Some ifa worshippers in Adim community in Biase local government of Cross River state have attacked and destroyed a church in the area.
The incident, which started with pockets of harassment and intimidation of some Christian folds in the area, culminated in the wanton destruction of the Christ Divine Liberation International Church.
Senior Pastor of the church, Rev. Victor Okon, who doubles as the coordinator of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the local government, confirmed the development.
He noted that the persecution of Christians in the area had become life-threatening and appealed for intervention.
The persecution, he said, has become an annual issue since it first started about four years ago
“They claim that we (church) desecrate their holy days as we have no right to worship during the new yam festival,” he stated.
He said the latest destruction follows an attack on church members, who were sharing flyers for an upcoming church programme in the area.
“They were not only attacked, they went ahead and destroyed the sound system and vehicle used for the evangelism.
“This usually occurs between the months of July and August. They come out with the proviso that the two months shouldn’t be used to preach anything about Christ anywhere near the community.
“We don’t interfere with their procedures, processions and any activity before, during or after their festival, but they keep attacking us.
“We have reported this matter to the police, but at the moment, we are not satisfied with their handling of the matter.
“That is why we are calling on Governor Bassey Otu and the Inspector General of Police to come to our aid; we can no longer bear this kind of threat.
“As I speak, I’m in hiding; I can’t enter my community freely; even where I went for safety, they have also traced me there to harm me.
“We Nigerians have some basic rights, which include freedom of association and worship that are basically guaranteed in Nigeria’s constitution,” stated Okon.
Okon said that the crux of the matter has been the annual New Year festival usually celebrated in the locality.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Zone 6, SP Nelson Okpebi, confirmed the incident and added that the matter was under investigation.