Udom Orders Demolition Of 3 Churches
Furious over the decision by three leading Pentecostal Church clerics to differ in the governor Udom Emmanuel’s choice of successor in the forthcoming general elections in 2023, the government has ordered the demolition of their Churches, it was learnt on Thursday.
The affected Churches include the Holy Ghost Ambassadors Ministry along Ekpanya Street; Dunamis Church, Ikpa Road and the God’s House of Refuge at Ikot Ebido Oku, all on the Uyo metropolis.
The fiery cleric of the Holy Ghost Ambassadors, Pastor Nyenime Andy, was said to have kicked against the resolution of a conglomeration of elders drawn from different Churches under the aegis of the Fathers of Faith led by the 85-years-old Emeritus Prelate of the Methodist Church, Sunday Mbang, urging the Church to only limit itself to an advisory role in the choice of Emmanuel’s successor.
The Fathers of Faith had met with Emmanuel on the matter at the weekend during a breakfast parley at the Ibom Icon Hotel and Golf Resort, where the governor was said to have wooed the Church leaders with N50million to support his cause to install his choice of successor, but Pastor Andy and others were said to have taken a different position, forcing the governor to bare his fangs.
“An honest advice that the Church should not indulge in politics to the extent of influencing Emmanuel’s choice of successor; that the government should instead canvass for a homegrown politician who knows the problem of the people is what has angered the governor to the point of fighting the body of Christ in the name of politics”, a senior member of the Church, who craved anonymity disclosed to Newsmen in Uyo.
“We have Methodist Church and other Churches along this same Ekpanya Street as well as NSCDC office along this road but why must the government single out only our Church for demolition for violating Town Planning laws, it is so sad”, he lamented.
Checks by Journalists revealed that the Chairman of the Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA), Enobong Uwah, has heeded the governor’s directive and duly marked for demolition of the Church structure and other affected Churches.
The demolition notice reads: ”The UCCDA during its routine monitoring exercise observed that your Church building located at 8, Ekpanya Street, Uyo, does not meet planning standards for approval. You have negated minimum requirements for such development. It is worthy of note that you are occupying\constructing an illegal structure without prior approval from the authority. The said illegal structure constitutes an offence and contravenes provisions of town and country planning law Cap 133, laws of Akwa Ibom state
“Given the above, you are hereby given 7-days notice within which to remove the said illegal development and reinstate the land to its original state. Failure to comply with above, the authority will remove same and cost charged on you in addition in addition to any other legal action the authority may deem fit”.
To cow the cleric to submission, it was gathered from some of the Church leaders that Pastor Andy, was summoned by the Directorate of State Services (DSS) where he was grilled for several hours to withdraw his position and apologize to the governor.
“We condemned and detest these despotic tendencies by His Excellency the governor in trying to force everyone to toe his line. When he came in 2015, the Church supported him and his re-election in 2019 under his ‘Only God’ slogan. Now the governor using ‘That Same God’ as the new slogan in trying to install his successor, is directly fighting the same God in another guise”, the Church leaders noted and vowed to continue their worship to God on the debris of the ruined Church, if the building is eventually demolished.