Leaders of Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) in Kaduna, have denied rumours that they indulge in ritual activities, while expressing concerns over the safety of their parishes In Bayan Dutse and environs over threats from mobs, following the death of a mason working for the church.
The Provincial Leader of CCC Kaduna Province, Superior Evangelist Sam Atolagbe expressed this while making clarifications at the Provincial headquarters in Kabala Doki, Kaduna on Tuesday March 27, 2018.
“We reiterate that what happened on that day was an accident and by no means ritual. The church separates itself wholly from any kind of diabolical activity based on the church’s doctrine and tenets.
“We express concern over the plight of our parishes located around the vicinity of the incident as the mob has vowed to carry out more damages,” he said.
The Provincial Leader, commended the Nigeria Police, other authorities and concerned persons for their prompt and appropriate steps to curb the incident that could have led to further death and destruction of property.
“We further call on the police and other relevant authorities to keep up the good works and enjoin all parishioners to remain calm and law abiding,” he added.
He explained that the shepherd of the affected parish, Steven Shittu has served in the vineyard of the Lord for over two decades being a role model and a spiritual leader having raised faithful disciples for Jesus Christ and still serving.
“Over the past four years, part of the church land has been lost due to water erosion and efforts have been made to recover the eroded land which normally involves the Shepherd engaging some of the youths of the community to carry out mini
construction work to barricade portions where the erosion is less severe.
The deceased, Sylvester Friday a 21 year old boy and a member of the community who
has been a mason with the church had worked with the church. on her constructions for
some time now. On the fateful day the 21st March 2018, he was engaged by the Shepherd Steven Shittu to do a small work by the bank of the river where the church was trying to control the erosion that was claiming the church land, a project that had been on for some time.
“While working he slipped into a deeper part of the water and the shepherd supervising raised an alarm when he realized the drowning of the mason,
the neighbors that came around could not help much, in desperation he ran to the nearest police outpost to report the situation and get expert divers to rescue the boy.
“As the shepherd was laying his complaint at the police station, a report came in that the
boy had drowned, the body recovered from the river and that the church had also been set ablaze by the mob. The police then advised that the shepherd should remain in their custody to avoid being lynched by the mob. While the shepherd remained in police custody, the mob burnt down the church building and destroyed other buildings within the church premises and also burnt down a SUV Jeep belonging to one cf the church member,” he narrated.
Superior Evangelist Atolagbe said that the church was unhappy about the death of the worker and would be paying a condolence visit to family of the deceased when the tension is doused.
On the whereabouts of the Shepherd, he said he was still in custody of the Nigerian Police.