Technocrat Media Nigeria
LAGOS – There has been outrage in Lagos over the demolition of 12 churches on 2nd Avenue, FESTAC Town, by the officials of the Federal Housing Authority.
According to THE PUNCH learnt that the demolition started around 5am and continued till around 3pm.
The leader of the Gate of Righteousness Evangelical International Church whose properties were affected, Pastor Joshua Obong, said he started his ministry in the community eighteen years ago and wondered why his church was targeted for demolition.
He said, “The officials first came last week and started marking our buildings. After they were done, they left and returned two days later. That was when they gave us a seven-day notice, which expired last Wednesday.
“On Sunday morning, around 5am, we suddenly saw bulldozers at the First Gate, FESTAC Town. They got to my church at exactly 11am; they demolished all the churches along the road, except the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Communion Chapel and CPM, which they spared. All other churches were brought down.”
Obong said there was no other warning prior to the seven-day notice.
He said it was impossible for anybody to approach the court for injunctions to stop the demolition as the government took advantage of the strike action by judicial workers.
“We wrote to them, seeking extension of time, but the letter was not even acknowledged,” he added.
The Overseer of Christ Gospel Church International, Pastor William Ehiorenren, said a senior government official had advised them to send a lawyer to Abuja to sort out the matter.
He stated, “He promised that they would not touch any church till the lawyer returned. Our lawyer was still in Abuja when they came on Sunday, a day of service, and demolished our churches. The lawyer called all their staff members, but they switched off their phones.
“We heard that they want to re-allocate the land and sell to moneybags and make millions. I have not seen where seven days would be given for people to vacate their property.
“We have been in that area for years and we spent millions of naira in building our churches. They could not even give us time to move, because they had mapped out their evil plan to sell the land to people.”
Ehiorenren said his church usually paid tenancy rates to landlords, who he claimed had legal claims to the land.
The cleric accused the government of leaving certain churches, because their leaders had political connections.
He explained that his church was not served any notice of demolition.
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