A pastor has allegedly been injured and many houses burnt by irate youths who went on the rampage over alleged blasphemy in the Katangan area of Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Punch’s correspondent learnt that trouble started when a message was allegedly circulated on social media that a Christian girl in the town allegedly engaged in blasphemy of Islam.
A source, who spoke to Punch correspondent on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident, saying, “Yes, the incident is true. It is an aftermath of the incident of the alleged blasphemy that happened in Sokoto last week.
“What I learnt was that a Christian girl allegedly posted and commented on something on social media which has to do with the incident in Sokoto and that was how it started.
“The situation there is more than tension since many houses have been burnt down. But no life was lost, to the best of my knowledge.
“A shop which belongs to an ECWA Church in the area was also burnt down. And I learnt that the District Head of the area and the leaders are on top of the situation. The police have also been informed about it.”
Another source said, “We were at home this evening when we heard shouts from some Muslim youths in their numbers who went on the rampage and besieged an ECWA Church in the area.
“But Christian youths and others resisted and repelled them but that was after they had burnt down a shop attached to the church. Many houses were burnt down by the rampaging youths.
“In the process, one of the pastors of the ECWA church was seriously wounded; as I speak to you now, efforts are on to save his life.”
One of the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state also confirmed the incident to journalists in a telephone interview.
He said that the Commissioner of Police in the state and the Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Christian Religious Affairs are aware.
He called on the Christian community in the state not to allow the situation to degenerate.
Punch’s efforts to get a confirmation on the incident from the Bauchi State Police Command proved abortive as several calls put through to the Public Relations Officer, Ahmed Wakil, were neither picked nor returned as of the time of filing this report.