Tuesday, April 27, 2010

CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NIGERIA Press briefing on Jos killings.

26th April 2010

It is with heavy hearts that the Church Of Christ In Nigeria (COCIN) announces the death of two of her staff members, Mr. Nathan Sheleph Dabak, the Deputy Editor and Mr. Sunday Gyang Bwede, a Reporter, both of The Light Bearer Newspaper, COCIN Headquarters, Jos.

Two days ago, on Saturday, 24th April 2010, two reporters with the COCIN Media outfit – The Light Bearer, were mercilessly and brutally killed by the Muslim Mob at Gadan-Bako, Nassarawa Gwong, Jos.

The two journalists – Mr. Nathan Sheleph Dabak (Assistant Editor) and Mr. Sunday Gyang Bwede (Reporter) were carrying out their duties with the information arm of the Church when they fell into the hands of the perpetrators.

While effort is being tailored toward the return of peace in Jos and in-spite of the presence of a Joint Military special Task Force (STF), it is regrettable that we are again confronted with this spate of killings. The news of the deaths of these loved ones came as a rude shock and surprise to us as a Church.

Mr. Nathan Dabak and his colleague Sunday Gyang left the office in the morning of Saturday 24th April 2010 on an appointment to interview the member representing Jos East constituency, Hon. Bulus Kaze, when they fell into the hands of the perpetrators. The Muslims who murdered these men also went away with their gadgets and are boldly responding to calls from their telephones. A friend of Dabaks reported with concern that when he called his number at around 9.30am, there was a strange voice responding. The voice said proudly that “We have killed all of them; you can do your worst!” The Church started its search for these two that Saturday but finally discovered their bodies in the Mortuary of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) on Sunday at about 12 noon.

The killing of these two journalists, no doubt, has raised some fundamental security questions that, if it is to be unraveled, the mysteries surrounding it would show that neither the Church nor its members are safe in these predicaments.

While the Church still mourns the death of one of its Pastors and his wife in Boto, Bauchi State, it is sad that it should again be left to face another barbaric, horrendous and brutal murder of these innocent young men, caught in their prime.

Late Rev. and Mrs Ishaya Kada
(COCIN Local Church Council Boto, Bauchi State)

The Church recalls with sadness that although the Bauchi State Government in their press release seeks to accuse COCIN of planning to attack some parts of its state, it only has proved that it has no tolerance for any Christian in Boto. On the 13th of April 2010, Rev. Ishaya Kada and his wife got missing from their residence at the Pastorium of the COCIN Church, Boto. Investigations later revealed that Rev. Ishaya and his wife were seen being dragged out of the pastorium by some Muslim men. Their remains were later discovered burnt beyond recognition.

The late Ishaya had reported their insecurity to the Police in the area when, before now, some unknown people killed their dogs within their premises but no measures were taken to their rescue. Recently, the area has been populated with strangers who claim to be refuges from the Jos Crisis. They are harbored and are being fed by the Bauchi State Government but have made the area unsafe for any Christian since then.

This situation can no longer be tolerated or accepted. In view of this, the Church is calling on the Governments of Bauchi and Plateau States to investigate these matters and also review the security networks in their States.

We call on all members to remain calm; although there are security lapses. They should not panic but trust God with their lives. They should go about their normal businesses in peace, but be vigilant and must employ appropriate measures to defend themselves only where there are no security personnel. The Church also calls on all to watch and pray and to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. We must cry out to God and allow Him to take vengeance. The leadership will take the matter to appropriated quarters.

COCIN has therefore, declared 2-day mourning period for her murdered veteran staff members from 26th - 27th April, 2010. We commit you to Him who is able to keep you until the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Rev. Dr. Pandang Yamsat
COCIN President

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