Anglicans protest church demolition

An estimated 25,000 Anglicans marched on government house in Onitsha in Nigeria’s Anambra State last week, demanding a church pulled down allegedly by the government be rebuilt. Nigerian newspaper accounts of the demonstration on 18 August 2014 report the peaceful crowd of protestors led by Anglican clergy marched through the city, shutting down traffic. On the evening of 11 August 2014 persons unknown, but believed to have been sent by the government, pulled down the Church of Nigeria’s Ebenezer Anglican Church in Oyi. Ownership of the property where the church stood had been in dispute, with the local government claiming the land. On 15 Aug 2014 Governor Willie Obiano said he would relocate the congregation to a new plot of land, however church leaders have called for the governor to respect the rule of law and guarantee their right to hold property unmolested by government fiat. The government has responded to the protests, the Guardian newspaper of Lagos reports, by setting up a six-man commission to investigate the dispute and report its findings to him within two weeks.

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