Sixteen traditional places of worship have been destroyed in Anambra State, allegedly by some churches. The destruction took place at Igbokwe, Ekwulobia and environs in Aguata LGA of the state.
Reacting to the mayhem, 17 civil society organisations in the South East warned the churches to “desist from such acts or face mass action.”
They described the actions of the churches as “barbaric and a violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on freedom of religion.”
The groups maintained that venerated places of worship should be sacred, vowing to drag churches found guilty to court henceforth.
Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, the chairman of Board of Trustees of International Society of Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, accused the Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal churches of “culpability in the act.”
He said, “During the attacks, sacred places of worship belonging to the Traditional Worshippers and their symbols of worship — including sacred altars, artifacts and diviners’ objects — are targeted for burning, destruction or confiscation; under stigmatisation and false labeling of all traditional religions, their worshippers and sacred places of worship as ‘satanism and evil doers.’
“A clear case in point was the attack and violence directed at the said worshippers and their sacred institutions in Igboukwu, Ekwulobia and other communities in Anambra State.
“The attacks, which took place between 1am and 4.30am, affected properties, artifacts, walls and roofing belonging to the 16 traditional sacred places of worship.