14 Churches Slated for Demolition in Northern Nigeria

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Lekan Otufodunrin
Nigeria Online Christian News, Lagos

Fourteen Churches in Zamfara State, in Northern Nigeria are now facing demolition threat by the state government, which claims that there are too many Christian worship centers in the state. Zamfara state, which spearheaded the adoption of Islamic law in northern Nigeria contrary to the country's secular constitution, is predominantly Muslim, populated with less than a five percent Christian population.

The Chairman of the State Christian Complaint Commission, David Ishaya said last week in an interview in Kaduna, northern Nigeria political headquarters, that the State Commissioner of Lands and Housing, Alhaji Hassan Nasihu gave the directive for the demolition.

Among Churches slated for demolition in Gusau, the state capital, are the branches of Deeper Life Bible Church, Mountain of Fire and Miracle, Assemblies of God and Winners Chapel whose leaders have been invited for a meeting ahead of the demolition.

Apart from churches in the state capital, the Anglican Church in Kaura, Namoda, has been sealed up following disagreement over the ownership of the land of which the over 30 years Church was built.

Ishaya quoted the Commissioner for Lands, as saying that there was need to drastically reduce the number and curtail the growth of Churches in the state.

The Catholic Church and the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) according to the Commissioner have enough land to themselves and the other denominations should merge with them.

"Life in Zamfara is traumatic for Christians" the Chairman of the Christian Complaint Commission stated arguing that contrary to the state government's propaganda, the Sharia legal system was meant to annihilate Christians in Zamfara state.

He said Christians in Zamfara must be allowed to live as free citizens and practice their faith as provided for in the country's constitution.

Lekan Otufodunrin
National Coordinator,
Journalists For Christ
P. O.Box 15399, Ikeja, Lagos.