By: TINA PHINEAS, Yola
A peaceful procession organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Adamawa State Chapter over incessant killings in the state and the country at large, was Wednesday marred by men of the Nigerian Police Force.
The procession which was supposed to start at the Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church, Yola, was to see them march to the State Government House and back for more prayers for the state.
Christians from all over the state came out in thousands for the protest march called by the CAN Chairman, Adamawa State, Bishop Stephen Mamza at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, for the take-off of the procession.
However, before the take-off of the protest, Mamza told the gathering that the police had canceled it.
According to him, the protest was to draw the government’s attention to the protection of human lives whether Christian, Muslim or Fulani, which is its primary responsibility.
“While several Christians have been killed on daily basis, the protest is not about just Christians but on the sanctity of human lives, God is the only one that gives life and no one has the right to take it”, The CAN chairman stated.
He stated further that the security architecture of the country has failed to carry out its responsibility of protecting lives, property and maintaining law and order.
“I have been an active participant in reporting impending attacks to all the security operatives in the state, but despite the reporting, the attacks were carried out and livelihood were destroyed”, he stated.
The CAN chairman maintained that the protest would have afforded the church the opportunity to present its petition to Governor, Mohammed Umar Jibrilla Bindow, who will in turn pass it to President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, some of the people who came out decided to go ahead with the planned peaceful procession, no sooner had they reached the popular Police roundabout where other Christians had been awaiting their arrival, the police began to fire tear gas canisters at the protesters thereby creating tension all over the State Capital.
New Nigerian reports that while there was no reported case of death as a result of the massive teargas, many people sustained injuries.
When the Police Public Relations Officer, Otman Abubakar was contacted, he only promised to call back but up to the time of filing this story, he did not call back.