By Steve Ogwu-Chinuwa
COMMERCIAL activities were temporarily stalled yesterday in Ikorodu town, Lagos State, as residents trooped to Patriarch Bolaji Idowu Memorial Church, to catch a glimpse of a suspect who allegedly planned to bomb the church.
The suspect, simply identified as Salisu, an indigene of Taraba State, was said to have confessed to his attempt to bomb the church, situated at Ita Elewa in Ikorodu.
An eyewitness said the timely intervention of the church’s security guards who noticed suspicious movement of a young man, placing a bag within the church premises exposed the suspect.
‘He was immediately arrested and on checking the content of his bag, a cylinder-like object painted red with words written on it for instruction, ‘open in case of emergency’ was found in it’, the witness said.
According to the witness, a muslim amulet chapter that the suspect was said to have confessed he had earlier planted in the church was also found there. He was also said to have confessed to intent to detonate the object during the church service on Sunday.
Police in Ikorodu confirmed that Salisu, spotted in a multi-coloured green and white shirt and blue jean trousers was almost mobbed by angry residents, but their timely arrival at the scene saved him.
According to a security source, the suspect, during interrogation confessed to have arrived and lodged in an undisclosed hotel in Ikorodu.
‘He confessed that he planned to bomb large gathering churches in Ikorodu, including St. Augustine Catholic Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners Chapel, and Celestial Church of Christ,’ the source told The Moment.
Confirming the story, the Lagos State Police Public Relations, Jaiyeoba Joseph, said the suspect has been arrested and until investigation into the case is concluded he could not say more.
The Moment investigations revealed that security had been beefed up around major churches in the town. But there are already fears that churches in Ikorodu may witness a low turn out this Sunday as a result of the incident.
Anti-bomb disposal team led by ASP Umurem arrived the church premises and carried away the bomb for final detonation.
The Ikorodu residents may have come close to witnessing the Boko Haram attack, but no casualty was recorded.
Parishioners, including the church Pastor, Rev. Ogunsiji, at the church when the suspect and the bomb were discovered fled in different directions.
Top Ikorodu indigenes, including Otunba Ayodele Eleso, the acting divisional police officer for Ikorodu, Aderemi Ibrahim, and other prominent residents were among the crowds.
Residents told The Moment that there has been increase in almajiris in Ikorodu lately and security operatives have been put on alert over this.
Only recently, the Celestial Church of Christ, International Headquarters, Ketu, Lagos, was thrown into confusion as a yet-to-be identified Boko-Haram member was arrested while attempting to sneak into the church altar.
The anti-bomb disposal team that arrived at the crime scene advised churches to beef up security around their premises and urged members to attend churches/mosques only with their Bibles and Qurans.
As at press time, the affected church had been deserted because of the incident, while the suspect is still being detained at the police divisional headquarters, Igbogbo Road, Ikorodu.
Culled from The Moment