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Demolition of Anglican Church in Enugu Turns Bloody, Clergymen Beaten To Stupor

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu – The alleged forceful entrance and demolition of structures inside a parcel of land belonging to the Anglican Church in Enugu by the state government’s Task force, on Friday turned bloody, as angry youths of the church resisted the armed men accompanying the government agents.

A victim of the demotion protest receives medical attention

A victim of the demotion protest receives medical attention

Our Correspondent reports that the Task force team led by the Managing Director of the Enugu State Housing Corporation, Emeka Vitalis Onah, accompanied by armed policemen, had invaded the disputed land belonging to the Christ Church, Uwani (Anglican church).

However, the angry youths and clergymen in the church, who resisted the government officials, also descended on Onah, who narrowly escaped being lynched.

At least, six persons including four Anglican Priests were beaten to stupor during the clash between the angry youths and a detachment of the Task-force.

The victims were Reverends Collins Odoabuchi, Mbaka Peter, Eugene, and Maxwell Onyia. Others were Ekpecha Okechukwu and Naomi Ibekwe.

However,the Housing Corporation boss, also got injured in a reprisal attack.

The Anglican Clergymen were said to have tried to stop the Taskforce from carrying out the demolition exercise but were over powered by the armed men who unleashed terror on the unsuspecting church leaders.

One of the victims who gave her name as Naomi Ibekwe, told newsmen that she was hit by iron and hard objects including stones causing bruises and severe injuries on her.

But not for quick intervention of the State Commissioner of Police Muhammed Abubakar Adamu who came physically to the scene, there would have been more casualties as the members of the Taskforce threatened fire and brim stone until the exercise was completed as directed by the state government.

Reacting to the incident, the State Commissioner of Police, Adamu, told the angry church leaders and their faithful that they should allow peace to reign as negotiation had begun.

His words: “We have discussed with the church, if anybody is injured, we will not take it lightly.

“We have already asked that a formal report be made and we will follow it up.

“We have agreed on peace move and we are following it up”.

Also corroborating with the State Police boss, the Priest in-charge of the Christ Church, Venerable N. Aghadi said, “We have talked at length and discussed very progressively.

“The Commissioner of Police is requesting that we should please go home and rest.

“He has promised that the matter is in good hand and that immediately the Archbishop, Rev. Emmaneul Chukwuma returns, he will have a meeting with him”.

African Examiner gathered from a source close to the Enugu state government said that the state government revoked the disputed land with an intention to build an estate to be named, “Transparency Estate”.

When our Correspondent visited the scene at about 12.00noon on Friday, a total of five bulldozers were seen being used to demolish the structures at the disputed land inside the Christ Church premises that was dedicated by His Grace, the Most Reverend C . J. Patterson the then ArchBishop of West Africa and Bishop of the Niger in 1965.

Meanwhile, the sign post with inscription “Transparency Estate” which was mounted at the controversial land had been removed by the angry youths of the church.


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