12th May, 2014
Land owners in Agunfoye village in Ogun State, western Nigeria, where the Redeemed Christian Church of God is building a 3-kilometre auditorium, have sent a ‘save our souls’ message to the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to call the church’s contractors to order and stop them from harassing them with policemen.
The Baale of Agunfoye village, Chief Yekini Babatunde Agunfon and the head of the family, Chief Amos Oshin Agbabo, made the plea the church leader after some youths were on Friday arrested by men of the X-Squad of the Nigeria Police, Alagbon, Lagos.
The police officers who carried out the arrest were led by Mr. Dosunmu. The arrest followed a complaint lodged with the police by the church’s contractor, Chief Tunde Ojelade (a.k.a. Mania), the Baale of Mowe and Chief Jimoh Jalogun, Baale of Imedu Nla.
Speaking to reporters about the issue, the Baale and the family head said the call to Adeboye became necessary as their safety is no longer guaranteed.
The family had earlier appealed to the church to increase the money payable to tenant farmers on the acquired land for their damaged crops from N20,000 per acre to N50,000.
They also demanded an additional N200,000 on every acre of the land purchased by the church as well as N50,000 per acre as compensation for damaged crops on the acquired land for the new auditorium.
The family had further gone to court to press for these demands as the church had given contractors money to pay customary tenants of the village instead of allowing the village heads to carry out the payment.
The families were inundated with demands and threats from the displaced people on the land who thought they had collected money from the church, hence their decision to press for the demands in court.
They said they are, however, surprised to see five policemen coming to hound them like common criminals, arresting and embarrassing them which prompted them to appeal to Pastor Adeboye to call the contractors to order.