THE love between residents of Soba Community of Abule Ado in Amuwo Odofin Local Council Development Area of Lagos and a worship centre situated in the town has suddenly turned into hatred.
Last Friday, May 18, 2018, leaders and residents of the community trooped out enmass to protest the alleged nefarious activities of the worship centre..
As a matter of fact, the community has petitioned the Federal and Lagos State governments, calling for the relocation of Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry (popularly called Tuesday Tuesday Church), alleging its refusal to conform to basic tenets of good citizenship. The community condemned the activities of the church in its entirety and especially the use of police force to harass residents, describing the action as unjust.
The residents trooped out with placards bearing inscriptions like ‘Tuesday Church must leave our community in peace.’ ‘Enough of kidnapping of innocent souls in Soba community.’ ‘Enough of sprinkling of blood in our community.’ ‘They claim to be christians but they are ritualists.’ ‘The Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry known as Tuesday Church is evil.’
Four landlords arrested
The matter came to a climax on May 16, 2018 when a detachment of Police led by DSP Justin Adaka from IGP Monitoring Unit, Port Harcourt Annex came to arrest four members of the community – Babajide Folami, Keyinde Ayuba, Umoru Isa and Pastor Raphael purportedly on the order of the Inspector-General of Police, Abuja in retaliation for the petition filed with the DPO of Trade Fair Police station, adding that all efforts to locate their whereabouts proved abortive.
The Vice Chairman, Landlord Association of Soba community, Mr. Femi Ekundayo, who led the protest to the palace of the
Baale alleged that the excesses of the church could not be curtailed by the residents.He explained that members of the community are being assaulted in various guises. Ekundayo said residents live in fear of being molested by members of the church, adding that some residents of the community have been attacked with salt, eggs, coconut, among other things when they go for vigils.He said: “In all fairness, we hear the sound of people crying and wailing.
We see blood all over inside and outside but, we have not seen them with human parts.They attacked a church that has been in existence for 20 years in this community. When we complained at the Trade Fair Police Station, the DPO invited us for a peace meeting but the pastor of the church refused to show up.In fact, some landlords were arrested by some Police officers sent by the Inspector-General of Police and they have been moved to Port Harcourt.”
Representative of the Baale , the
Otun of Soba, Chief Jimoh Sanni said complaints have been made at the nearest police station for intervention before this outburst and they waded in and promised to settle it amicably.
Victims recount ordeal
Some victims narrated their ordeals in the hands of the church, urging the state government to wade into the matter before it gets out of hand.
I was assaulted—Cleric
The Presiding Pastor, Christ is the Answer Healing Church, Pastor Sanni Moses said “The first Friday in the month of March after several molestations by this so-called church burning different kinds of incense and throwing eggs into my church premises, I went to the church to lodge a complaint but I was not allowed to see the Prophet.
On a particular day, my colleague and I were at the entrance of my church. We were holding a vigil and it was as if it was something planned by that same church. They came at about 2 a.m. assaulted me right at the gate, poured salt on me, sprayed perfume on my head but I restrained my members from fighting, because I don’t really know what they are doing. I went to the Baale ’s palace to lay my complaints”.
When asked if the matter had been reported to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the cleric said he reported the matter to CAN but was asked to revert to the Baale for reconciliation that would translate to peace and harmonious existence in the community.
They poured a bag of salt on me — CCC Pastor
For Prophet Emmanuel Agabi of the Celestial Church of Christ, CCC, Soba Parish, he said he has been a victim so many times.
Agabi said: “In February, I was attacked by some members of church on my way to preach the gospel.”
He alleged that a bag of salt was poured on him over his refusal to bow before the Pastor of the Tuesday Tuesday Church.
A trader, Mrs Rose Emmanuel also referred to as Mama Umeh, whose shop is close to the church, said: “There is no day I come to my shop that I will not see salt, eggs and coconuts in front of my shop. I always take the stress of washing all these things with water.”
I was beaten for refusing to attend their church—Trader
Another trader, Mrs Favour Francis said she was notified that some rituals were carried out in front of her shop.
She said: “At 3 O’clock on Wednesday, I was notified that the Tuesday church had buried some things at my shop. When I got there, I did not say a word, but reverted to my own Pastor, who gave me anointing oil to sanctify the frontage of my shop.Not too long after, the
Tuesday Church’s pastor brought his members to beat me and my children in the shop.
Since then, I have not been feeling fine.Prior to this, there was no rancour between us. The only thing I could remember was that I have turned down their invitation to attend their church countless times. Consequently, the pastor ordered his members not to patronise my shop anymore that I was so fetish.”
Mrs. Nkechi Egbenu, who trades directly opposite the church, said: “Each time I go to my shop, they must have broken eggs, burnt candles of different colours such as red, blue and black. I went to report the case to Baale for intervention.”
Community petitions Lagos govt
In a petition jointly issued by the Baale of Ado-Soba, Chief Raheed Jimoh and the Aare Ona Kanakanfo of Yorubaland, Aare Gani Adams, they alleged that: “Apart from the rancorous and violent processions of the
Tuesday Tuesday Church every week and with total blockade of the roads leading to our community, they broke into people’s shops and residents’ property at night and desecrate them in the name of purification with thick smelly and hazardous substances.”
Mr. Ekundayo, who read the petition at the Baale ’s palace said: “Their activities at nights are most unbearable as they noisily pollute the environment from evening till the early hours of the day. They harass and assault anybody who challenges their despicable rituals”
According to the petition, “people living around the church often complain of offensive odour, crying and wailing of people being tortured whose noise cease soon after” adding that “this is confirmatory evidence that it is not a conventional church but an occult group”.
“Whilst it is the inalienable right of every citizen to freedom of worship and association as guaranteed in section 38(1) & 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you will agree with us absolutely that the activities of this body constitute dangerous health hazards, environmental menace and gross abuse of our rights to life, good health and peaceful living as guaranteed under section 33 (1) & 34 (1a).
The matter came to a head on 16th May, 2018 when a detachment of Police led by DSP Justin Adaka from IGP Monitoring Unit, Port Harcourt Annex came to arrest four members of the community – Babajide Folami, Keyinde Ayuba, Umoru Isa and Pastor Raphael purportedly on the order of the Inspector General of Police, Abuja in retaliation for our petition filed with the DPO of Trade Fair Police station and all efforts to locate their whereabouts proved abortive”.
Efforts, however, to get the reaction of the Tuesday Tuesday Church, proved abortive as members of the church denied
Journalists access into the church and attempt to see the Pastor of the church, as all requests were turned down.
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