Leadership (Abuja)

8 February 2013

Nigeria: Religious Crisis Averted in Oyo

Religious crisis has been averted in Sepeteri, Oke Ogun area of Oyo State following the burning down of Oore Ofe Baptist Church by some suspected Muslims.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Sepeteri branch in Oke Ogun, in a petition to the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu, over the burning down of the Church, Oke Taasi on December 20, 2012, called on the concerned authorities to urgently wade into the matter to forestall a break down of peace, law and order.

CAN in a letter dated January 10, 2013, signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Bola Oyetunji and Francis Ogunlola and made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday, said that a follow-up petition to the governor and the polioce boss became imperative following an alleged threat that the burnt church which was already undergoing reconstruction was being planned to be re-burnt by the alleged religious rivals.

The Christian body which claimed that it did not retaliate, but rather allowed the security agencies to douse the tension created by the arsonists, however warned that should the church be burnt again, "we are not going to surrender to any threat by any group or be cowed by their campaign of calumny. We are ready for any type of force."

The Christian body had in the petition stated that it "acquired a landed property in the Ode Area of Sepeteri in the Saki East Local Government as far back as 1973 with the consent, approval and imprimatur of the Baale of Sepeteri, the family of the land owners, as well as the representatives of the church. Several other steps were taken since then to concretize the hold by the church without any opposition, let or hindrance by any persons, groups, or association.

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