The unfortunate wave of religious in Nigeria was revived on Monday in Abuja when hoodlums, suspected to be Islamic fundamentalists, set ablaze a building belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). The hoodlums, whose number could not be ascertained, also reportedly carted away the church’s properties worth millions of naira.
According to eyewitnesses, the incident took place in the early hours of Monday at the Root of David Area Headquarters of the RCCG, in Apiawe, DeiDei, a suburb of Abuja.
The source indicated that the incident left the church completely razed, even as the arsonists made away with musical instruments and other valuables in the church.
Some of the eyewitnesses, who spoke to newsmen, said the hoodlums arrived at the church premises by 5am, broke into the church premises and looted the building before setting it on fire.
According to an eyewitness, “The people came in the morning and stole everything in the church and burnt it down. The worshippers were not in the church when the incident happened as it was very early in the morning.”
Narrating the incident to Independent, Pastor Oladele Stephen, the minister-in-charge of the church, said that a church member put a call to him in the morning to inform him that a group of suspected Muslim fundamentalists had attacked the church and set it on fire.
According to the Pastor, properties carted away included; the generating set, musical instruments, chairs and microphones. Pastor Stephen stated that similar incident had occurred about two weeks ago when some hoodlums, suspected to be Islamic fundamentalists, also burgled into the church, by breaking in through the ceiling and made away with six ceiling fans, speakers and microphones.
“We reported the matter to the police, but no arrest was made,” he stated. He stressed that some of the hoodlums who constructed shanties near the church had on several occasions deliberately provoked the parishioners by burning grasses near the church, which spew heavy smoke into the church building during worship.
Meanwhile, some of the residents of the area were said to have started fleeing the area with their belongings for the safety of their lives, as they feel that they might no longer be safe.