Akwa Ibom’s state government has marked a metropolitan church in Uyo, Holy Ghost Ambassadors Ministry International, for demolition over comments by its Senior Pastor about the state’s political affairs.
SaharaReporters learned that the church’s senior pastor, Nyeneime Andy, had criticized the alleged plan by state governor Udom Emmanuel to impose a successor to the state in 2023.
Andy was said to have been invited by Nigeria’s secret police on Wednesday for questioning over his comments about politics in the state.
On the same date, the Akwa Ibom State Government, through its agent, the Uyo Capital City Development Authority (UCCDA), marked the church building for demolition.
The municipality has also been informed of this.
In the post, the head of the city planning department, Eshiet Freddy, claimed that the church building, which had been in existence since 2012, did not meet urban planning standards for approval.
According to Freddy, the construction denies minimum requirements in terms of space standard, building line and area distribution.
“It is worth noting that you are occupying/building an illegal structure without prior authorization from the authority. The said illegal structure constitutes a criminal offense and is contrary to the provisions of the law on town and country planning. 133, Laws of the State of Akwa Ibom.
“Given the above, you are hereby given seven (7) days notice to remove the said illegal development and return the land to its original condition,” the message read.
The city development authority said the government would be forced to demolish the building if the church does not comply with the order.
Andy in a recent press conference condemned an alleged plan by the governor, Emmanuel Udom, to impose a successor in 2023.
“In 2023 it will be a government of the people, for the people and by the people. We will not allow one person to elect a governor for a state of more than 6 million people,” Premium Times quoted him as saying.
The governor had raised some questions for consideration in May about the quality of who should succeed him.
“Do you want a leader whose approach to test his popularity would be to drive in a long convoy to Ibom Plaza and throw money at the unfortunate people, watching them clamber for the money and people would say ‘Ano? owo Mkpo! (someone who can give well)’ Is that the kind of successor you want? Is that the kind of empowerment our people deserve?
“Or do you want a successor with a known e-mail address that the international business community recognizes?” he said.