Religious tension in Katsina as govt stops Church project

A Church used to illustrate the story

An attempt by the Katsina State Urban and Regional Planning Board, KURPB, to stop further work on a branch of ECWA Church in Matazu Local Government Area has generated tension among residents, setting off fears of a possible religious crisis.

In a letter, dated January 6 2015, entitled “STOP NOTICE” and received by ECWA Trustees, KURPB gave the church a three-day ultimatum to stop all the development work at Matazu ECWA church.

KURPB said that ECWA had been proceeding with the development of the church without necessary legal requirements, but said the church might forward proper formal application or risk “further action” by the board.

The letter reads: “You are hereby advised to stop all the development work at Matazu ECWA Church. It is believed that you are proceeding with development of the site without the necessary legal requirements of planning permission from Katsina State Urban and Regional Planning Board or in violation of such permission.

“If you are developing the site without planning permission, or in contravention of conditions of such permission granted, you are committing an office. In receipt of this notice, you should stop such development work with immediate effect and present a formal application for planning permission to the Development Control immediately.

“Your application must include three sets of all plans including clear site/location plans and a photocopy of the Certificate of Occupancy or any document of ownership and your current tax clearance certificate. At the time of issuance of this notice, the stage of your development is seven (7) courses of cement construction.

“Failure to act within three (3) days of this notice may result in further action by the Board. This notice will cease to have effect only after the issuance of planning permission by the Katsina State Urban and Regional Planning Board.”

The church compound is said to host school and staff quarters.

Speaking on behalf of indigenous Hausa/Fulani Christians in Matazu Local Government, Yunusa Matazu, accused the Katsina State Government of planning to construct a road in place of the church site.

A member of ECWA church told journalists in Abuja that the planned demolition is already generating tension that could cause serious crisis.
In reaction, Christian Association of Nigeria; ECWA President and Tarayyar Masihiyawan Nijeria (Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians), have vowed to resist the action of the state government and its agency.

Also speaking, the President of Hausa/Fulani/ Kanuri Christians, Ishaku Ahmed Dikko, a retired General, said, “It is pure religious persecution; the compound is owned by us and has been on for over 99 years. They believe that being Christians, we may likely support the government in power and the President (Goodluck Jonathan).

“Although the place has been on for long, we see it as pure religious persecution, going by our relationship with them which has not been so cordial. It is a big compound built by the Christian missionaries. We have the C of O, but the Katsina State government refused to renew the C of O for another 99 years.

“There is a Boarding and Staff quarters inside the premises, staff quarters and students Hostel. The road they want to construct will pass through the compound and divide it into two but will not lead to anywhere. The decision is a continuation of the marginalization and persecution of Christians in the North.”

The CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor, said, “I am very upset about this; it is very unacceptable because this is pure religious persecution. It is all about the forthcoming 2015 general elections. This is democracy; people have freedom to support any candidate of their choice. This must not be allowed in Nigeria. There are certain candidates that are heating up the polity and causing problems. There are certain people in the country, especially in the North who cannot vote according to their conscience; they are being compelled to vote in a certain direction.”


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  • Ibraheem Aruna

    A callous irresponsible act. This will not stop free speech, it was a wasted effort. Just as these cowards have perpetrated this heinous act, they have merely given reason some other cartoonists to take their place.

  • jogobonito

    These Northern groups should not give PDP and ethnic bigots the silly chance to brand Gen Buhari a Northern candidate

    Unguarded utterances like this does no one any good

    Sai Buhari

    • Joe

      Buhari will be disqualified. He has no school leaving certificate, even testimonial. APC should please bring Atiku or Kwankwaso.

      • saidu Aliero

        Pls rush to inec or dr ag inec to court shap shap, wawa

      • Gaskiya

        Yeye man. You want destroy Prof Jega. He is smarter than you are. He does not even listen to that nonsense.

      • Maria

        It is too late, mumu.

        • Huck231

          Shut up, just comment and don’t insult. You are simply exhibiting the APC trait. The president was right: APC na hooligans.

          • emmy

            What about PDP? You don’t have human feelings at all. You are self fish and extremely sel centred. You dont even consider the lives of people the rate of poverty eating Nigerian masses. Too bad

          • Dan Arewa

            Real hooligans are the ones surrounding mr dumbo. From drug barons, militants, pardoned criminals, boko haram sponsors and financiers. That is what GEJ’s government is made up of.

      • pastorakinleye

        Your petty reasoning has been disqualified by right-thinking Nigerians for what it is: foolishness.

      • tundemash

        disqualified by who amnesty miscreant ?

    • Otile

      What else is he? No matter how much Yorubas claim him to be one otheir own he still remains a Northern Muslim candidate.

