Religious adherents clash over arrest of Edo ‘Winners church pastor’ accused of vandalism

Religious adherents clash over arrest of Edo ‘Winners church pastor’ accused of vandalism


Religious adherents from the Orthodox church and African Traditional Worshippers (ATR) have deployed spiritual means to ascertain the culprits behind reported cases of arson and vandalism of some public and private infrastructure in Edo State by hoodlums who disguised as #EndSARS protesters against police brutality and demand for good governance in Nigeria.


Dubbed the popular politician, Pastor Blessed Ighiwiyisi of The Living Faith church otherwise called
Winners Chapel, was arrested by security operatives on Wednesday evening at his residence in Upper Sokponba road, Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the State, following accusation that he conspired with some hoodlums to attack some infrastructure on Monday in the locality.

While the elders of the church in Upper Sokponba road where Ighiwiyisi, superintend over have declared prayer and fasting for his release, some Africa Traditional Worshippers and Edo market women, have challenges the Pentecostal Pastor to swear at ‘Ayelala Shrine’ to vindicate himself from the allegations as a show of profanity.

Besides, the women have concluded plans to stage a peaceful protest at police headquarters in Benin City on Monday to among other, ask the law enforcement agency to carryout a thorough investigation on the reported of carnage including arson/attack on the State headquarters of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and two police formations in the area.

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Others asset that were torched by the hoodlums are Chinese steel Company and Emotan Garden which is a joint venture of Edo State Government and Mixta Africa, all in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of the State.

But a member of the church who responded to the inquiry of our Correspondent, absorbed Pastor Blessed Ighiwiyisi of any wrong doing.

The source alleged that the Cleric, is being persecuted after his controversial decision to publicly canvass support for Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the September 19, 2020 Governorship election in Edo State.

Referring to the slapping incident on social Media on Thursday, Marxist Kola Edokpayi, Speaker of the Talakawa Movement, condemned Pastor Blessed Ighiwiyisi’s arrest, and vowed to mobilise support for his freedom.

“I condemn in strong terms, the commando and SARS -style arrest of Pastor Blessed Ighiwiyisi, and call for his immediate release”.

But, police are yet to make details of its investigation public.

Recall that suspected hoodlums had hijacked the ongoing peaceful protest were said to have looted police and NDLEA armouries and released suspected criminals from the detention facilities including the Benin Custodial Correctional Centre and Oko Medium Correctional Centre both in Oredo Local Government Area of the State where inmates were also set free.

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After the incidents, Edo State Government, imposed a curfew in the State, which was stepped down on Thursday, in a bid to to quell the further destruction of other asset by the hoodlums.

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