The General Overseer of the City of God Rest Ministry, Pastor Destiny Eguavoen was on Sunday beaten by youths of Urora, Uhunmwonde local government area of Edo state for allegedly flouting the community’s order to stop church service before 8am.
According to the Chief Priest of the community, Ohen Ugbodeyaen of Urora, Chief Ugiagbe Aiwaguore, had ordered owners of shops in the community and residents to stay indoors for the celebration of the annual Ikpoleki festival and all churches were asked to end their Sunday service before 8am. He said the Pastors agreed to hold service between 8am and 9am.
But the Edo State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Oyonude Kure, kicked against the order saying it violated the freedom of worship as enshrined in the Nigeria Constitution and asked churches in Urora to go about their normal church service on Sunday.
He said the restriction on movement was unacceptable to the church as the body of Christ.
Newsmen gathered that youths of the community moved from street to street to ensure compliance as shops were closed and some churches hurriedly ended their service while some did not open for worship.
The youths were said to have been infuriated the City of God Rest Ministry was still on after 9 am and they there, therefore, disrupted service. Members of the church reportedly scampered for safety as the youths used chairs to beat anybody in sight.
Eguavoen who narrated the incident on phone yesterday evening said he was injured in the attack and that he has reported the incident at the State Command of the Nigerian Police adding that the leadership of CAN has promised to take over the matter.
He said; “We were in the church and I saw a man standing in the front pointing at me. It was few minutes past nine. I told my members to concentrate for me to round up service but the youths stormed in and started beating us.
“They said we did not comply with their directive. They told us to open church between 6am and 8am but we Pastors met and said Sunday’s is a day of our worship and there is no way they can stop us.”
A spokesman for the community, Sunday Osagiede, said they gave churches time within which to open service on the day of the Ikpoleki festival.
Police spokesman, DSP Chidi Nwabuzor, said the matter was being investigated. Nigeria News