The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, on Monday donated N25 million to the family of victims of the 2011 Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State.
The explosion claimed 44 lives out of a total of 127 victims affected. Presently, four victims are still in Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital while eight of the victims are in General Hospital too. So many of these victims have lost their sight while others have also lost their sounds. Six vehicles were totally burnt off with others destroyed even as the Church building barely survived standing while adjourning buildings were badly affected as well.
The condolence visit of Sanusi, which is coming barely one month when he paid a similar condolence to the people of Kano State, came after heavy criticisms over his N100 million donation to victims of the Kano blasts.
However, Sanusi explained that he would have visited the church on Monday last week, but for the fact that the Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Isaac Achi, was out of town on a trip to Owerri.
Sanusi added that he travelled when Father Achi returned. He said the donation was meant for all the victims, including neighbours of the church.
Sanusi said: “We decided, first of all that as a responsible corporate citizen, apart from the personal call that we made, we decided that we should come here, give our condolences, give our sympathy.
“The Board of Central Bank in 2006 had approved a policy framework for corporate social responsibility, part of which we know that sometimes, incidents like this can happen. While money does not bring back life, the policy document encourages the bank that when things like this happens, to try and see in what way it can show concern, it can give assistance so that we can all be our brothers’ keepers.
“In keeping with that, the Committee of Governors met a little over a week ago and took a decision to make a contribution to the victims, widows and orphans of and the injured of these two incidents in Kano and Madalla.
“This was on Friday and we were planning to come here on Monday. But on Saturday, we were informed that the Parish Priest would not be in. He was to be around on Thursday. But on Thursday, I was not available and I wanted to be here in person.
“For that reason we requested to postpone it till Monday. I had to fly into the country this morning to ensure I am here personally.
“It is tragic because it happened on a Holy day for that matter. Churches and Mosques are holy places that must also be seen as sacred. When you attack a church on Sunday or you attack a Mosque on Friday, then you have actually offended God Himself.”
He prayed that God, in His infinite mercies, should grant the dead eternal rest while granting their families and the church the fortitude to bear the loss.
The Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocess, Dr. Martins Igwemezie Uzoukwu, responded by saying: “Your coming has given us enough will to quench the sorrows of our heart for those that died. No amount of money can raise up the dead but what we can say here is that you have come to uplift our minds with this donations. We shall use this fund to take care of those still in hospitals, the widows, the orphans and then to repair our damaged buildings including those of our neighbours.”