Not to beat a this horse to death or anything like that, but horror stories keep coming out of these northern riots. Like this one:
Almajiris Turned Against Pastor Who Haboured Them And Burnt Down His House
As protests rocked the northern part of the country over results of the presidential election, DIPO LALEYE reports the then unfolding event and how it affected different sets of people including the perpetrators themselves.
BY the time the protests got full blown, Christians in Minna and other parts of Niger State suddenly discovered that they had become targets of attacks arising from a national political event that had no colouration of religion.
No fewer than five churches were burnt by the protesters. Some of these churches are the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Deeper Life Bible Ministry, Joyous Miracle Gospel Church, as well as Grace Assembly Church.
The Deeper Life Bible Church lost an ultra-modern Information Communication Technology equipment installed for the reception of messages from the international headquarters of the organisation. The equipment was installed only 24 hours before the crisis broke out.
The case of Associate Pastor, Yussuf Ishaya, of First ECWA Church, is more pathetic. For sometime, the pastor and members of his family had accommodated the almajiris in his area, often sharing meals with them and even allowing them to sleep in his compound. Though his wife was not too comfortable with this arrangement and the possibility that they could one day pose a threat to the family, Pastor Ishaya remained undaunted.
That day came on Monday when one of the almajiris told the pastor that they would burn his house that day.
The pastor did not take the threat lightly. He transferred his wife and children to the Mobile Police barracks not too far from his residence.
It was while returning from the barracks that he met a neighbour on the road who informed him that his house was on fire and that neighbours had tried to put off the fire without success.
“Nobody could control the fire, neighbours tried to put out the fire, they did not succeed. They only succeeded in stopping it from reaching the church,” Ishaya said.
Virtually everything he had was taken away by the arsonists before the residence was set ablaze. The protesters even took away a goat and some fowls in his poultry.
The next day, according to Pastor Ishaya, when members of the church were assisting to clear the rubbles and see if they could retrieve anything from the burnt house, they came across a shock find; the burnt body of one of the protesters under collapsed blocks of the building.
“The neighbours immediately recognised the boy, so they invited his father who identified his son. Both the church members and the father of the deceased have made statements to the police, while the corpse was released to the parents for burial,” Ishaya said.
The Catholic church, also in the Abdulsalam quarters as the area near Angwa- Kaje, Minna, also lost all its furniture and equipment to the protest.
The protesters in their hundreds, like they did to the NCCF building, stormed the other churches, forced the gates opened before wetting the buildings with petrol and set them ablaze.
Several millions of naira worth of property, including furniture, musical instruments and personal property of the church resident pastors were burnt in the inferno. One pastor was almost killed as he was macheted in the back and thigh.
At the Faith Foundation Church along Top Medical Road, the General Overseer of the church, one Pastor Samande, was attacked by those he had lived with as neighbours for over 30 years.
The arrival of security men saved his life and the church from being burnt. The combined efforts of the state Police Commissioner, Mr Haassan Bala, and men of the special operations unit of the force saved the Shiyona Baptist Church along Sabon-Ngari from being burnt.