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Borno task force operative ‘kills man’ during protest to stop church demolition

Borno task force operative ‘kills man’ during protest to stop church demolition
August 05
17:42 2021

An operative of the Borno civilian task force has allegedly killed a man who protested the demolition of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa Nigeria (EYN) church in Moduganari area of Maiduguri, Borno state.

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The operative was said to be attached to the Borno Geographic Information Service (BOGIS) that was on a demolition exercise at the church.

The incident reportedly occurred on Wednesday, after some youths confronted the team led by Adam Bukar-Bababe, executive secretary of BOGIS.

The youths were said to have claimed that the agency didn’t issue any notice before bringing down the church structure.

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The confrontation led to a protest after the driver of an excavator started destroying the structure of the church, including the properties inside.

The task force operative attached to the demolition team reportedly opened fire on the youths to disperse them, but a bullet hit a man who was identified as Ezekiel Burris.

Five other people also sustained injuries.

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The angry youths, TheCable learnt, had confronted the demolition team, and sources said Bukar-Bababe narrowly escaped being lynched as he was whisked away by security personnel.

Another source said the operative who killed Burris escaped the mob, and the other operatives “removed their uniforms and fled the scene for fear of being lynched.”

However, four vehicles belonging to a humanitarian organisation in the area were vandalised.

The Borno police command, army’s garrison unit, and a team from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) later intervened and brought the situation under control.

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Meanwhile, Babagana Zulum, governor of the state, has ordered an investigation into the incident.

Isa Gusau, the governor’s spokesperson, in a statement, said his principal “condemned in strong terms, the firing of gunshots by a member of security task force as well as some persons who hurled stones at the task force during the encounter”.

He said the governor has spoken with Mohammed Naga, chairman of CAN in Borno, to commiserate with the Christian community, leadership of the EYN church, and the victim’s family in Borno.

The governor also said the state will bear the cost of treatment for those injured.

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See photos of the demolition exercise below.

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