Borno Church Demolition:
‘No government exercise is aimed to cause injury or death of citizen’ – Zulum
…Visits Pastor who loses son during exercise
MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, has said no exercise of government is ever aimed to cause injury let alone the death of any citizen, saying every citizen of the state has equal rights and government has a duty to protect them.
He stated this on Tuesday night during a condolence visit to Pastor Bitrus Tumba who lost his son to violence between a demolition task force of Borno Geographic Systems, (BOGIS), and worshipers at a branch of EYN Church in Maiduguri on August 5, 2021.
The Governor was received by the deceased family and some officials of Christians Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Borno Chapter, led by it’s Chairman, Bishop Mohammed Naga.
At the deceased house alongside his Deputy, Umar Kadafur; the Chief of Staff, Prof. Isa Marte Hussaini; and one of his commissioners from the Christian community; Zulum
apologized for delay in the visit even though he had sent a delegation to explain this to the family. “We deliberately delayed because of the tension in town. We thought it was not a good time to pay you a visit then. I am here to commiserate with your family over the unfortunate death of our brother, Ezekiel Bitrus.
“My coming here today, weeks after that very unfortunate and painful incident, is proof that we have not forgotten the issue,” he said.
Zulum assured the family of his commitment to ensure justice is served after a thorough Police investigation still ongoing. “So far, suspects have been quietly arrested and all those involved in that dastardly act are being detained and God willing, they will face justice, as soon as the Police completes investigation and make appropriate recommendations.
“We shall do justice to the matter without fear or favour. We share in your pains. No exercise of government is ever aimed to cause injury let alone the death of any citizen. Every person in Borno has equal rights and we have a duty to protect the rights of all persons, top of which is the security of lives. We are pained by what happened and we condole you and your family.
“Although, I had sent people to you, I was morally and officially duty bound to visit your family. Please accept our deepest condolences,” he said.
Responding, the deceased father, Pastor Tumba, expressed appreciation to the governor for the visit and said, he considered his son’s death as an act of God which the family has accepted in good faith.
He noted that everyone dies in different ways, saying God has destined Ezekiel to die from gunshot which no one could have stopped. “Whatever we do now, cannot bring the dead back to life and as true Christians, we have accepted his death in good faith.
“Your Excellency, we express our appreciation to you for the visit. I have followed all your efforts on the death of our son, and they show your concern and the fact that you did not forget us, we really appreciate you,” Pastor Tumba said.
Zulum had on the day of the incident sent the Deputy Governor, Umar Usman Kadafur, to meet with victims of the incident to calm freyed nerves between religious leaders and also prevent potential crisis between youth from different faiths.
He also invited and met with Christian leaders, led by the state’s CAN chairman, Bishop Naga, after which he directed the police to thoroughly investigate the incident and report to him.