  • Outraged

    Yeye President

    • Huck231

      Is the above comment about the President? Face the fact that you support a return of power to the hungry northerners. You want Buhari to rule us in his old age and probably die in office. You people are callous and selfish. Well, you father Tinubu is just the same.

    • PROF

      Buhari has enrolled for this may/june WAEC AND NECO

      • emmy

        Mumu. I know you were not born when Buhari was the head of state and you lack thinking faculty to remember that our past leaders would never bring him for the top job if hehad no certificate. Certificate conspiracy was manned by IBB because he knows that during the coup plot that topple Buhari’s government his original documents were lost along the way. For your information, no sooner people like you are insinuating that Buhari does not have certificate than a military institution in America honoured him among their best in history. Sai Buhari/Osinbajo

        • PROF

          Buhari should show us copies , even tinubu has kept quiet.

          • pastorakinleye

            Spewing this nonsense as campaign stuff does the Jonathan reelection bid no good, but portrays desperation. It is only imbeciles who will believe your tale that a guy who rose through the officer ranks to become a general and was selected to head Nigeria’s government has no education. A PDP that has superintended the destruction of this country by ineptitude and corruption for sixteen years deserves a shellacking on February 14.

          • PROF

            Tinubu is fixing buharis certificate ,i will soon be ready, 🙂

          • tundemash

            did okupe/abati/metuh not keep quiet???? did u hear them say anything about cert issue??

            They know more than you their foot soldiers. Ask them when next you go for your crumbs !

          • PROF

            Tinubu is fixing buharis certificate ,it will soon be ready :).

          • tundemash

            what has got to do with your okupe/abati/metuh keeping quiet ?

  • I Hate Sycophant Truly

    The same way his wife shed crocodile during the abduction of those Chibok girls. Now it’s an era of crocodile tears by our leaders. What an arrant nonsense.

    • Huck231

      “You hate sycophant truly” abi. For your information it is obvious you hate yourself because you are a sycophant. Address the above piece and stop expressing your pain. By the way, the president remains till 2019.

      • tundemash

        cl0wn …. cancel the election then.

  • Spoken word

    GEJ will talk when there are attacks in foreign countries but remain silent when the attacks are in Nigeria.

    • orkar

      like France abi monkey–have u seen the French abuse their president over the attack–the way u often do here

      • King Carlos

        ode …have u seen the french president divide his country along religious lines? Have u seen the french president not take responsibilities for his actions? Is the french president pardoning convicted criminals? Francois Hollande is not empty headed like our Jonathan. Mind you, Nigerians did not just wake uop one day and started insulting Jonathan, we noticed his dumbness, that’s why we complain.

        • Dan Arewa

          We noticed his dumbness that is why we sometimes call him with his real name ‘Dumbo the Clueless’.

      • tundemash

        did u see the french president dancing skelewu with a woman shooting her a*s at him, a day after the terrorist attack ? You better drop that bottle you ve been hugging since morning.

        • Dan Arewa

          Thank you Mr. Tunde. The problem is that the drunkard will never understand you.

      • Spoken word

        Mr ORKAR dey never execute you.

  • Spoken word

    This will be laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

  • st


    • Huck231

      No one hates him. Only the Northerners and Tinubu’s boys (like you) hate him. Anyway, they hate him because he is working against their expectation. Sorry. Goodluck dey kampe till 2019.

      • emmy

        If Aso Rock is your papa’s property.

        • orkar

          go and tell buhari to show the nation his certificates——period–those ho go to equity should do so with clean hand–tinubu forged certs–now buhari–yet he says he wants to fight corruption how–tell me

          • Jujubeans

            You PDP e-rats are unbelievable. Do you all have a briefing session each morning whereby Olisa Metuh/ Reno Omokri make you chant all your propaganda talking points or what? I can just picture it. Lesson 1: Talk about his Certificates. Lesson 2: talk about Lagos Metro, Lesson 3: talk about corruption at PTF. Lesson 4: very last resort (because the US/EU will sanction our asses) divide Nigerians across ethnic/religious lines.

            But guess what? We can see you coming a mile off. It won’t work! Dumbo and Hippo are going back to the zoo. Enough is Enough! #GMB2015!

    • emmy

      Nobody hate GEJ. But the issues surrounding him are the unpatriotic elements working with him and he is not competent to rule Nigeria

      • orkar

        yes buhari a certificate forger is competent–a man who enlisted into the army with sworn affidavits—-that is Nigeria–no wonder not a single person was prosecuted by buhari—as head of state—-u hate jonathan but love his awooof oil revenue

        • TRUTH MASTER

          Yet he rose to become a decorated General and a Head of State. In that case, better to be a ‘certificate forger’ than a barely literate PhD holder!

