One killed, tension in Maiduguri following demolition of Church
By Dauda R. Pam, Maiduguri
One person lost his life as several others sustained various degrees of injuries following the demolition of Ekklesiyar Yan’Uwa a Nigeria, (EYN), Church by a demolition team of the Borno state Geographic Information Service (BOGIS).
It was gathered that security attached to BOGIS opened fire at armless civilians during a demolition exercise at Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN) Church in Maduganari area in Maiduguri the state capital when some angry youths confronted the team headed by Adam Bukar Bababe, the executive secretary of BOGIS.
The protest was triggered after a driver of an escalator started destroying the structure of the church including the properties inside which included chairs, board, fridges, television sets, public address system and other properties.
A Civilian Joint Task Force Member in the demolition team, it was further gathered, opened fire at the crowd to dispersed them which resulted in the killing of a 29-year-old man, Ezekiel Bitrus, and five others severely injured as they attempted to flee for safety.
The reckless shooting, however, provoked angry youths within the communities who went on rampage to convey their displeasure over the killing by attacking the team.
The BOGIS Executive Secretary, narrowly escaped being lynched by the angry youths after he was whisked away by security personnels, while other members of his team took to their hills after some youths gave them a chase from the spot of the incident.
The sources said that the shooter also escaped while other members of the Civilian Joint Task Force removed their uniforms and fled the scene for the fear of being lynched.
However, four vehicles belonging to a humanitarian organisation were vandalised by the youths.
It took intervention of personnel of the Borno Police Command, Garison Command Operation Hadin Kai, and a team from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), to bring the situation under control.
Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Zulum has condemned in strong terms, the firing of gun shots by member of security task force as well as some persons who hurled stones at the task force during the encounter on Thursday.
The incident which claimed the life of one person and five others currently receiving medicare at the hospital.
Special Adviser madia to the governor, Isa Gusau, has since conveyed a statement to commiserate with families of the person who died and those injured and ordered the Borno Police Command to commence an investigation into the incident.
He called on the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), in Borno State, Bishop Mohammed Naga and commiserated with the Christian community and leadership and family of the EYN church in Borno.
He also invited the CAN leadership for a meeting and directed the deputy governor, Umar Kadafur to visit the hospital where the five injured persons were admitted to empathize with them and take-over their bills.