More than 50 pastors/ clergymen and thousands of youth groups mostly from different denominational Churches have on Friday morning converged at the demolished site of Local Church of Brethern, LCB, under Ekkliziyan Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), a.k.a Church of Brethern Maduganari ward of Maiduguri metropolis.
All aggrieved parties called on Borno state Government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to immediately reconstruct the destroyed Church building, its pure water factory and security post among other facilities hitherto bulldozed by officials of Borno Geographic Information System (BOGIS).
Recall that there were outright condemnation, in strong terms, of the demolition of the church and subsequent firing of gun shots by a member of Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, as well as some persons who hurled stones at the task force during an encounter on Thursday with officials of BOGIS, led by its Executive Secretary, Engineer Adam Bababe, in which one person (Ezekiel Bitrus aged 29) died, while four persons are currently hospitalized.
This is coming at the instances where Borno State Governor, Zulum on Thursday in a state wide broadcast appealed for calm, and ordered for immediate investigation into the matter, so as to punish anyone found wanting.
The governor has equally delegated his Deputy, Umar Kadafur who visited the victims at the hospital and ordered for settlement of their medical bills.
Addressing Journalists at the demolished site of the Chirch on Friday, The Reverend Pastor incharge of EYN Maduganari, Reverend Shawulu Auta Ndahi condemned the killing on one of his church member who attempted to protect the Church from demolition, stressing that, there is nothing worth on earth that can compensate life, hence he requested the State Government to immediately assist the families of the deceased and those who sustained gunshot wounds currently recieving treatment at a State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.
“We have gathered here today to express our displeasure over what has happened to our Church and its members.
“Yeaterday (Thursday) morning at about 11am, we recieved a distress call that some officials of BOGIS in company of some CJTF and Graders came and demolished our Church with all facilities destroyed.
“In the process, some of our aggrieved members started hurling stones at the officials of BOGIS, before Some CJTF members opened fire after seizing their communication gadjets, which led to the killing of Mr. Ezekiel Bitrus, May His Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.
“In view of these unwholesome conduct, we are hereby displating all our Certificate of Occupancy and other relevant Documents used in acquiring this land which are legal documents.
” Therefore, as a Church which believe in Peace and Unity, we have some immediate demands from Governor Zulum to; Immediatelly reconstruct our demolished Church and other facilities including our pure water factory.
“Although, there is nothing worth on earth that can compensate life, we requested the State Government to immediately assist the families of the deceased and those who sustained gunshot wounds currently recieving treatment at a State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.
” We called on the state government to immediately remove Engineer Adam Bababe from heading BOGIS which is an agency of government tasked with responsibility of land maintenance.
“The Church which has 99% of its membership and citizens of Borno, also want the State Government to lift the ban for teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge(CRK) in all our Primary and Secondary schools as it has been the practice in the past, as the constitution allows for freedom of worship in the country.” The Reverend Pastor stated.
Also in his own address, the Youth CAN Chairman Metro, Mr. Sunday Ishaku while making his condemnation on behalf of Christian Youth Groups, prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and quick recovery for those who sustained injuries during the avoidable fracas.
Ishaku however passed a vote of no confidence on the CAN Chairman led by Bishop Naga, whom he alleged took some officials/individuals to meet with Governor Zulum some hours after the incident at the Government House just for their selfish interest.
“We are disappointed with the CAN leadership under the Chairmanship of Bishop Mohammed Naga, becuase as I adress you today, Bishop Naga has failed to officially come out with statement regarding this unwholesome treatment meted to us by BOGIS and men of CJTF”. Ishaku alleged.