    • orkar

      @wahala——by those who assassinated kudirat abiola and abiola himself-those who hanged–kensorowiwa————–Even our Lord Jesus was hated—how much–less mortal men like jonathan—show me one presidential candidate that the Fulani north supported–apart from objs first term——————was Awo not stoned in 1957 in the north–and had some of his supporters killed—-?—are these not the same people who turned atiku into a northern Fulani consensus candidate


      The President is more hated by his so-called supporters and the fifth columnists in his Administration!

  • BlackieUmukoro

    The country’s fault lines were not created by oga Jona and if he exploits them to his advantage, all well and good. The others are gingered in the mosques, so nothing wrong if ebele goes to the church to announce his score card. Their religion may not be violent but most terrorists are unfortunately of that faith. The killing of 12 innocent persons in Paris yesterday is an evidence of their intolerance

    • orkar

      Derail the Lagos Metroline project, designed to address the perennial problem of traffic jams and gridlock in Nigeria’s then capital city and financial centre out of lack of vision and foresight, as well as contempt for Southern economic growth and development. Refuse to guarantee a loan of $100 million that the Lagos State government needed for the project. Waste thereby close to $80 million of the money of Lagos taxpayers and investors already expended on the project.

      Fail to apologise to Lagosians for this faux pas, even though those currently bankrolling your presidential campaign are relying largely on the resources of Lagos State. Still expect Lagosians to vote for you on the assumption that they have forgotten, or do not know, what you did.

      Have the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir El’Rufai, give this verdict about your chances: “General Buhari has remained perpetually unelectable because his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known.”

      • pastorakinleye

        A rehash of jaded opinions by people who used to be against Buhari politically is a no-brainer. Many of them has since changed their minds when they discovered the authentic Buhari and have dissociated themselves from these untruths. By the way Nigeria’s are prepared to stake their future with a known strong leader, rather than a weak-kneed under-performer

      • BlackieUmukoro

        God bless you
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      • Dan Arewa

        Perhaps you must be among those who dwells the pigeon hole created by Dumbo the clueless within a beer parlour. It is also clear that you have been commenting from there (beer parlour).

      • Da Bahaushiya

        Agreed, but why didn’t Okupe’s Jesus allow or execute the projects.

      • Yusuf

        If your lies are any thing to go by how could any well thinking human being spend $80m on the premise that he is expecting $100m loan? Its not a surprise under Shagari administration its a simili to that of Jonathan where taking foreign loan has no consequence. I am glad u do not dare to blame Buhari for benefiting from the $80m or $100m. $20B is enough to build advance city rail in 37 states of the federation, only if your head has something called brain

    • Ibraheem Aruna

      So by implication and by your own definition every other Muslim is now a terrorist.?

      • BlackieUmukoro

        Some idiots in the faith gave you guys a very bad name
        Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN

      • trippi

        Nope, But every terrorist tends to be muslim.

  • orkar

    As military head of state, Buhari prosecuted an anti-corruption campaign that allowed core North politicians to go scot-free, while jailing many innocent ones from the South.

    Let Nigerians know that as president, you would discriminate unabashedly in favour of your homestead by allocating a disproportionate amount of the resources of the country, which largely emanate from the Southern part of the country, to the North. As chairman of the PTF under the corrupt Abacha government, spend over 70% of the funds in your native North, even though the overwhelming proportion of PTF funds came from the South, which consumes over 70% of the refined petroleum products in the country.

    Prompt the Yoruba cultural organization, Afenifere, to make a submission to the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC) led by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa that nothing else typifies the marginalisation of the Yoruba in particular and Southern Nigeria in general in the affairs of Nigeria than the lopsidedness of the projects carried out by the PTF under your chairmanship.

    Ensure, for example, that 13,870 kilometers of the road building and rehabilitation projects of the PTF, representing 76%, are carried out in the North. On the other hand, carry out 4,440 kilometers of road projects, representing only 24%, in the entire South. Out of this figure, allocate 10.5% to the South-West and only 13.5% to the South-East and the South-South combined; in spite of the fact that the latter geopolitical zones are bedeviled by gully erosion and swamps.

    • Adetayo Adewale Adebowale

      Liar,bad belle

    • objective

      half truth and some dodgy statistics too!

  • orkar

    The Igbos are mercenaries; they are there for sale. If the devil were to come today to say, I am the devil about whom the Bible and the Quran have spoken, I am prepared to give money, the Igbo will take the money and vote for him. Quote me!

    This is the verdict of a Kano State delegate to the just concluded National Conference and convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed when he spoke in an interview with The Punch’–WHAT A SHAME.

