Rivalry ensued between Anglican and Catholic churches in the commercial city of Onitsha, Anambra State over a school premises in the area.
Lafiagi Primary School, owned by the state government is located between St. Faith Anglican Church and St.Michael’s Catholic, both in Fegge in Onitsha South Local Government Area and was used by both churches for their activities before the onset of trouble.
It was gathered that trouble started during last Sunday’s worship as youths of both churches tried to prevent each other from making use of the school field.
The Parish Priest of St Faith’s Anglican Church, Rev. Canon Obiora Uzochukwu, who spoke to reporters, revealed that there had been a lingering crisis over the ownership of the land where the school is built and trouble started when the state government gave the Anglican Church the space in the school to be conducting its church service, saying that the presence of the Anglican Church did not go down well with the Catholic Church.
The Anglican parish priest lamented that the Catholic Church has refused to obey a court injunction to both parties to return to status quo which was that the Anglican Communion should continue to have its service in the field since it does not belong to the Catholic Church alone.
Telling the story from the catholic angle, the Parish Priest of St. Michael Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Celestine Aniofor, said what happened was that the members of MOD in the church got approval from the headmistress of the school to do their camping programme in the school from Friday to Sunday. When they came to report to me that members of the Anglican Church had used canopies to block the field where they were doing parade, I quickly pleaded with them to give peace a chance.
“The Anglican Communion has been dragging the school, which is a state government school and ASUDEB had earlier barred any church from having service there. So when the MOD men came, the Anglican people came to make trouble and went as far as inviting the soldiers to arrest the MOD commander and it took us several efforts to get him on bail.
“On Sunday again, they came with the police. We see this as purely madness because nobody is dragging anything with them.”