Leadership (Abuja)

2 January 2013

Nigeria: NEMA Denies Death of 15 Church Worshipers in Borno

Photo: Capital FM
Police have said they were yet aware of the motive of the killings.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has denied a report claiming that 15 worshipers were killed in an outskirt town of Chibok Local Government Areal of Borno State on Sunday.

The agency, through it spokesperson, Yushau A. Shuaib, said though some of the reports had claimed that a source from NEMA provided the information, the agency not only contacted the same officer who denied it in its entirety, it also assigned a special team to investigate and verify the allegation, which was later found to be untrue.

He, however, noted the agency's team also discovered that two people were killed by unidentified gunmen around the area on Sunday, and that bodies had been deposited in a hospital.

He said the victims were a security man and a bystander. Like other similar attacks, the agency could not classify the victims as Muslims or Christians because most of the attacks in the North-East axis are non-discriminatory in terms of religion or tribe of the victims. He said this could be deduced from the calibre of the victims, including retired military generals, traditional rulers, politicians, public officers, business people, security personnel, traders, and students among others.

He further said that it is necessary to point out that NEMA would never release figures of casualty in whatever form without concrete evidence and certification from relevant authorities, including the medical personnel and security agencies.

He maintained that the tradition of collaboration with stakeholders in information management during outbreaks of disaster in any part of the country was to eradicate erroneous impressions and misinformation as well as guard against unnecessary reprisal attacks from such speculations.

Meanwhile, in same vein NEMA has provided relief materials to the victims of recent communal clash between Fulani and Gwari in Gwagwalada area of Abuja. The fight broke out over encroachment on farmlands. Two truckloads of relief materials that include bedding, food items, toiletries, medicaments and tents were distributed to the victims who are currently squatting in a temporary camp on the Permanent Campus of the University of Abuja.

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