No fewer than six persons, including four Anglican priests, were on Friday allegedly beaten to stupor by some members of a task-force working with the Enugu State Housing Corporation.
The victims were Reverends Collins Odoabuchi, Mbaka Peter, Eugene, and Maxwell Onyia.
Others members of the church affected were Ekpecha Okechukwu and Naomi Ibekwe.
The development, which is building up tension in Enugu, the state capital is coming one week to the end of Governor Sullivan Chime’s administration.
Biafra 24 gathered that trouble started when members of the task force, accompanied by armed policemen, invaded a parcel of land belonging to the Christ Church, Uwani, Anglican Communion, sparking off anger from both clergymen and members of the church.
The Clerics were said to have tried to stop the Task force from carrying out the demolition exercise but were over powered by the government agents, who allegedly unleashed terror on the church leaders.
One of the victims, who gave her name as Naomi Ibekwe told journalists that she was hit with iron and hard objects, including stones, causing bruises and severe injuries on her.
But for the quick intervention of the State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Abubakar Adamu, who came physically to the scene, there would have been more casualties as the members of the task force insisted on going ahead with the exercise as allegedly directed by the state government.
Reacting to the incident, the State Commissioner of Police, Adamu Mohammed, told the angry church leaders and their faithful that they should allow peace to reign as negotiation had begun.
“We have discussed with the church. If anybody is injured, we will not take it lightly. We have already asked that a formal report be made and we will follow it up. We have agreed on a peace move and we are following it up”, he stated.
Also speaking, the Priest in-charge of the Christ Church, Venerable N. Aghadi said, “We have talked at length and discussed very progressively.
But Biafra 24 investigations reveal that the state government revoked the land with an intention to build an estate christened “Transparency Estate”.
While the clash lasted on Friday, five bulldozers were being used to demolish the structures at the disputed land inside the church premises.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Managing Director of the Enugu State Housing Corporation, Emeka Vitalis Onah, who led his team to the place, escaped being lynched by church members who had planned a reprisal attack.
‘Yale has never revoked an honorary degree,’ says Yale professor over petition to withdraw Okonjo-Iweala’s doctorate
Nigerians who are seeking the revocation of Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s honorary doctorate from Yale University might see their aims frustrated as the institution has no plans of withdrawing the award.
Okonjo-Iweala hails from Biafraland.
A spokesperson for Yale revealed that the university has never revoked an honorary degree and does not intend to do so now.
The petition for the degree to be revoked was started three days ago by Sunday Iwalaiye, a jealous Nigerian resident in the US, and has now gained more than 5,000 signatures. Another Biafra, Valentine Onwuka had started another signatures calling on Yale to ignore Iwalaiye’s request.
“We are aware of both an online petition to revoke and a second petition in support of the honorary degree,” Karen Peart, Deputy Press Secretary for the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications, said in an email on Friday, May 22, 2015.
“The university has never revoked an honorary degree,” she added.
Peart also said that the award given to Okonjo-Iweala “joins others that have recognised her efforts over more than three decades to secure debt relief, promote food security, and foster economic and social development.”
The petition urging Yale to ignore calls for the withdrawal of the award was started two days ago by one Valentine Onwuka and has so far gotten over 3,000 signatures.
In 2014, Yale was also asked by many, including its own alumni, to revoke an honorary doctorate granted to Switzerland billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, who was found guilty in 2012 of creating an asbestos environmental disaster which caused about 2,000 deaths in Italy.
Yale refused the request saying that “the revocation of an honorary degree would be unprecedented.”
Dr Okonjo-Iweala was named a Doctor of Humane Letters on Monday, May 18, 2015 during Yale’s Commencement