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Panic In Gombe At Boy’s Brigade Retrieval Of Killed Members Bodies, Exacerbates Northern Intolerance, Fault Lines

The Oasis Reporters

April 27, 2019

Police on patrol in Nigeria.

Signs that the mutually assured hatred in the north may take more than a century to turn to tolerance was observed when palpable fear and pandemonium took over Gombe City on Saturday following clashes between some youths and members of the Boys Brigade while retrieving the remains of their members killed during Easter.

The Christian Boy’s Brigade found no empathy from the youths, suspected to be of a different faith and possibly acting alone, started hauling stones at them as they were coming out of the specialist hospital in a procession, at Jekafari.

The attack which prompted the members of the group’s retaliation was however put under control with the swift intervention of security personnel in the area. NAN also reports that the fight led to the stoning and destruction of cars of innocent motorists in the place.

Observers continue to ask if it would be possible to build bridges between the Christians and Muslims in a state like Gombe, where it is hoped that investments in education would help them overcome their differences.

When contacted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Gombe State Police Command Spokesperson, DSP Mary Malik, said although she heard about the issue, no formal report was made at the command.

Eight boys were killed during Easter procession when a vehicle allegedly driven by an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps ASC Adamu Abubakar rammed into a procession by members of the group, which many people believe was a deliberate act of excessive anger and hatred.

There are observers who believe that it was an opportunity lost by the youths to empathize with the Boy’s Brigade members, mourn with them and sow the seed of friendship. But their stones at a period of mourning shows that hate would have a bigger field to play in the northeast region that needs all the peace that it can get.

Gombe State has a significant number of Christians in the Southern senatorial district, but largely Muslim in the Northern and Central senatorial districts. It is almost certain that they will take a long while to build religious harmony as it exists in the South West region where Christians and Muslims coexist in perfect harmony, looking at the brotherhood of man, rather than the differences in religion.

But then, the South West has over a century of western education, far ahead of Nigeria’s north.

Additional reporting : NAN

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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