Sunday’s foiled bombing of Winners Chapel, Owerri, Imo State, has elicited a stern “keep off our zone” warning from south-east governors to Boko Haram militants.
No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the plot but several churches in the north have been bombed by Boko Haram ─ making the insurgents prime suspects.
Police said six suspects had been arrested while improvised explosives devices were recovered from the church premises.
Four of the five south-east governors held a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock villa on Monday.
Those in attendance were Willie Obiano of Anambra, Theodore Orji of Abia, Sullivan Chime of Enugu and Martin Elechi of Ebonyi. Only Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha was absent.
They assured the people of the south-east that security arrangements had been made “to forestall any plans” by Boko Haram to carry out attacks in the area.
Obiano told journalists that south-east has already placed security forces on the alert. He, however, did not give any further details on the measures.
He said: “No, they cannot get there. I can assure you of that. We will not allow that to happen. I cannot tell you in any material details about the bombs found or not found.
“All I can assure you is that we are very alert in the south-east and we are watching what is going on. I can assure you that Boko Haram cannot come to the south-east.”
He asked all Nigerians to support Jonathan as he tackles the security challenges in the nation.
“Reckless utterances” from politicians, he said, were boosting the confidence of the insurgents and putting “tremendous pressure” on the president.
Obiano said the south-east governors came to assure Jonathan that “we are with him all the way and that he can count on us”.