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  • Seven Xmas Day bomb victims go blind, says priest

  • Seven hospitalised victims of the Christmas Day bombing by Boko Haram have gone blind, the parish priest said yesterday. The deadly sect bombed St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State on Christmas Day last year during an early morning mass. Forty-four people died in the blast; 83 were injured.

    The suspected mastermind of the blast, Kabiru Sokoto, is in security custody. His suspected accomplice, Habibu Bama, has been declared wanted. Rev. Father Isaac Achi spoke yesterday while receiving Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who led a team of the apex bank to donate N25million to the church, victims and members of the community affected by the blast.

    The priest said: “Of the 127 victims, we lost 44, out of the injured seven lost their sight, four are still at Gwagwalada Specialist, eight at National Hospital, Abuja. Others have been referred to Kano, Zaria, Lagos and Enugu hospitals.” Sanusi said the donation was in line with the 2006 Corporate Social Responsibility, approved by the Board, permitting the management to show concern to victims of any form of disaster.

    “It was in the light of this that the Committee of Governors of the bank met to offer assistance to the victims, their families, widows, orphans and others whose property were damaged by the blast. This is to show that we can all be our brothers’ keepers. “We wish to announce the donation of N25million to the church and the community for the rehabilitation of our people.” Sanusi said such a gesture was extended to the United Nations whose building was bombed in Abuja last year. He said the CBN provided accommodation to staff of the global body by renovating a building and donating it to them. Praying for the repose of the souls of the victim and quick recovery for the injured, Sanusi also prayed that God should frustrate the activities of the enemies of the country. A donation of N100million was made by the bank to victims of the Kano explosion.