Some yet-to-be-identified people set ablaze a church building belonging to Living Faith Church Inc, aka Winners Chapel, along Airport Road, Ilorin about 2.30am on Wednesday. Church property worth several millions of naira were also said to have been destroyed by the fire.
It was gathered that the plastic chairs in the church were removed to an unknown place while the building sited opposite the International Aviation College Ilorin on Ilorin-Ogbomoso Road was burnt.
It was also said that a security man attached to the church had been missing since the incident, fueling speculation, that he could have been abducted.
The Kwara State Government, in its reaction, called on parties to the alleged disputed plot of land not to take the law into their hands but to refer the issue to the court of law for adjudication.
The government, in a statement on Wednesday by the Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, condemned the destruction of the building.
Gold commended the Muslim and Christian leaders in the state for maintaining a harmonious relationship.
“The state government called on law-abiding citizens to go about their normal activities without fear. The police and other law enforcement agencies are fully ready to protect lives and property in the state,” Gold said.
Also, the Secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria, Kwara State branch, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, condemned the attack and called on the Police to promptly apprehend the culprits.
A prominent official of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council was said to have visited the place on three occasions and had described the land as the property of the Moslem Students Society.
Fawenu stated that the prominent NIREC official had urged the authorities of the church to stop using the place for worship.
According to him, the leadership of the church, in a proactive manner and sensing danger, had on Sunday applied to the Divisional Police Officer at Adewole Estate Area to provide protection for the worshippers during morning service.
The Kwara State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olufemi Fabode, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Wednesday said he was not in Ilorin and had not been briefed on the matter and so could not comment on it.