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Anambra: Day Anglican priests protested like schoolboys

It is rare to see priests hit the road with placards protesting like schoolboys or labour unionists. On Friday in Awka, Anglican Priests from the diocese of the Niger, covering Onitsha, did just this to protest the alleged takeover of the church’s land by the Anambra State government.

About 300 priests, decked in white robes, staged the protest at the Government House in Awka.
The clerics sat in front of the Government House as they sang hymns upon hymns and urged Gov. Willie Obiano to address them.
Some of the placards they carried read: “Willie Obiano leave our property for us”, “Governor Obiano give us back our land and school”, “Religious politics in Anambra Has No End”,
Other inscriptions read: “Bishop Crowder Memorial Primary School Onitsha Belongs to Anglican Church”, “Bishop Crowther is Not Government Property”.
Archdeacon Josiah Ofoegbu said it was unjust that Anambra government under Obiano has taken away the premises of Bishop Crowther Memorial primary school from the church.
Ofoegbu claimed that the school was part of St Simon Church but was fenced off when the Internally Displaced Peoples camp there was closed.
He also accused Obiano of playing politics that was detrimental to people who are not members of a particular church including Anglicans.
Mr C-Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment described the protest as as an unnecessary attempt to blackmail the government.
Adinuba said the land in question belongs to the state government and that there was no iota of truth in their insinuation that the governor was biased in favour of any church.
He said if the Anglican Church had documents to back their claims, they should present it or proceed to court to drive home their point.
The commissioner chided the priests for indulging in an act that was neither in the interest of the state nor the church.
“IF they claim the property is theirs, they should prove it with enabling documents or go to court, the school is known as Urban Primary School. Who have they employed as teacher or non teacher in that school to lay such claims?
“If the premises is theirs, why did they have to obtain permission from the deputy governor who is an Anglican before using it. There is no truth in what they are saying,” he said.
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