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Borno Govt’s Demolition Of Maiduguri Church Sparks Violent Clash

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At least one person has been killed with several others injured after a Demolition team of the Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS) opened fire on arm-less civilians during a demolition exercise at Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa Nigeria (EYN), Church in Maduganari area of Maiduguri, the state capital.

The incident, PRNigeria gathered, occurred when some angry youths confronted the team headed by the BOGIS Executive Secretary, Mr Adam Bukar-Bababe, after they started demolishing the church structure without notice.

Trouble started when a driver of an escalator started destroying the structure of the church including the properties inside which includes; Chairs, board,  fridges, television sets, public address system and other properties.

Report has it that a Civilian Joint Task Force member in the demolition team opened fire at the crowd to dispersed them which resulted in the killing of young man identified as 29 year-old Ezekiel Bitrus, while five others were severely injured as they scampered 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 personnel. 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 the intervention of personnel from the Borno Police Command, Garison Commander Operation Hadin Kai, a team from the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), to bring the situation under control.

Reacting to the incident, the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum condemned in strong terms, the firing of gun shots by a member of security task force as well as some persons who hurled stones at the task force during an encounter on Thursday.

While commiserating with families of the person who died and those currently hospitalized, the Governor ordered the Borno police command to immediately investigate a violent collusion between the parties.

According to a statement issued by his spokesman Isa Gusau, Zulum called the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in Borno State, Bishop Mohammed Naga and spoke with him to commiserate with the Christian community and leadership and family of the EYN church in Borno.

He also invited the CAN leadership for meeting. He also directed the deputy governor, Umar Kadafur to visit the hospital where five injured persons are receiving treatment, to empathize with them and also takeover the cost of their treatment.