Nigeria: Demolition of Church Buildings

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

JOS, NIGERIA (Worthy News)-- In Nigeria's Borno state, Christian leaders last week decried the government's plan to demolish 25 Christian buildings in order to make room for a housing project, according to Morning Star News.

"We are all Nigerians and there are other places where the state government can develop," the Rev. Musa Asake said at a September press conference in Abuja. "The areas being earmarked for demolition are already developed with churches and schools ... The Borno state government should reconsider that decision to demolish churches and their properties, because in Borno state there are many vast lands. They should do that instead of going to these areas where Christians have settled for so long."

In August, Musa Ummate of the Borno State Ministry of Lands and Survey wrote that those church properties were being "acquired" to create room for the development of a housing estate.

"I am directed to refer to you and holders of structures on the proposed site ... to inform you that the Executive Governor has on the power conferred on him by Section (2)b of the Land Use Act 1978 has directed through high powered committee ... to notify you of his intention to acquire your lands and assessment/valuation of the structures on the proposed site situated along Gubio Road, Maiduguri. The acquisition is necessary in view of requirements of the land by the state government for overriding public interest to construct Housing Estate. The affected land holders of structures are to take note and appear on site for the above exercise ..."

Christian leaders accused Borno state officials of already planning for the forceful eviction of Christians.