JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Among several Boko Haram bombings that have put northeastern Nigeria on edge this year was a suicide attack on Christian student organization quarters that killed a Christian student, sources said.
Ambore Gideon Todi, a 21-year-old student at the University of Maiduguri in Borno state, was staying in the Evangelical Church Winning All’s student ministry tent when Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated explosives in mid-May, according to leaders of the school chapter of the student ministry.
Joseph Kamida Cham, a Christian leader from Todi’s native Gombe state, told Morning Star News that a friend of Todi’s also staying in the Christian student quarters had decided to travel just prior to the bombing.
“When Ambore’s friend returned from his trip and could not find him during the student ministry fellowship, that made him to start asking questions,” Cham said. “It was later disclosed that Ambore was mistaken for one of the suicide bombers that died.”
School authorities had reported that one army member along with three suspected suicide bombers were affected by the blasts. The school decided against announcing that any students were affected, fearing the school would be closed, Cham said.
Leaders of the university ECWA student ministry confirmed the killing shortly after his death, Cham said.
“It is believed that he was not the only one affected by the bomb blast, as there were others involved and were in their fellowship program,” he said, saying he was close to Todi’s family. “The authorities did not say anything about their demise till after nine days. We knew of his death because he is from my state.”
Only after Todi’s friends alerted authorities to his disappearance nine days after the bombing was he identified as a victim of the bombing, he said.
“He was identified as a victim through his shirt found at the scene of the attack,” Cham said.
Williams Abba Todi, the student’s father, announced the killing in a post on Facebook on May 22.
“KILLED BY BOKO HARAM,” he wrote. “The management of the University of Maiduguri has today officially informed us of the death of our son AMBORE GIDEON TODI killed in the suicide bombing. Ambore rest in the LORD as you were killed in the Church on active service give us consolation you are on the right hand of GOD.”
Williams Abba Todi could not be reached for comment.
Cham said Todi was the only member of his family to have gone to university and the only male child.
“He was the only child of the family who went beyond secondary school,” Cham said. “He was in Physics Department and in his 100 level.”
The family is from Biliri, Gombe state.
Maiduguri has been the site of a series of bombings and attacks by Boko Haram terrorists who aim to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria. They have also attacked predominantly Christian towns of Borno state such as Chibok, Gwoza, and Uba since January.
In an attack on a mosque in Maiduguri on Monday (July 17), at least eight people were reportedly killed when a female suicide bomber detonated explosives. Since being driven out of captured territory by military counter-insurgency operations, Boko Haram has increasingly used women and girls, presumably kidnapped, to carry out suicide attacks.
The previous week, four women reportedly detonated explosives in a suicide mission in the Molai Kolemari area of Maiduguri, killing 19 people and injuring 23 others.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims account for 45 percent.
Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.