Posted by News Express | 4 December 2014 | 3,862 times
There was pandemonium yesterday at the global headquarters of the crisis-ridden Assemblies of God Church located in Enugu, South-East Nigeria, when thugs suspected to be hired by a sacked senior member of the church invaded the place.
The thugs, whose mission was to stop the church members from organising their prayer meeting at the venue, prevented members from entering the premises. They attacked Rev. Elisha Anyanwu, Rev. Gideon Adolphous and church members, allegedly making away with valuable items. A Toyota Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) belonging to one of the pastors was also set ablaze by the hoodlums.
The New General Superintendent of the church, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, while briefing journalists at the Evangel camp at Okpoto in neighbouring Ebonyi State, condemned the action and urged the security agents to investigate the matter and brings to book any person involved in the attack.
His words: “Our general secretary, who has served the church for 24 years, Rev. John Okoni, will retire next tomorrow and preparatory to that retirement and as we close up the year, the leadership of Assemblies of God Church decided to organise an end-of-year prayer programme in our Enugu secretariat of the church today. We also wrote and obtained police permission to hold the programme.
“But while preparing to go for the programme, we were surprised to hear that some thugs and strange men waylaid some of the church members who were coming for the prayer programme, tagged ‘Zero Hour Intervention’.
“As a matter of fact, a pastor who was coming for the programme, Rev. Elisha Anyanwu, was stopped near the secretariat and they started beating him with rods and then set his vehicle ablaze. Many others were also stopped from going into the secretariat. This is very strange in Christianity. The same people who did this carried placards to Government House to tell the governor that we should be prevented from coming to pray at the secretariat.
“This is strange to Christianity because no sane person will attack people who are going to pray for any reason whatsoever. Somebody is rebelling against the leadership of the church. Every church has a constitution and if you cannot abide by that constitution and rules you can leave that church and do whatever you wish outside the church.”
One of the victims, Rev. Anyanwu, while narrating his ordeal in the hands of the thugs said it was God that saved him from being killed.
“They accosted me in the front of the church’s secretariat and brought me down from my Toyota jeep and started beating me, using iron to hit me on my hands and legs, after which they set my car ablaze,” he stated in pains.
•Adapted from a Daily Sun report. Photo shows Assemblies of God Church Headquarters.
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