Home Cover Story Shock, condemnation trail killing of 9 Christian youths in Gombe

Shock, condemnation trail killing of 9 Christian youths in Gombe

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Shoch and condemnation have continued to trail the killing of nine members of the Boys’ Brigade (BB) on an Easter procession on Sunday night by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) and his police friend in Gombe State.
The two security personnel, it would be recalled, allegedly rammed their vehicle into the crowd following a disagreement they had with some Christian youths on the route their car took. In retaliation, the youths pursued the security personnel and killed them as well.
Over 30 other faithful in the procession were seriously injured in the “accident.”
Trouble allegedly started when the youths protested the manner the NSCDC and his police officer’s friend drove their vehicle too close to the procession, an action the security personnel reportedly detested.
According to eyewitnesses, the youths were observing their usual Easter procession when the NSCDC and the policeman arrived in the scene and drove menacingly close to them. After a brief argument with the youths, the security officers allegedly left the area, took another route and turned back with the headlight of their vehicle switched off.
The members of the procession were reportedly caught unaware as the vehicle rammed into them from behind and killed nine of them on the spot.
Other youths, who survived the attack, allegedly gave the officers a hot chase and caught up with them. In the mob action that ensued, the two security officers were also killed.
Another account said that the car ran into a group of Boys’ Brigade from ECWA Church from Bamusa, Barunde and from St Peter’s Anglican Church, Madaki around 11.30 pm on Sunday who were on a procession.
The source said that they were heading to Sabon-Layi area in the Gombe metropolis where they were expected to celebrate Easter on Monday.
The survivors and the corpses of the deceased were said to have been taken to the Gombe State Specialist Hospital as soon as the incident occurred. The source put the death toll at 10. He did not confirm the mob action.
Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has expressed shock at the killing of
innocent youths by security officials meant to protect them. The Chairman, Northeast CAN, Reverend Abare Kalla, while condemning the attack, also appealed to Christians to remain calm. .
Gombe State Deputy Governor, Charles Iliya, who also condemned the attack, also appealed for calm as he assured that government will get to the root of the unfortunate incident.
Addressing parents and other mourners who thronged the Gombe state Specialist Hospital where the dead were deposited at the mortuary and the injured receiving treatment, Iliya said the State Government will foot the hospital bills of all victims receiving treatment.
The deputy governor who spoke amidst boos and jeers from angry youths said he was pained too and that government was not behind the unfortunate incident, stressing that “we have spoken to the security authorities and they have assured us that action will be taken”.
Also, the Gombe State CAN Chairman, Reverend Ibrahim Joda, appealed for calm among the Christian faithful and described the incident as a very sad moment for Christians in this period of Easter when they were supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of the risen Lord.
He also offered prayers for healing of the injured and for the repose of the souls of those that died.

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