Outrage over demolition of Enugu church •Bishop leads protest march

The Methodist Church of Nigeria, Agbani Diocese of Enugu State yesterday protested against demolition of its properties, Church and other buildings by villagers in Enugu.

The Church said properties, including Manse (priest’s lodge) worth over N300 million were destroyed at Ugbawka Community, Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state by some villagers.

The church which alleged that the villagers were also threatening the life of the Minister of God in the community, called on the state government to protect God’s servants from any harm from the villagers who had threatened to fight God because they had money and connection in government.

The protesters, who were mainly priests from all the parishes in Agbani Methodist Diocese with handful of church members, were led by the Bishop, Rt. Rev, Dr. Udo Nmeregini. The protesters with placards in various inscriptions such as “this is God’s property; Stop destroying Methodist property. This is God’s battle! The Church is for Peace. Who are you to fight God?” among others, marched around the church compound and destroyed Manse. Addressing journalists shortly after the protests, the Bishop, Nmeregini, regretted how people would wake up one morning, went and bulldozed the church Manse even when the Minister of God was inside the house, destroying cash crops belonging to the church worth millions of Naira no matter what.

He said: “Just about six years ago somebody who felt he is now bigger than God came in and said he is taking over this Church Land; that it belongs to his grandfather and father. And the church said no you didn’t give us the land that God gave us the land through the leaders of this community over hundred years ago.

“In short, the late traditional ruler championed the demarcation and ceding of this Land to the church and it’s in writing. We have documents in respect of this Land. It is a communal land they gave to us and other early churches; and it was not only Methodist alone.

“So, last week they came and demolished more than 10 plots including the Manse, where the minister is living. “What kind of madness is that? They came overnight and removed the roof, returned in the day and removed all the windows, and facilities in the house. Is that what people call civilization? (Text, excluding headline, courtesy New Telegraph)

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