- The Borno state government has been accused of moving against churches in its domain by demolishing them
- The strong allegation was made by the Borno state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
- The association requested for the rebuilding of demolished churches and reopening of all churches seized by an agency of the state government
Maiduguri - The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the Borno state government of trying to wipe out churches from the state.
The association made the allegation while condemning the demolition of a church building in Maiduguri, the state capital recently.
The Borno state chapter of CAN also lamented over the killing of a church member on Thursday, August 5.
Premium Times newspaper reports that security officials working with the Borno state Geographic Information System (BOGIS) shot at people protesting against the demolition of the church building, killing 20-year-old Ezekiel Tumba and injuring five others.
According to the report, the BOGIS demolition squad was led to the church by its executive secretary, Adam Bababe.
Addressing journalists on Saturday, August 7 in Maiduguri, officials of CAN said Mr. Tumba was the son of a pastor and breadwinner of the family.
The Christian body said the state government refused to address the concerns they raised when BOGIS started demolishing churches in Borno in 2020.
CAN alleged that the demolition of the church building was part of a plot by the state government to ensure the non-existence of churches in Borno.
The group called for a judicial panel of inquiry into the incident to bring justice for the victims of the incident.
Part of the statement read:
“It appears BOGIS, with this latest activity, is out to ensure no church is allowed to exist in the state, fuel tension, and cause disaffection amongst peace-loving Christians and Muslims in a fragile state as Borno.”
CAN also listed its demands, and they are:
1. The constitution of a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the unwarranted killing and shooting at the Moduganari church to truthfully bring the perpetrators to justice. We, therefore, demand that CAN should be a representative on the panel.
2. The rebuilding of demolished churches and reopening of all churches seized by BOGIS
3. The immediate return of seized phones by BOGIS to the owners as such action is an infringement of their right to communication and freedom of expression.
4. His Excellency Professor Babagana Zulum should use his good office to address all existing pressing issues affecting the Christian community in the state.
Meanwhile, Ruth Ngladar Pogu, one of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted seven years ago at the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state has finally been reunited with her family.
Both Ruth and a Boko Haram fighter who forcefully married her surrendered themselves to the Nigerian military on July 28, 2021, at a location in the Bama axis.
The photos of the girl were shared by the Borno state governor on his official Facebook page.
In a related development, Governor Zulum has inaugurated 1,000 volunteer hunters to complement the efforts of security agencies on counter-insurgency in Borno state.
Addressing the hunters in Khaddamari village, Jere local government area of Borno, Zulum commended them for their sacrifice and support.
He assured them that his administration will continue its sustained efforts for peace and security in the state.