Over 50 pastors and thousands of youth groups mostly from different denominational Churches on Friday converged at the demolished site of Local Church of Brethren, LCB, under Ekkliziyan Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN), a.k.a Church of Brethren Maduganari ward in Borno State to pray and seek God’s intervention.
DAILY POST reports that the Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS) on Thursday demolished EYN church for allegedly flouting land laws.
The church members who were not happy with the outing of BOGIS and what happened on Thursday that led to shooting of church members called on the Borno State Government under the leadership of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to immediately reconstruct the destroyed Church building.
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 in the hospital and ordered for settlement of their medical bills.
Addressing journalists at the demolished site of the Church on Friday, the pastor in-charge of EYN Maduganari, Reverend Shawulu Auta Ndahi, condemned the killing of one of his church members who attempted to protect the Church from demolition, stressing that, there is nothing worth on earth that can compensate life.
“We have gathered here today to express our displeasure over what has happened to our Church and its members.
“Yesterday (Thursday) at about 11am, we received 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 members started hurling stones at the officials of BOGIS, before Some CJTF members opened fire after seizing their communication gadgets, which led to the killing of Mr. Ezekiel Bitrus. May his gentle soul rest in peace.
In view of this unwholesome conduct, we are hereby displaying all our Certificate of Occupancy and other relevant documents used in acquiring this land which are legal documents.
“Therefore, as a Church which believes in peace and unity, we have some immediate demands from Governor Zulum to; immediately reconstruct our demolished Church and other facilities including our pure water factory.
“Although, there is nothing on earth that can compensate for life, we requested the state government to immediately assist the families of the deceased and those who sustained gunshot wounds currently receiving 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 on 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 cleric 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 allegedly 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, because as I address you today, Bishop Naga has failed to officially come out with a statement regarding this unwholesome treatment meted to us by BOGIS and men of CJTF,” Ishaku alleged.