By Amos Igbebe
The Catholic Diocese of Issele Uku, Delta State and the State Police Command are locked up in a battle of wits following a disagreement between the church and the police over a worship centre located close to the state police headquarters.
The disagreement followed a ban placed on the Police Force Catholic Chaplaincy located beside the police headquarters in Asaba where the State Commissioner of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, said the place was approved in error and that worshipers should henceforth go to “B’’ Division Catholic Church to worship.
Crisis erupted when the Commissioner was said to have ordered policemen to lock the gate leading to the worship centre, beside Police Headquarters, Asaba, to prevent worshippers from entering and observing their Sunday service.
Dr Michael Elue, Catholic Bishop of the diocese has described the ban placed on the church activities by the Delta Police Command as unacceptable and injurious to the church and its followers.
Presently the ban is in force and members have been prevented from worshipping at the centre.
But the Bishop told journalists in Issele Uku, Aniocha North Local Government area of Delta State, that changing the rule at the middle of match was unacceptable, lamenting that what was legal at the beginning suddenly became illegal and that approval suddenly became disapproval.
Elue, who said he was yet to get any response from the police authority on the matter, maintained that he was not happy with the development, insisting that the matter has to do with land ownership where the owner determine its usage but asked if it was legitimately taken and developed.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Justice Development and Peace Commission, JDPC, Delta State Chapter, Special Assistance to the Governor on Religious Matters, Godspower Agbuduta, and Police Headquarters in Abuja have differently taken positions on the matter with a view to resolving the issue.