The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, of trying to wipe out churches from the state.
This came in the wake of the demolition of a church building in Maiduguri and the killing of a church member on Thursday.
1st News also learned 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 as well as injuring five others.
According to the Christian body, the Prof Babagana Zulum led government refused to address the concerns they raised when BOGIS started demolishing churches in Borno in 2020.
But in a statement following the clash, the state government last week said BOGIS officials were only enforcing compliance; with reforms in the state’s land administration system; which necessitates the demolition of properties deemed illegal.
“The EYN Church in Moduganari suburb of Maiduguri was one of the churches marked for demolition; for allegedly carrying out expansion without the permission of the government,” Zulum had noted.
However, CAN described the deployment of earth-moving equipment to the EYN Church; and the shootings on Thursday as the height of intolerance of churches by BOGIS and its officials.
“The incident that occurred on Thursday which is the demolition of EYN LCC Moduganari; and the killing of a 20-year-old Ezekiel Bitrus Tumba, the son of Pastor Bitrus Tumba of COCCIN church; and injuring of five others working at the EYN church, by BOGIS security team was tragic and condemnable,” CAN said.
“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.
“We, therefore, condemn it and demand the following: One, 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.
“His excellency Professor Babagana Zulum should use his good office to address all existing pressing issues; affecting the Christians Community in the state.”