2 January 2013

Nigeria: NEMA Denies Killing of 15 Worshippers in Borno

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

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Tuesday refuted reports claiming that 15 worshipers were killed in the outskirts of Chibok Local government Area of Borno State on Sunday.

Though the reports of the killing of the Christian worshipers was attributed to a source from NEMA, the agency, however, said it found out that the report was false and not traceable to its officers.

A statement issued by NEMA's Head of Public Relations, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, said its team had investigated the source of the causality figure and found it to be baseless.

He said the agency not only contacted the same officer who denied it in its entirety, but also assigned a special team to investigate and verify the allegation which was later found to be unsubstantiated and untrue.

Shuaib said NEMA's team had discovered that two people were killed by unidentified gunmen around the area on Sunday and whose 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 that North-east axis are non discriminatory between religion, tribe or section of the victims.

"This could be deduced from the calibre of personalities including retired military generals, traditional rulers, politicians, public officers, businesspeople, security personnel, traders, students among other that were victims of such attacks," he said.

The NEMA spokesman added 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.

"The tradition of collaboration with stakeholder in information management during outbreaks of disaster in any part of the country is to eradicate erroneous impressions and misinformation as well as guard against unnecessary reprisal attacks from such speculations," he said.

On NEMA's emergency interventions, Shuaib said the agency had provided relief materials to the victims of recent communal clash between Fulani and Gwari in Gwagwalada area of Abuja over encroachment on farmlands.

According Shuaib, two truckloads of relief materials that include beddings, food items, toiletries, medicaments and tents have been 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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