The Baptist Church at Gidan Maso village in Rogo Local Government Area of Kano State has been set ablaze and the residence of the Pastor, Rev Habila Garba, burnt by irate youths.
Punch reports that as a result of the fire, one of the Pastor’s daughters died of suffocation and most parts of the house destroyed.
The incident happened on April 1 at about 7.30pm, barely one week after a similar attack on a branch of the Living Faith World Outreach Mission, popularly called Winners Chapel, in Giwa, headquarters of Giwa LGA of Kaduna State by two unidentified arsonists.
The President of ‘Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nijeria’ (Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians), Maj. Gen. Ishaku Dikko (retd), said on Tuesday in Abuja that the intention was to kill one youth, Yahaya Joshua, who converted to Islam but later reverted to Christianity.
He said, “They also attacked and wounded Bawa Adamu and Aminu Dauda, who received machet cuts leading to broken arms. Others received similar wounds but of lesser degrees. The cause of the barbaric act was to kill one youth, Yahaya Joshua, who converted to Islam but later on reverted to Christianity.
“The youth had escaped on learning of the plan to kill him. They therefore set the church and Pastor’s house on fire and went about maiming and wounding any Christians they saw. The incidence was immediately reported to the Police and the District Head at Rogo.”
Dikko said no information had been received about any action taken or if any arrests were made, adding however that all the people, who were wounded “know and can identify their attackers by name since they all live in the same village.”
According to him, the church and all its property were burnt down in the presence of the Christian community, despite all pleadings for them to stop the destruction.
He added, “The arsonists gathered cornstalks and put inside the Church in order to cause greater damage. This made the action seemed deliberate and for ulterior motives. The Christians present exhibited great Christian qualities by not taking the laws into their hands by trying to stop them by force.
“Rather than the arsonists to see reason, they were infuriated, which led to setting the house of the Pastor, Rev. Habila Garba, ablaze as well. As a result of the fire, one of the Pastor’s daughters died of suffocation and most of the house destroyed.”