    • objective

      That was too hash to say about fellow countrymen.

  • But for the incorruptible quality of Buhari, no reasonable Southerner would have touched him with a long pole.So the Northern Elders Forum should go and sit down because Tinubu himself would not have been able to rescue Buhari.Tinubu was only been clever by half by aligning with the Yoruba philosophy.Had Buhari chosen Tinubu as his running mate, APC would have collapsed like a pack of cards.
    I just believe that General Buhari’s time has come, otherwise our sensibilites would not have been assaulted by the high level of corruption and stealing by the GEJ led Government.
    Another strength of the Buhari candidacy is the fact that he is principled to a fault. This man is nothing but a Tiger that could eventually consume his riders. The Northern cabal are being forced back to their vomit because they never loved Buhari for being too Independently minded.How
    come they did not support him in 2011? Those criticising his treatment of Ekueme against Shagari , forgot the fact that Tens of thousands of USD$ were recovered from Ekueme’s house unlike the Shagaris.That alone is an evidence of indiscipline and corruption. This same people forget the fact that Umaru Dikko, a Northerner, was to have been crated from the UK by the same administration of Buhari.


    Goodbye PDP. So long GEJ!

  • Man_Enough

    this lai mohammed is a very intelligent man. he is light years ahead of the bunch of okupe and abati.

    • Mike udi

      Mr man read and check whose statement u re referring to liar statement

  • MushinSpeaks

    President Jonathan keeps failing and losing assurance of victory. We all are tired of his incompetence and we are ready to vote CHANGE come FeBuhari 14.

    Buhari/Osinbajo all the way.



    • Yusuf

      prepare to jump into river niger. A liar than can open his dirty mouth to call Buhari a 419 has no connection with God, u are only praying from your keypad

  • Dan Arewa

    It is shameless to be shading crocodile tears while all the right thinking Nigerians knows that Jonathan is the one who spearhead activities that led Nigeria to nosedive to abyss of penury. It is shameless to shed crocodile tears while you know that all the right thinking Nigerians knows how corruption is increasing and no single major corrupt official (all of whom belongs to PDP and inner circle of mr president) have been brought to book.

    It is worth noting and saying that goodluck only accepts people with serious problems to be his advisers and trusted people. We see the utterances of people like Ayo of CAN, dakubo asari and others who should have been dealt with but are now freer than our parliament members. We see how OBJ told us in his so-called ‘toxic’ letter about Buruji Kashamu, the issue that have never been successfully challenged in a court of law.

    Finally, we see how his most trusted people have been having hands in Boko Haram sponsorship/financing. No wonder Boko Haram is growing new confidence and audacity everyday by attacking everywhere they want and whenever they want. We all see how Boko Haram are being given all the time and space they need to unleash terror on communities Goodluck believes are from his enemies part of the country.

    Can such a person be called a leader? Yes, of course; even Hitler and Pol Pot were called leaders, but leaders that will go down in history as the most evil and satanic.

    The truth of the matter is JONATHAN NEVER WISHED ANYTHING GOOD FOR THIS COUNTRY and have never done something worth remembering other than Boko Haram sponsorship by the people he always protect, being a good father/friend to worst corrupt people during his administration, bringing in the accused drug barons to be part of his government and many more.

    That is why I believe that TO BE A CLUELESS DRUNKARD AND A LEADER AT THE SAME TIME does not do good for the masses.

  • Yusuf

    Good for you, the so called Arewa elders but u are coming-in rather late bcus we have already made up our minds for change be it through GMB or any other progressive

  • Yusuf Gide


  • tsunami1earthquake

    Religious tolerance must be embraced by Muslims; Muslims must not always expect to receive but not to give. But, come to think of it, if the Muslims claim to worship same God as the Christians, have the Muslims ever stopped to think how God would feel if they (the Muslims) stop Christians from advancing their worship of God? People should learn to think always in what they do.

  • objective

    There must me tolerance. If the Katsina State story of stopping the construction of a church and refusing to renew the C of O of a church community is true, then Buhari must urgently comment about this stone age step. The state is his home state, and he must not be seen to keep quiet. We all cannot keep quiet on this forum. Yes GMB all the way, but this is an opportunity for him to prove that he will not stand aside and watch persecution in any guise.

  • David

    Sir, it wasn’t the influx of cheap dollars that destroyed local production, but rather it was the imposition of SAP by IBB that did it. And with SAP still with us in another name though how much chance have we got? All the challenges you mentioned, namely, moral, mental, ethical, economic, etc that we face now are traceable to the era of SAP. IBB destroyed our values, our currency, our education, etc and brought poverty to us.