By Wilson Adekumola
The founder of Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, Warriors for Christ Mission, Fagba, Lagos, Prophet Dr. Solomon Olukunmi Ajao has cried out over the loss of the church building during the Endsars protests last year.
He also appealed to the Lagos State government to intervene in rebuilding the church which he said worth N50million.
The church building and the car were destroyed on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
Ajao: We need govt help
Ajao in a recent interview with Church Times said, “I am using this opportunity to appeal to the Lagos State government to help us rebuild the church that was set ablaze by hoodlums during the EndSARS protest so that we can continue to propagate the gospel of Christ in a conducive atmosphere.”
While lamenting the incident, he said his car, a Subaru Jeep which he just bought was burnt along with the church building.
While also appealing to individuals for help, Ajao said, “I know there are some Christians and individuals that God has already blessed. Some of them are looking for a situation like this where they can render assistance anonymously. I will also appeal to them to join hands in rebuilding the house of God. I will be very grateful for whatever manner you assist us as God puts in your mind.
“For over thirty years that I have been working in His vineyard, I had not done any shady deal that would tarnish my image. I have not gone to anyone for help because God has been marvelous to us and we are contented with what we have until this happened to us. I don’t exploit my members even. I have always made salvation of soul to be paramount. I have always told them to give in their capacity and as it pleases them because God loves a cheerful giver.
“I have seen people that had this similar challenge but people stood up to help them voluntarily. We have been worshiping inside the sun but it has not been easy in this rainy season. Many a time we got drenched during the service. It was the voluntary donation some made I used to arrange this tent we are doing church under today. The plan to rebuild the church is ongoing. I know with God everything is possible.”
The church which was established about twenty-five years ago is situated at, 9, Railway Line, Off Jonathan Coker Road, Fagba Junction, Lagos.
Recounting how the incident occurred, the Oyo-State-born cleric said, “It was the time of Endsars protest that it happened. Many houses were burnt but why this one is more than others is that there was a lady that sold local jollof rice (wanke in Hausa’s parlance) here.
“It was the Baale that gave the front of the church to her to be selling foods for those Hausas that push trucks. I was not pleased with it. I told them according to a vision I had that I did not want them there as I had seen that one day they would still come and wage war against us and it happened.
“They would come here every day in large numbers to have their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They would even block the road and nobody would challenge them. Even at the night, you would still be hearing their noise. I am sure some of them slept here. They would litter here and I will have to clean up the place. I went to talk to them that I did not like how they have messed up this place. It resulted in the fight that the Baale of Apalara1 of Orile Iju, Balogun Kamoru had to intervene.
“They called the woman to order and she agreed to be sweeping the place but nothing changed. So, one day we decided to video them and take their pictures. After that, they started harbouring a grudge against us. Most of them stay inside Abattoir. You can imagine the kind of life they are living. So, during the EndSARS protest, we were their easy target.
“They took advantage of that to set this church building ablaze. Everything was burnt to ashes including the car that I had just bought then. We could pick nothing out of the place. The walls you are looking at are weak as a result of the fire. We need to pull it down so that it does not collapse on people.”
It was gathered, trouble, however, started when the Yorubas decided to be collecting money from the Hausas who were coming with truck-load of cows. They refused to pay saying that they too would be collecting money from cars that ply that road as well. This fuelled the anger of the Yoruba mob and it resulted in violence.
Ajao, who stayed in the mission house behind the church, had gone to the mountain for prayer on divine instruction when the incident occurred. Many houses including some organizations were burnt. Many people were also maimed and killed during the EndSARS protest.
Ajao said the church has been meeting in the open since the incident. “We have been worshiping inside the sun but it has not been easy this rainy season. Just that whatever happens to the man of God we just have to endure it and commit it to God. It was the voluntary donation some made I used to mount this tent we are under today. My heart bleeds but Jesus is my joy because I don’t have anybody.
“I have seen people who had this similar challenge and people stood up to help them voluntarily. The plan to rebuild the church is ongoing. I know with God everything is possible. So, I implore the kind-hearted people to render us assistance.” He entreated.
While noting that his members have been steadfast and remained in the church despite the incident, he recalled that the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the speaker of Lagos House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, and some top officials in the government including journalists came to the scene after the incident. “But they only took pictures and gave some money to some petty traders,” he said.
He said he would be glad if the government can help in the reconstruction of the church. “It will be my joy. But if that is not done, they can look for alternative means to compensate us for this great loss”
Prophet Dr. S.O Ajao (JP) could be reached on: 08086999222, 08036666455