Nigeria condemned the morning rush hour bombing of a bus station near the capital of Abuja that killed at least 71 people and injured dozens more April 14.
“The killing of innocent Nigerians once again makes us ask how many more innocent people must die before a solution is found to the brutality and insecurity of lives and property in our country,” said Father Christian Anyanwu, national director of social communications for the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, the social development arm of the Nigerian bishops’ conference.
“We commiserate with the families of those who have lost their lives. Indeed it is another sad day in our history as a nation,’ Father Anyanwu wrote in an email.
The priest’s response April 16 came as reports that Boko Haram insurgents had abducted 100 female students from the Government Girls Secondary School in the northeastern town of Chibok less than 24 hours after the bombing.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan accused Boko Haram for the bombing during a visit April 14. Father Anyanwu said the perpetrators of the violence “want us to live in perpetual fear.” “But we cannot be deterred. We can never give up our faith in God and our belief in the unity of our country,” he said.