By Bashir Bello
Kaduna (Nigeria) — Leadership tussle rocking Assemblies of God Church in Saminaka, Kaduna State has it turned bloody.
A source from the church told our Correspondent that the incidence happened when a faction sneaked into the premises of the church to conduct Sunday church worship service and another faction armed itself and invaded the church, injuring about 20 persons and two houses of the Resident Pastors were razed.
According to the source, “We came to worship around 8am at the Assemblies of God Church (Jerusalem), Saminaka, unknown that certain faction had prepared for war. We came into the premises entered and secured the gates from intruders.
“As soon as we had settled for the Church proceedings, about 20 members of the other faction appeared. They had crept into the church premises the previous night.
“They were armed with knives, daggers, clubs, iron rods and other weapons, the way hooligans would appear.
“To our surprise, Police, Army, Civil Defense personnel had arrived the premises of the church almost the same time the other faction came.
“The Police Divisional Police Officer of Saminaka, who has just been posted here, seemed in charge of the security men around. He told us to come out of the church and leave the premises. We said we would only do so if the armed faction which was now hauling stones at us also left.
“In no time, they attacked us, wounding many of us. Since we were not armed we had to find ways to escape.
“The most frightening thing was that the stones they were throwing were also falling into Hausa Muslims homes. If these people had reacted, I don’t know what Saminaka would have been today.
“On the contrary, the Muslims came out and were laughing at us. It is such a disgrace.
“To our surprise, the Police and the rest did nothing to stop them. After inflicting injuries on us, they went to the homes of our two resident pastors and set our two pastoriums ablaze.
“As I talk to you now, about twenty of us have secured serious injuries, some near fatal, and are in various hospitals in Saminaka.
“The police did nothing to stop them. They have not arrested anybody, and the police know them, because they were not wearing masks,” he said.
When contacted, Kaduna State Police Command Spokesman, ASP Aliyu Usman said he had not been furnished with information on the violence. He however promised to get back to the press when he gets information on the matter.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had in September 2015 ordered the closure of the church, including Theological Seminary of Northern Nigeria, (TSNN), Shalom Comprehensive College, AGC Evangelist Hospital, all in Saminaka, saying it was to avoid a possible breakdown of law and order from the church, as the two factions squabbled.