CAN flays el-Rufai’s reason for sparing St. George’s church building

The reason advanced by Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai for not demolishing the 110-year-old St. George Anglican Church, Sabon Gari, Zaria, is an insult to the church and threat to other structures with no such historical value.

Making this known in a statement yesterday, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) lamented that the governor ignored the spiritual and moral contributions of the church to its immediate environment and the country as a whole.

Director-General of the Kaduna State Urban Planning Development Agency (KASUPDA), Ismail Dikko, had been quoted as saying last Friday that the church wouldn’t be demolished because of its “historical value”.

The statement signed by CAN’s Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Vondip, said for the government’s citing of historical value for sparing the edifice suggested lack of respect for the church in Nigeria.CAN under the leadership of Dr. Samson Ayokunle, however, commended the governor for taking the bold step to withdraw his earlier threat to demolish the Cathedral.

It however stated, “We are concerned that the only reason for withdrawing such threat is for ‘historical value’, not for the purpose for which the church was built and the blessings it brought to the immediate communities and the entire nation.

“This is a church that has developed the spiritual and moral values of many people in the ancient city for decades, yet the only reason the government will advance is the historical value of the church.

“To us, the reason suggests lack of respect for the church in Nigeria and a probability of future threat to other churches without that long ‘historical value,’ not only in Zaria but the entire Kaduna State.”

Contrary to reports on the social media that 13 persons were kidnapped along Kaduna–Abuja road on Monday, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, has said that there was no recent kidnap on that road.

A statement he released yesterday read in part, “The attention of the Kaduna State Security Council has been drawn to a story making the rounds on the social media suggesting that armed bandits blocked the Kaduna–Abuja highway on September 23, 2019 and kidnapped 13 commuters.

“To set the records straight, there was no report of bandits blocking the Kaduna–Abuja highway or kidnap of commuters on that road. Rather, the crime happened in a village.

“From crime entries and reports from the District Head of Gwagwada, Alhaji Shittu Abdullahi, six persons were kidnapped in the early hours of Monday, September 23, 2019, at Ungwan Hausawa-Dutse, Dutse village in Chikun Council. The kidnapped persons are not commuters plying the Kaduna–Abuja road and they were not kidnapped on the road.”