CAN raises alarm over moves to demolish churches, Christian schools in Borno

Posted by News Express | 9 September 2013 | 4,655 times

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has raised an alarm over alleged moves by the Borno State Government to demolish about 20 churches in addition to church-owned schools in the guise of developing the areas where the churches and schools are sited.

Reacting to the planned demolitions, CAN General Secretary, Dr. Musa Asake, said: “We have seen that eviction notice from the Borno state government. We are all Nigerians and there are other places where the state government can develop. The areas being earmarked for demolition are already developed with churches and schools.

”We have enough problems at hand and we don’t want to add another problem. Christians have suffered enough in Borno State. If the state government wants to destroy churches and build any Housing Estate, no Christian will see it as a sign of progress.

“As soon as we authenticate the source of that letter, we are going to reach out to the state government to make sure that Christians don't lose their churches and lands there. But we have no reason to doubt the source of that letter. We have suffered enough in Borno state and enough of all these things which are coming in another disguise.

“Borno state government should reconsider that decision to demolish churches and their properties because in Borno State, there are many vast lands. They should do that instead of going to these areas where Christians have settled for long. We are asking the Borno state government not to try it.”

The plan by the government of the troubled Borno, which has already lost many schools to the

Boko Haram terrorist group stoutly opposed to Western education, was confirmed in a leaflet from the Office of the State Ministry of Lands and Survey dated August 20, 2013, signed by one Musa Ummate (O/C Land Administration) on behalf of the Commissioner.

The leaflet is entitled “Notice of Acquisition and assessment/valuation of structures on proposed site for 1,000 Housing Units along Gubio Road Highway” reads as follows: “I am directed to refer to you farmers and holders of structures on the proposed site for caption matter above and regret to inform you that the Executive Governor has on the power conferred on him by Section (2)b of the Land Use Act 1978 has directed through high powered committee on Construction Ref. no: HPCC/2500/HE/S/TEC/1 to notify you of his intention to acquire your farm lands and assessment/valuation of the structures on the proposed site situated along Gubio Road, Maiduguri.

“The acquisition is necessary in view of requirements of the land by the state government for overriding public interest to construct Housing Estate. The affected farmers and holders of structures are to take note and appear on site for the above exercise, please.”

Over 20 churches and many schools owned by churches will be affected by the planned demolitions.

Photo shows CAN General Secretary, Dr. Musa Asake.

Source: News Express

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