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Security agents kill 11 as Galilee procession ends in tragedy in Gombe

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Eleven people were killed in Gombe, on Sunday night, after a car rammed into a procession of Christian youths, mostly Boys Brigade members, during an Easter rally in the metropolis.
The youths were reportedly on their usual Easter rally, in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, when a member of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and a police operative came across them at Alheri Junction, Biu Road.
Chairman of the Gombe State Battalion Brigade of the Boys Brigade (BB), Isaac Kwadang, told reporters that he received information about the incident around 11.30pm on Sunday.
According to him, the NSCDC officer, although not on official duty, met the procession and, after exchanging words with the youths, drove away. Suddenly, he put off the lights of his car and ran into them from behind. He killed eight on the spot and injured over 30.
They were on a procession to Sabon-Layi Area of Gombe metropolis where they were expected to celebrate Easter on Monday.
Kwadang stated further that some of the youths who survived the attack chased the security officers, caught up with them and mobbed them to death. He said although it wasn’t easy calming the youths down, they are still prevailing on them to avoid further confrontation.
The Chief Medical Director of Gombe State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Shuaibu Muazu, confirmed that some dead bodies from the incident have been deposited in the hospital while the injured were receiving treatment.
He said some of the injured were referred to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe and some private hospitals, for treatment.
The deputy governor and the leadership of the North East Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday appealed to the Christian community to remain calm.
CAN boss, Reverend Abare Kala, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Gombe, yesterday.
Kala said the association would follow due process to seek redress and that the Christian body is putting in efforts that would ensure that the situation is properly managed.
“We call on the Christian community in Gombe to take the situation in good faith, be calm and also follow the right channel in seeking redress on the issue on ground.
“Two wrongs cannot make a right. So, I appeal for caution in the process of addressing the issue. If we apply the wrong approach, it will lead to another issue. For now, we are trying to calm the situation by appealing to Christians to see reasons for calm and allow the authorities concerned to take necessary measures. We have informed the security agencies concerned about the situation on ground.
“We are aware of the pain this sad event has caused, but let’s be calm and allow the leadership handle the matter,” he said.
Similarly, the deputy governor, Mr. Charles Iliya, appealed for calm, adding that the state government will take all necessary measures to ensure justice is done.
Iliya said it was a painful experience but appealed for calm to allow the relevant authorities carry out their duties.
The police public relations officer in the state, Mary Malum, who confirmed the accident, said 10 people died. She explained that eight out of the 10 dead persons were members of the Gombe State Boys’ Brigade while the other two were the driver of the car and his friend.
She said the police have started its investigation on the matter.

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