Tears flowed freely yesterday at Gombe, in Gombe local government area of Gombe State, as nine caskets, bearing the remains of the Boys Brigade members killed by an officer of the National Civil Defence Corps (NCDC) during an Easter procession last Sunday were laid side by side, during a funeral service at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) centre.
The service, was however, cut short because of violence that erupted in some parts of the state capital due to the procession by members of the Boys Brigade and the Christian community.
The procession began from the Specialists Hospital, where the remains of the youths, comprising three girls and six boys, were kept.
They were escorted amidst the usual Boys Brigade drums, flutes, boggles and singing, right up to the auditorium of the CAN Centre, where family and friends of the deceased were already seated and waiting for the service start.
However, because of the security situation, the burial service had to be cut short and a curfew immediately imposed by the state government.
According to a statement issued by the acting secretary to the state government, Mr James Pisagih, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, had approved the imposition of the curfew in Gombe metro with immediate effect to douse tension.
The curfew will start from 3pm Saturday to 6am on Sunday, however the situation will be review after the restoration of normalcy,” the statement said.
Pisagih said only security agencies and other workers on essential services are allowed any form of movement during the duration of the curfew.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sorrow in a message to the families and friends of the slain members of the Boys and Girls Brigade in Gombe State at their funeral yesterday.
Nine of the youths being buried were killed following a dispute between members of the brigade and a security operative while on a procession to mark Easter.
President Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Garba Shehu said his heart is filled with the pain that the families of the victims were facing as they buried these promising youngsters.
He however urged them to be consoled by the fact the “entire nation is with you as experience this sad, indescribable loss. May the Almighty God comfort you at this difficult time.”
At the same time, President Buhari has expressed shock hearing reports of tensions in the State Capital leading to the imposition of a curfew by the local authorities and directed security agencies the in the state to ensure that vigilance is maintained.