Police in Kwara State are now carrying out investigations to know the root cause of attacks by some youths, in Taiwo Isale area of Ilorin, the state capital, on churches in the early hours of the New Year’s day
Three churches; Christ Apostolic Church State Coordinating Council Headquarters, Methodist Church, State Main Branch and the Main St Joseph Catholic Church were allegedly attacked about 2 a.m by the youth.
Eye witnesses’ accounts said the irate boys armed with dangerous missiles and throwing bangers marched on the churches chanting provocative songs.
They were said to have specifically said they were protesting an alleged forceful removal of ‘hijab’ from a female graduating lawyer at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja late last year before she could be called to the bar.
Several people were said to be wounded in the resulting stampedes at the three affected churches including three who sustained serious injuries and were being treated in the hospital
However, the State Police Command said the youths were those denied their annual carnivals by Elders of Taiwo Isale because of alleged attendant negative outcomes in the previous years.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi in a statement said; “The Kwara State Police Command wishes to assure the good people of the state, of its capacity to deal decisively with anybody arrested, for being a part of the breakdown of law and order that was witnessed in Taiwo Isale area of Ilorin, by hoodlums early this morning,
“At about 02;00am of today, some youths that were prevented from carrying out what was termed New year carnival by the community leaders of the area for fear of the process turning into a security threat, owing to previous years experiences.
“In protest to the denial, the youths resorted into throwing bangers indiscriminately at all gatherings in the vicinity including religious gatherings celebrating the new year cross -over services, three (3) persons were injured in the resulting stampede, both the catholic, methodist and other churches in the area,including a muslim group called Quareeb team, holding their programme in an adjoining school were attacked,
“Some vehicles belonging to both worshippers were damaged. It is important to note, that the attack has no religious undertone. It is simple an unlawful act by the disgruntled youths of the area, as both the Christians and Muslims gatherings in the area were attacked.
“Ten (10) suspects have been arrested, the injured already taken to the hospital and are responding to treatment. Investigation into the matter has commenced”.