Shuaibu Byal, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has suggested that Sunday's bomb attacks on a branch of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) might have actually been organized by members of the church itself.
Three people died and 38 others were left wounded when a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside a major COCIN church in Nigeria's Plateau State on Sunday, Feb. 26. It was one of many similar attacks on churches that have been credited to radical Islamist sect Boko Haram in recent months.
Another attempted attack on a COCIN church in Bauchi State was stopped on time by police who arrested eight people suspected to have been plotting to bomb the church, with one of the attackers being shot dead by an officer, Mission Network News reported.
After the attacks, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan addressed the nation in a statement:
"Those who seek to divide us by fear and terror will not succeed," he said, the Associated Press reported. "The indiscriminate bombing of Christians and Muslims is a threat to all peace-loving Nigerians."
Boko Haram has apparently claimed responsibility for the attacks, and it has warned that anyone who stands in its way will have to pay a heavy price.
"Our attacks have no distinction on any person, be him Muslim or Christian," the spokesman said. "For as long as they stand against us and our cause, their blood is legitimate to be shed."
On Christmas Day, as many as 39 people were killed in two cities in Nigeria as the Islamist extremists bombed a number of churches.
Byal, however, has come out to suggest that this Sunday's attempted bomb attack was actually organized by COCIN members, and warned that it might be a sign of the end times.
The chairman, who is also the pastor in charge of the Evangelical Church of West Africa, quoted the book of Mathew, Chapter 24, where he focused on scripture that revealed "the destruction of the temple and signs before the end," Premium Times reported.
"This incident is the manifestation of what Jesus Christ was referring to in Mathew 24 as signs of the end times. Christians should preach the truth, and not be sheep in wolves clothing" Byal warned.
He claimed that it was a conflict in the Bauchi State church's internal administration that led some members to plot the bombing together.
The chairman and pastor affirmed that CAN has alerted security agencies of the matter, and called upon Christians to learn from the incident and be weary of ever turning to violence to solve such problems.