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Methodist Church of Nigeria, Agbani Diocese, Enugu State, has protested against the destruction of its property at Isigwe Ugbawka, in the Nkanu East Local Government Area by some villagers, TopNaija reports.
The card-carrying protesters alleged that the church property, including cash crops worth over N300m, was destroyed by the villagers, who also threatened the priest.
The protesters, including priests from all the parishes in Agbani Methodist Diocese, carried placards with 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.
The protest was led by the Bishop of Agbani Diocese, Rt. Rev. Udo Nmeregini.
Addressing journalists after the protest on Monday, Nmeregini explained that a family in Isigwe Ugbawka community laid claim to the church land about six years ago, saying the land belonged to their grandfathers.
He explained that the church opposed the claim because the land was given to the church over a decade ago by the community which was documented in writing.
The family, according to him, sued the church.
“The court, in its judgement a few weeks ago, ceded a portion of the land, which is not more than two plots, to the family. But what they destroyed here is more than 10 plots of land,” the cleric added.
He said the church had since appealed the judgement, wondering why the people would bulldoze all the cash crops in the compound and destroy the priest’s house.
Nmeregini said even if the court ceded a portion of the land to the family, there should be a proper delineation of boundary which must be done in the presence of the parties. The cleric begged those sponsoring the attack against the church to eschew bitterness and embrace peace in their own interest and that of their unborn children.
Reacting to the incident, the President General of Ugbawka community, Chief Ikem Ede, said the church did not report the attack to the community.
He explained that the man who claimed to have got judgement against the church did not also inform them.
“So, I can tell you that I am not aware of anything that is going on,” Ede added.
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