Pastor, Security Guards, Members Flee As Hoodlums Attack Church
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Pastor, Security Guards, Members Flee As Hoodlums Attack Church
Some suspected area thugs recently attacked the Holy Trinity church at Oba Adeyemi Oyekan Avenue in Ikoyi area of Lagos, following issues relating to land dispute.
It was gathered that during the invasion, the thugs numbering about 30 hit the church with a bulldozer while the members were having their Morning Prayer meeting.
Reports say the resident pastor of the church, John Delano, a church worker, and two guards narrowly escaped being lynched during the attack.
Eyewitnesses said two of the church workers, John Delano and David Neji alongside two guards couldn’t escape as they were attacked and physically assaulted, including the security personnel hired to guard the church.
The eyewitness added that when the men stormed the church, they forcefully removed its gate and uprooted the massive trees within the premises without approval.
Recounting the incident, one of the victims, Delano said: “On Wednesday morning, I and David Neji (faculty manager for the church) were closing up after a prayer meeting from 6:00 to 7:00 am. We heard a crashing sound and we went out to investigate. The sight that greeted us was shocking. A bulldozer crashed through our gate and about 30 men rushed in.
“The man in front was yelling out orders. Everybody out! Upon hearing the orders and realising we had no option but to obey, we started heading out.
“It was then l remembered that my car key was still in the church, so l rushed back to get my key and l drove my car to a safe spot away from the church.
“When I came back to watch what was going on, I saw two of our security guys being manhandled. So I started to take photos; I switched to video. As l began to record what was going on video, one of the thugs grabbed my phone and started to walk off with it. I immediately followed him and started to entreat him so as to get my phone back. He took me to their leader, the man in green who had been yelling orders.
He slapped me twice. The people around me started to slap me as well. They took me to the sandy side of the pavement and told me to sit on the ground,” he explained.
“He left for about 10 minutes, then he came back to talk with me. He asked for my name and what l was doing there. I told him I was the pastor. He began to berate me,” he added.
Hoodlums Attack Church
Delano further noted that prior to the invasion, there was no notification and that the church had paid for their lease on the land with their payment covering a period till November 2022, which he said, is yet to expire.
“We had been negotiating to buy the premises from them. When negotiations broke down, they began to threaten us with eviction. We explained that there is a subsisting lease in respect of which we are the beneficiaries.
“They offered to pay us to surrender the lease, we refused the offer. Thereafter, they became hostile so we instituted an action in the Lagos High Court,” he recounted.
An official statement is yet to be received on the incident as the police have refused to comment on it as of the time of filing this report.
Hoodlums Attack Church