The demolition of EYN Church and the killing of two worshippers has created tension in Borno State.
The Christian community is infuriated, with many adding religious and ethnic colourations to the situation.
The branch of the EYN (Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa Nigeria), located at the Maduganari area of Maiduguri, the Borno capital was demolition leading to allege throwing of stone and retaliation from the taskforce with gun battle.
Bayo Oladeji, media adviser to Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President, Samson Ayokunle said a press statement will be issued.
“I just heard. It is very unfortunate. We will speak with EYN Church, members and other witnesses before we put out our official position”, he told DAILY POST Thursday evening.
Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum has ordered the Police Command to investigate the demolition and shooting.
Trouble started when the church members attempted to stop the Borno Geographic Information System (BOGIS) from pulling the building down.
The BOGIS team, led by the head Engr. Adam Bababe, insisted that the church defaulted land administration and urban development laws.
As nerves charged, security operatives attached to the agency opened fire to push pack the protesters.
A source said that though some shots were fired into the air, “at least one of the officers reportedly got reckless and aimed at the crowd”.
Two persons were killed and five others in injured. Some are in a critical condition.
The worshippers stressed that there was no warning prior to the action.
“We woke up this morning and saw Engr. Bababe and his men coming to destroy our church. Some members approached them”, a resident Audu said.
“Security operatives attached to the agency open fire and killed two people whose corpses are currently at the State Specialists Hospital.”
Jacob Ayuba, another resident and EYN member, stated: “We have never seen the government of Borno going to demolish a mosque no matter where the mosque was sited unless they want to build bigger one.
“Our church documents are intact. Churches will never buy land by cutting corners but because they did not want a church on that area they have come to demolish it.”
Another described what happened as a “witch hunt”.
“There are mosques were they should go. This government did not go there to demolish but are demolishing churches which have papers.
“This is wickedness. Our people are currently mobilising to march to the government house to protect the killing and demolition of our church by Bababe and his team.”
The EYN Church and Christians in Borno are asking Zulum to ensure that BOGIS officials and culpable security officers are arrested and prosecuted for the deaths.