It was a show of shame on Sunday in Enugu as two pastors and their loyalists engaged themselves in fisticuffs at Mount Street Parish of Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria.
Consequently, the police were compelled to lock up the church premises.
The church was turned into a battle-field Sunday morning, as two pastors and their supporters fought over who should take control of the parish.
Crisis of factionalisation of the Assemblies of God Church had been lingering for more than three years as two persons, Professor Paul Emeka and Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, are each laying claims to leadership of the church, called General Superintendent, a matter that is currently before the Supreme Court.
The drama started when one of the pastors, Rev. Nathaniel Udeze, came with a letter of posting and other court documents as part of preparations to be installed as the new pastor at the parish.
He was promptly resisted upon arrival with his supporters.
Leading the opposition was current resident pastor of the parish, Reverend Amaechi Agbo, who along with his supporters, also vowed not to allow Pastor Udeze to take over, accusing him of being an “intruder.”
The in-coming Pastor Udeze, said to have been very furious, insisted that he had been officially posted there by the leadership of the church under Rev. Paul Emeka.
He also insisted that Rev. Agbo had been transferred to another parish since May 2015.
However, Rev Agbo disagreed, insisting that he was still in-charge of the parish as he was yet to be formally written by Rev. Okoroafor’s leadership of the church, which he recognised.
Factional Sunday School
Trouble started as early as 7a.m, when supporters of both pastors arrived and started sharing different versions of Sunday school manual in preparation for the main service.
When the factional pastors arrived, the situation broke down completely as the pastors started shoving each other and shortly afterwards, members of the two factions resorted to fisticuffs.
Divisional Police Officer Dennis Ayara, who later arrived the scene, made frantic efforts to bring the situation under control through negotiation, but to no avail.
The police, therefore, cordoned off the church and put it under lock, while the leaders of the two factions were asked to report to the station.