Soldiers brutalize five Anglican members in Sapele
By: Atos Peter
The crisis rocking the Sapele diocese, Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria has assumed a frightening dimension as soldiers allegedly attached to pipe line facilities in the area wounded four women and a youth who are on a peaceful protest calling on their Bishop to go on the ground of corruption, maladministration, etc at the St. John’s Anglican Church Amukpe venue of this year’s Synod of the diocese.
The women who were at the Church premises as early as 7am on Thursday 28th July with different placards bearing the inscriptions, Bishop Erifita must go, No Laity no Synod, Bishop Erifeta King Pharoah leave our diocese alone, No bribing and corruption, Enough is enough, enough of embezzlement of our money etc were brutally assaulted by the soldiers invited by the Vicar of the St. John’s Anglican Church Amukpe, Venerable Emebeyo and others to prevent the protesters who were mainly women from disrupting their programme.
The commander of the JTF in the area Lt. Idris, including the D.P.O of the Sapele police station who arrived the scene after the brutal assault on the protesters, Mrs. Beatrice Akpuke, Mrs. Christiana Umukoro and others, appealed for calm that they should not take the laws into their hands, assuring that those soldiers on alleged illegal duty to the venue would be arrested and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, two of the wounded women were in a critical condition at the time of filing this report at the Sapele Central Hospital as two others whose cases were not that serious after treatment came back to the venue to continue their protest with others at the venue of the Synod which was held under close door in every tensed atmosphere with the Bishop, his Clergies and few invited guest who managed the ugly situation under the watchful eyes of all security agencies in the area including the local vigilante all heavily armed as the protesters remained outside the church auditorium dancing and chanting unprintable words against their Bishop and other clergies.
The protesters who defiled the heavy rain of the day had earlier aborted the pre-Synod “All Night prayers” demanding that the synod must not hold including a letter written by the members of St. John’s Anglican Church which was copied all relevant authority demanding that the synod must not hold except the crisis in the diocese must first be settled and the Bishop’s curt along community road Amukpe must first be built and consecrated before there could be any Synod this year.
Some of the persons interviewed Mr. Umukoro Smart, Chief Unukegwo Onome said the protest would not stop not until the Bishop is removed or transferred to other area by the primate, they will forcefully throw him out of the church of God one day.
Residents of Amukpe who witnessed the ugly scenario appealed to the primate and leadership of Anglican communion in Nigeria to wade into the matter urgent in other to avert a blood bath in the diocese.