From Timothy Olanrewaju Maiduguri
Borno chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the government to constitute a panel of inquiry to probe the shooting and killing of one person during demolition of a church in Maiduguri by state officials.
CAN Chairman, Naga Mohammed, during a press briefing in Maiduguri, said the Christian community would prefer a panel of inquiry than the one by police and Department of State Security Services (DSS) directed by the governor.
“We demand the constitution of a judicial panel of inquiry into the shooting and killing at the Maduganari church to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the chairman said.
He also said the body wants a representation of CAN at the probe panel whenever it is constituted.
It asked the state government to rebuild the five churches demolished by the Borno Geographical Information Service (BOGIS) in Maiduguri metropolis and urged the governor to use his good office to resolve all burning issues affecting Christians in the state.
The Christian body said it will continue to toe the line of peace and dialogue with the government to ensure the fragile peace in the state is not compromised
It also asked BOGIS to return all mobile phones seized by its officials before the start of the church demolition last Thursday to the owners, noting that the BOGIS action infringed on the rights of the people to communicate.
CAN called on youths to remain calm and eschew any form of violence as the leadership of the Christian community was already in dialogue with the government.
The body also sympathised with the family of the deceased, 29 years old Ezekiel Tumba, described as the hope and bread-winner of the family.
The demolition of a local branch of EYN Church Maduganari in Maiduguri by officials of BOGIS snowballed into shooting, allegedly by men of the Civilian JTF brought to enforce the exercise.
Tumba, was shot dead while five were injured
Governor Babagana Zulum immediately summoned a meeting with CAN leadership where he directed the police and DSS to investigate the in incident to bring the perpetrators to book.
However, angry youths last Friday took to the streets in some parts of Maiduguri for protest, blaming CAN leadership for not acting as they wished. The protest was later brought under control by the police.