One Ezekiel was killed, while five others sustained injuries and are currently receiving treatment at the state specialist hospital in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, when men of the Borno Geographical Information System were trying to pull down a church building on Thursday.
Ezekiel, 27, reportedly met his death when the BOGIS operatives destroyed a church building located in a suburb of Maduganari in the Maiduguri metropolis.
Government agency, BOGIS, is directly under the supervision of Governor Babagana Zulum and it is charged with the responsibility of managing land matters in the state, our correspondent reports.
According to eyewitnesses, Ezekiel was shot in the chest by men of the civilian joint task force who accompanied and provided protection for the BOGIS operatives while demolishing the EYN, also known as Church of the Brethren in Nigeria.
“When BOGIS came this morning (Thursday), they came with a bulldozer and started pulling down the roof.
“The labourers on site started to protest. Meanwhile, the civilian JTF that accompanied the bulldozer and the BOGIS staff had started to shoot into the air. So, when the labourers started to protest, the CJTF aimed at Ezekiel and shot him in the chest,” Sunday Musa, who claimed to be an eyewitness at the church premises, told our correspondent.
Another eyewitness, Helen Moyo, said that the CJTF were in Hilux vans, fully armed and that, immediately they alighted from the vans, they headed to where the labourers were and seized their phones.
“Immediately they came down from their vehicles, they headed to the labourers and began seizing their phones. They seized five phones from the labourers so that they will not call anyone,” Moyo said.
Hadiza, also an eyewitness, stated that, “When they seized the phones, they intensified the shootings as people were gathering. In an attempt to disperse the people, they shot at others. One boy that was running to safety was hit by a stray bullet on his arm. I don’t know the present condition of that boy now.”
“When the youths of the community gathered after they(CJTF) had shot and killed Ezekiel, they seized two guns from the CJTF guys. The guns were handed over to one of the church officials at the scene,” Hadiza added.
Speaking exclusively with our correspondent, the chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, Borno State chapter, Bishop Mohammed Naga, said that the demolition of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, commonly known as EYN, was a surprise to him and the Christian community in the state because before the demolition today, there was no prior information notifying the church of the impending action of the state government.
Credit: Love 104.5 fm, Abuja