On 7 January, at least 11 people were killed when gunmen believed to be members of the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, attacked Christian worshippers at a church in Yola, capital of Adamawa State.
The attack came only a day after a similar attack in Mubi, also in Adamawa State, in which gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members killed over 20 Igbo traders who were meeting in a town hall. Local sources said the attackers, numbering about five and riding a Volkswagen Golf car, struck at about 7.30 pm. They opened fire on the worshippers at a local assembly of Christ Apostolic Church within Yola metropolis.
The 11 people killed included Deacon Emma Timothy, who was leading the prayer at the time of the attack. About 10 others who suffered gunshot wounds were rushed to different hospitals in the town for treatment.
The worshippers were meeting as part of their New Year Week of Prayer. Local sources say it had been the tradition of the church to hold a week of prayer through the first week of every new year, to usher in a new lease of life. The Week of Prayer was expected to end with a thanksgiving service on Sunday morning (8 January) but the attack marred the rounding off of the spiritual exercise.
On 15 December, a bomb exploded in Gwange area of Maiduguri, Borno State, just as gunmen suspected to be members of the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, killed two people and injured three on Santimari Polo Road.
According to the spokesman of the military Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt Col Hassan Mohammed, some members of Boko Haram detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Gwange ward at about 7.45pm. He said the men had targeted a JTF patrol vehicle, but that the vehicle had left the area by the time the device went off and that there was no casualty.
In the shooting incident, residents said at about 8pm, some gunmen came in an unmarked Volkswagen Golf car and opened fire on people playing cards in front of a shop owned by a GSM recharge card dealer.
One witness said he heard the gunmen saying to people: ‘Don’t run, don’t worry, we are not here for you. We have our target’. They shot two men to death, including the Head Teacher of COCIN Church Primary School in Polo. One report suggests they may have been targeting a security officer who usually comes to the shop, especially at night.
Col Hassan confirmed the incident. He said JTF men pursued two of the suspects who then abandoned their car and fled into the night. He said no arrest had been made, but that normalcy had been restored to the area.
According to local sources, a three-man gang riding a Volkswagen Golf car, trailed Uzochi to the Choice World Hotel in Umudike, before they grabbed him. Before people around could intervene, they had sped off to an unknown destination. It is not certain whether they have made ransom or other demends on the family.
The spokesman for the Abia State Police Command, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed the incident to newsmen. He said he was confident that the command will track down the abductors and rescue the hostage.