The Jigawa branch of Christian Association of Nigeria has condemned the demolition of churches by the Jigawa State Government in the state capital, Dutse.
Some of the demolished churches were built over 10 years ago, a communique on Tuesday by the state CAN Chairman, Rev. Yakubu Musa, stated.
The association explained that the government had been turning down application for registration of land document by churches in spite of intervention by numerous stakeholders in the state.
The association noted, “From the ongoing demolition of churches, it is crystal clear that the government of Jigawa State is no longer comfortable with the existence of non-indigenes in their state as they are already in the process of commencing a fresh demolition of the remaining churches that are yet untouched.
The Christian body stated that due to the government’s refusal to grant land permits, the District Head of Dutse had started making moves to demolish churches without the option of relocating them to alternative sites.
“This unbecoming stance informed the summoning of a meeting by the Secretary to the State Government on November 24,2016 via a circular dated November 21 whereby the Galadima of Dutse flaunted a list of scanty mosques in each state in southern Nigeria, juxtaposing it with the number of churches in Dutse, which informed his decision to back the demolition of churches in Dutse,” the statement added.
CAN further dismissed as untenable, the claim by the government that the demolished churches were built in residential areas, it lacked moral justification.
‘’This is because a number of mosques were equally built in the said areas where churches were also built,” he averred, insisting that in a democratic society where the rule of law and equality before the law existed, government and its agencies were obliged to abhor selective justice.
“We equally use this medium as a body of Christians to inform Nigerians that there was neither prior notice of demolition served on the owners of the demolished properties nor was CAN served demolition notice.”
Efforts to get the reaction of the Jigawa Urban Development Agency was unsuccessful as its Managing Director, Garba Isa, could not be reached on the phone.