BEVERLY HILLS, CA, November 25, (THEWILL) – Butchers in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, on Monday, slammed the Gwoza Christian Community Association (GCCA) over what they described as the malicious, baseless and devilish statement by the Christian association.
GCCA had drawn the ire of the butchers when it referred to the Maiduguri Central Abattoir as a breeding ground for Boko Haram.
In a statement in a national newspaper, the association also condemned Governor Kashim Shettima’s recent donation of N25 million to the butchers with its spokesman, Ayuba J. Bassa, maintaining that such generosity of the governor was coming at a time when Christians in Gwoza were being killed by Boko Haram whose breeding ground was the very abattoir that the governor was making such investment.
But in a swift reaction, the butchers denied having any Boko Haram in their midst member, saying the N25 million given to the association recently by Borno State Government was a loan and not a gift.
The butchers under the aegis of Butchers Union of Nigeria, Maiduguri Branch, described GCCA’s statement as “reckless, misguided and capable of injuring the peace of the abattoir and the state in general. ”
A statement jointly signed by the Union’s Chairman, Abubakar Ngula; the Secretary General, Stephen David and the Sarkin-Pawa (Chief butcher), Alhaji Mala Modu, said the abattoir which comprised of people from all background and religions can never be a breeding ground for terrorism.
“The statement attributed to the Gwoza Christian Community Association (GCCA)…is reckless,false and a misrepresentation of the calculated deliberately, to disrupt the relative peace being enjoyed by citizens of Borno under the guise of religion”, the butchers said.
Arguing that against the claims of the GCCA that Gwoza butchers are being empowered monetarily while their brothers at home are being killed by Boko Haram, the butchers maintained that the said N25 million was not a gift to butchers of Gwoza extraction, but to all butchers in Maiduguri Central Abattoir.
“For the public not to be misled, the truth is that Borno State Governor has never given the sum of N25 million to butchers from Gwoza at the Abattoir. However, the Borno State Government has out of its magnanimity granted a loan of N25 million to the National Butchers Union at the Maiduguri abattoir with the aim of promoting small scale entrepreneurship”, the statement said.
The butchers said an abattoir as gigantic as Maiduguri’s should naturally comprise of people from all walks of life, cutting across the country and even some neighboring countries – not only people from Gwoza.
Secretary of the Union, Stephen David, said if his union had any sympathy for Boko Haram, he as a Christian would have been killed long ago.
“I hail from Gwoza, precisely from Bayan Dutse, Gava Nbuwan-mission, and I am Christian by faith”, said David. “That statement made by the GCCA is malicious, baseless and devilish in nature; which is instigated to foster hatred, disaffection among peace loving people.
“If the abattoir is a breeding ground for Boko Haram, then I wouldn’t have been alive today, talk more of me becoming the Secretary General of the Butchers’ Union. As such, we call on the general public to disregard such assertion.”