Kano Killings: Police, CAN Disagree On Casualty Figure

MD Abubakar, Police IG.

MD Abubakar, Police IG.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Police Command in Kano, northwest Nigeria are in disagreement over the casualty figure of the killing of Christians at Sheka in Kombotso Local Government Area of the state.

MD Abubakar, Police IG.
MD Abubakar, Police IG.

While reacting to Media reports that 13 people were killed during the massacre by gun men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, Kano state Commissioner of Police, Musa Daura who confirmed the incident, however claimed that only eight people were slaughtered by the Islamic militants.

But reacting to CP Daura’s claim, CAN chairman in Kano, Bishop Ransom Bello insisted that 13 Christians were killed during the attack.

Brandishing a list of the victims, Bishop Bello challenged the Police authorities to provide the list of the eight people they claimed were killed for clarification and threatened to make his own list public if the argument persists.

“I insist the number of Christians who were shot dead in that raid were 13. We have the record, their names and places of birth, and may be tempted to publish them in full if the argument on this figure continues,” Bello stated.

However, CP Daura described media reports of 13 victims as, “misleading and unfounded,” even as he denied being contacted, “by any individual or group on the issue.

“I want to make it categorically clear to the Press and the public that on February 28  at about 2200 hours, a distress call was received at the Control Room that unknown gun men attacked and killed innocent people in Shekar Madaiki, a suburb of Kano.

“Based on that ugly incident, armed security men were deployed to the scene, and search was conducted around the vicinity of the attack,  the security agents discovered eight dead bodies, while a number of arrest were made; and we intend to make the outcome of the investigations public,” Daura stated.

P.M.NEWS recalls that 13 factory workers identified as Christians at Sheka, Sharada Phase 111 in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano, northwest Nigeria were murdered in cold blood in their compound because they refused to join the Muslim evening prayers.

P.M.NEWS also gathered that already, the national secretariat of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has opened up investigation into the dastardly killings.

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An eyewitness account told our Correspondent that the killers presumed to be terrorists from the camp of the dreaded Islamic Boko Haram sect stormed a compound in Sheka at about 7 p.m.

“The occupants of that compound are mostly factory workers, and they are Christians. The gun men who came on taxi asked if they were not observing the evening Muslim prayers; and when they confirmed their victims were Christians, they started killing them sparing only the female and children.

“After the attack, I counted at least, 13 dead bodies murdered in gruesome manner. Security agencies later came and evacuated them, while the very few of them who survived the attack fled the area and vowed never to return,” said a resident of the area.

Bishop Ransom Bello, CAN chairman in Kano has been in a very bad mood, not only because of the killings but what he described as the non-challant attitude of Kano state government over the incident.

Bello who is also the General Overseer of Calvary Life Assembly said he has handed over the matter to CAN’s national leadership, adding that with what is happening, it has become obvious that Christians are no longer safe in Kano.

“Reports of the attack reaching us disclosed that on that fateful Saturday at about 7 p.m, Muslim faithful were conducting their prayer close to the affected compound occupied by Christian families, when two taxi cabs stopped in front of the compound and the occupants, who all concealed  their arms dashed into the complex and  demanded to know why the residents were not part of the 7 p.m. Muslim prayer.

“They responded by telling the visitors they were Christians and so could not be part of the Muslim gathering. At that point, they separated the men from their wives and children and shot them dead on the spot after ordering the women and children into their homes. The 13th victim, who hid in a dark alley in the compound, surrendered himself, following threats by the gunmen to visit the same fate on the women and children if any man was found shielded,” Bello recounted.

“We are pained over the silence of the relevant authorities in the state, including the government on such a high profile murder. Even though we believe it is the handiwork of extremists, who do not see the reason why the Muslim North should accommodate Christians. We are really worried that nobody from the government has deemed it right to consol the family of those that were killed,” Bello lamented.

He added that, “government should show more concern, like it has always done when Muslims are affected; I have not seen that in the case of Christians—that 13 Christians were killed in one straight attack and nothing is heard from the government reflects selective justice because we are aware of compensation paid to Muslim families in situations of this nature.”

—Maduabuchi Nmeribeh/Kano