Burnt Baptist Church: Police Arrest 15 Youths, Kano Emirate Summons District Head
SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, (THEWILL) – Fifteen youths have been arrested by the Kano State Police Command in connection with the recent burning of the Baptist Church at Gidan Maso village in Rogo Local Government Area of the state.
In the incident which happened on April 1 at about 7:30 pm, the residence of the Pastor, Rev. Habila Garba, was burnt by irate youths, while one of his daughters died of suffocation.
The attack on the Baptist Church came barely one week after a similar incident on a branch of Living Faith Church, popularly called Winners Chapel, in Giwa, headquarters of Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State by two unidentified arsonists.
Although the Kano State Government sent one Alhaji Is'haq to assess the situation, the Christian community was said to have been disturbed by his statement in Hausa language which interpretation means that “such an insignificant issue and destruction (where a life was lost) does not call for any mention at all, yet we went about publicising it to the whole world.”
Despite the arrest, four of the youths are said to be “roaming about boasting and threatening the Christians because they have not been arrested.”
The President of “Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nijeria” (Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians), General Ishaku Ahmed Dikko (retd), said these while giving situation report of the incident on Sunday in Abuja.
His statement reads…
“In response to the cry of Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nigeriya (Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri Christians Association) on the above incident and the publicity given to it by the press, we received attention form the Nigerian Police, Emir of Kano and Kano State Government.
“The Nigerian Police went and inspected the damage and on April 5 they arrested six youths. Later on, they went back to arrest nine more who are all at the Kano State Police Command C.I.D. The action of the Police pacified and encouraged the Christian Community. One of our own, Barrister Inusa Bako, is representing our interest and monitoring the prosecution which is now in the hands of the Kano State Commissioner of Police.”
“However, there are still four of the youths that are roaming about boasting and threatening the Christians because they have not been arrested. Efforts should be made to arrest them.”
“On April 9, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Mohammed II, invited the Hakimin Rogo (District Head), Dagacin Kadana (Chief), CAN Chairman in Rogo L.G.A, Rev. Bulus Fara, the Baptist Church Pastor, Rev. Haliba Garba and the CAN P.R.O of Rogo Mal. Kabiru Garba to his palace. The District Head read out the details of what transpired and the Emir expressed his dismay at what happened.”
“He warned the District Head that such a thing must never happen again in his District and in fact, anywhere else in Kano State Emirate. He directed that the District Head should take up the matter with the Chairman, Rogo L.G.A, to rebuild the burnt Church and the Pastor's house. The Emir followed up this verbal directive with a letter addressed to the Chairman, Rogo L.G.A on the same subject matter.”
“This action of the Emir has really re-kindled the hope of all the oppressed Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri Christians not only in Kano State, but in all states where our people reside. We shall continue to pray for the Emir and others like him whom God has placed as rulers over the masses irrespective of religion or ethnicity.”
“The Kano State Government on its part sent a one-man delegation of one Alhaji Is'haq to assess the situation on the same April 9. After he had seen and assessed the damage of the burnt Church and the Pastor's house, he remarked in Hausa “abun bai taka kara ya karya ba amma duk anbi an gaya wa duniya”. Simply put, this is such an insignificant issue and destruction (where a life was lost) that does not call for any mention at all, yet we went about publicising it to the whole world.
“Suppose it was a mosque that was burnt by Christians, the reaction that would have followed can only be imagined. He went on to say that the perpetrators would be called and warned to desist from such acts. This is the complete opposite of the stand taken by the Emir of Kano who really spoke and acted as the father that he is. God bless him.”
“We hereby call on the government of Kano State to call Alhaji Is'haq to order. It should also caution his type that will be asked to represent the government in any situation as sensitive as this to view other people and their religion as human beings too. We call on the government of Kano State to take up the responsibility of the rebuilding of the Church and the Pastor's house. They should also pay compensation of all properties destroyed and refund or pay all medical bills of those treated or receiving treatment for wounds caused with cutlasses, knives and sticks or any other weapon.”