In Kaduna Youths burn church, police post over alleged ritualist pastor

A local priest was accused of using a 21-year-old for ritual after he died while working for the church.

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A Police officer (illustration)

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Angry youths in Narayi community of Kaduna State burnt down a church and a police post on Thursday, March 22, 2018 after a local priest was accused of being responsible for the sudden death of a boy that worked as a mason at the church.

According to media reports, 21-year-old ‎Friday Sylvester was building a demarcation inside a river beside the Celestial Church when he fell into the river and died on Wednesday, March 21.

A crowd of protesters accused the pastor of the church, 78-year-old Babatunde Shittu, of using Friday for ritual and demanded justice.

To escape lynching from the mob, Shitu was immediately put under the protective custody of the police in the area.

The youths reportedly gathered with renewed strength on Thursday and burnt down the church and the police post, although Shitu had been moved by then and there was no casualty.

According to Premium Times, the Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, Aliyu Muktar, confirmed the incident and reported that five people have already been arrested.

He said, "Yes it's 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 youth were angry that police gave the church pastor 78 old Steven Babatunde Shitu protective custody. They demanded for his release so as to lynch him. But 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 regrouped around 4 a.m. Thursday to attack the church and the outpost. So far five people have been arrested."

He promised that the police will ensure that everyone involved in the double arson committed will be brought to book.

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