At least one person has died after security operatives opened fire on church members who were protesting the demolition of their church in Moduganari area of Maiduguri in Borno state.
The demolition which was carried out by the Borno Geographic Information Service started as early as 10am on Thursday morning but was met with heavy resistance by members of the church.
According to eyewitness reports, some residents of the community who were members of the church tried to film the activity. This prompted civilian joint task force (CJTF) operatives to seize their phones which resulted in an altercation. Subsequently, the operatives opened fire on the church members, killing one person and injuring others.
The police intervened to control the CJTF members and debrief the team.
The body of the casualty has been taken to the state specialist hospital while those injured are currently being treated.
Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State Mohammed Naga is at the hospital with the injured. He, however, declined commenting on the incident saying he will brief the press when he has details of the matter.
Governor Babagana Zulum has also ordered the Borno police command to immediately probe the incident.
He condemned in strong terms, the firing of gunshots by a member of the security task force as well as some persons who hurled stones at the task force during the encounter.
Zulum equally commiserated with families of the person who died and those injured.
Governor Zulum who spoke with Bishop Mohammed Naga also condoled the Christian community, leadership and family of the EYN church in Borno over the sad event.
He also directed his deputy Umar Kadafur to visit the hospital – where the injured persons are receiving treatment – to empathize with them, and also take over the cost of their treatment.