Kaduna: Youths accuse pastor of murder, church set ablaze

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The death of a 21 year old Sylvester Friday sparked violence at Narayi/Bayan Dutse community in Chikun local government area of Kaduna state on Wednesday as youths in the area accused a Celestial church pastor of killing him.

The late Sylvester, DailyTrust gathered was engaged as a mason by the Celestial church pastor, Steven Babatunde Shittu to construct a concrete demarcation inside a river beside the church when he fell into the river and died.

On hearing the incident, youths in the area concluded that the pastor must have used the boy for rituals and immediately mobilized themselves to burn down the church, the pastorium as well as a jeep belonging to a member of the church.

It was gathered that immediately the incident occurred, the pastor ran to a nearby police station to report the case but the angry youths took to the street to protest the death of the boy; demanding to see the pastor who at that time was said to have ran to the police station for safety. To further vent their anger, the angry youths set ablaze the Narayi police post.

In addition to setting ablaze the police outpost, it was gathered that the youths also vandalized a Honda accord car belonging to a police officer while they carted away some motorcycles belonging to police personnel.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer ASP Aliyu Muktar said five people have been arrested in connection to the incident.

“It is true that some miscreants set ablaze a Celestial church and a police outpost in Narayi. The church was completely burnt but the police outpost was not burnt completely.

“The youths were angry that the police gave the church pastor, 78 year-old Steven Babatunde Shitu protective custody. They demanded for his release so as to lynch him.  Our personnel refused to hand him over to them so they decided to take laws into their hands,”

“Our men dispersed them on Wednesday but they regroup around 4am on Thursday to attack the church and the outpost. So far five people have been arrested,” he said, noting that the State Commissioner of Police, Austin Iwar has directed that, anybody involved in the incident be arrested and charged to court.

He however said that normalcy has since returned to the area while he assured the public that the command will get all those involved in the incident.

Also speaking on the incidence, the Palace chief of Narayi District and the youth leader of the community Ishaya Kube and Yahay Barde respectively described the incident as unfortunate while they condemned the youths for taking the law into their hands.

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