By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State Northwest Nigeria has directed the closure of Assemblies of God Church in Saminaka District of the state due to leadership crisis.
A statement by the Governor’s spokesperson Samuel Aruwan says the decision was taken to prevent threats to peace and stability of the State.
It explained that the closure came shortly after the issue was deliberated on Tuesday 15 September at the State Security Council meeting.
It says, steps taken was to preserve peace in the area and warned that government will not tolerate the use of religion and ethnicity to cause crisis in the state.
Council noted that the leadership crisis has led to disintegration of order in the church, and raised tensions between the followers of the rival camps.
It added that the crisis has also widened to the students of the church-owned school and seminary, who are now split and divided along factional lines.
“The Council reviewed previous efforts made to resolve the crisis and noted that these were aborted by those involved in the leadership tussle, principally to preserve their personal interests with little concern for the common good, and the peace and security of Kaduna State.
“Therefore, the council unanimously directed the immediate closure of the following: Theological Seminary of Northern Nigeria, (TSNN) Saminaka.
“Shalom Comprehensive College, Saminaka. Assemblies of God Church, Nmbare, Saminaka, Assemblies of God Church (Jerusalem) Saminaka and AGC Evangelist Hospital, Saminaka.
“As a result of these measures, those who may be affected will be admitted into government schools or hospitals, if they exercise the option.
“The Council also directed that the status quo with regard to farmlands, houses and other assets of the church be upheld pending resolution of the leadership crisis, which is a matter before the Supreme Court,” he said.
The statement explained further that “the State Government wishes to reiterate that it will not tolerate the use of religion and ethnicity to cause crisis in the state.”
It also says government will prosecute anyone, no matter his or her standing, that is implicated in fomenting crisis in whatever form in the State.