By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
The Christian Association of NIgeria (CAN) Chairman,Billiri LGA, Gombe State, Rev Joseph John while suing for peace, has debunked media reports that said he accepted responsibility of the violent protests that tool place in the local government area demanding the announcement of the preferred candidate for Mai Tangle.
He expressed this in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Friday February 26, 2021. “To put the record straight, the peaceful protest that led to this violence started on Wednesday 19th February, 2021.
“It was carried out by Tangale women, who were demanding that the state government announce the new Mai Tangle. On Friday, the protest was hijacked by misguided few, who decided to act in the way they did,” the statement said.
He explained that his attention was drawn to an error in media reports, on the remarks he made when his Excellency, the executive Governor of Gombe State, Alh. Inuwa Yahaya visited Billiri to interact with religious leaders.
“Let it be on record that my comments were for calm and peace to reign in the land, as well as promote brotherliness.
“It should not be mistaken as accepting responsibility that the violence leading to attack on people’s properties and mosques were carried out by members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN),” he added.
The CAN Chairman emphasized that as an indigene and opinion leader in Tangale land, he has a duty and responsibility of promoting peace in the land.
“Hence my decision to go an extra mile to apologise and beg the Governor and the Muslim community in Billiri, who have been hurt the most, to forgive and bear with the situation – I cannot in anyway support violence as solution to any problem, especially in Tangale land. Once again, I strongly condemn this violence,” he added.
The statement further said that, “So, there was no way CAN will take responsibility for organising the peaceful protest, nor the violence that followed,” he clarified.
As CAN leader in the LGA, he called on all Christians to continue to pray and seek the face of God, for His intervention and His peace to reign in their land.