Controversial cleric Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere aka ‘Odumeje’ was reduced to tears when operatives of Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ANSPPB) demolished his church, the Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention and Deliverance Ministry in Onitsha on Thursday.
In a viral video posted on Facebook, the prophet was seen slapped and brutalised as he attempted to stop the team of taskforce from bringing down his church.
It was gathered that when members of the state task force stormed the location on Thursday to enforce the demolition, there was a face-off between them and Prophet Ohanemere, aka Odumeje, and other Pastors of the Church who questioned their action.
It was equally gathered that security men tried to whisk Odumeje away when he tried to resist the demolition activities which led to the security agents attempts to manhandle him, but did not succeed in whisking him away.
In April 2022, the state government marked the church for outright demolition over obstruction and blockage of free flow of water at the Nwangele-Bida drainage.
This is in line with the Onitsha urban renewal plan spearheaded by Governor Charles Soludo.
The Church building located along Bida by Creek Road Fegge Onitsha, has been a subject of attraction to successive government in the state, because of its location near Sakamori drainage, a stone throw to Onitsha Main Market.
The first time the Church building attracted government attention for destruction was during the former Governor Peter Obi’s administration, when the Anambra State government embarked on the demolition of structures built along Sakalori drainage, following the havoc caused by erosion in Onitsha which was attributed to the blockage of the Sakamori drainage, the water channel through which flood in Fegge area of the commercial city and other parts of Onitsha flows into the River Niger.
Somehow, the Church was spared from destruction throughout former Governor Obi’s government and that of his successor, former Governor Willie Obiano, whose government was silent on the matter.
However, it was gathered that few days after assumption of office, Governor Chukwuma Soludo, told the authorities of the church to remove part of the building, (not the main Church building) which he said to be an obstruction to free flow of flood into the River Niger.
However, on Thursday, the Anambra State Task Force invaded the area and demolished the security house of the Church, the structure said to be inhibiting the free flow of flood from Sakamori drainage into River Niger.
Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention and Deliverance Ministry, Onitsha, also known as “Land of Freedom,” has been tagged, “illegal building” by successive governments in the State and earlier marked for demolishing for allegedly encroaching on a the wide Sakamori drainage canal.
While reactions have continued to trail the demolition, the state government, in a statement by Soludo’s Chief Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, said the cleric failed to comply with government’s directive to remove illegal building he erected on the waterway.
The statement reads: “Following the expiration of the more than two weeks’ notice beginning from April 2022 served on developers and building owners who built several illegal structures along the waterway in Fegge and environs within Onitsha, Anambra state government has begun demolition of such structures.
“The exercise which is being carried out by a joint government task force, commenced the exercise from Bida Road by Modebe Avenue, Fegge Onitsha.”
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