The headquarters of the Lord’s Chosen and Charismatic Revival Church on Ijesha, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos, were sealed off by the Lagos State Government over environmental nuisance.
The Officials of the Ministry of the Environment shut down the Church in the morning of on October 6, 2013, and prevented the worshippers from having their Sunday service usually attended by thousands of faithful.
Investigations revealed that the Church does not have solid waste disposal facility. It burns its waste inside the Church premises, thereby exposing the lives of its worshippers to serious health hazard.
A substantial part of the sprawling Church lies on the Odo Asimawu Canal drainage channel, thereby impeding the flow of storm water.
The Church also built its toilets on the canal, thereby discharging all its human waste into the canal.
In order prevent an outbreak of epidemic, the state government had to seal the entire Church premises.
The government accused the Church of defacing and degrading the environment and refusing to abate the nuisance even after it had been served abatement notice to upgrade the environment.
Mr. Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for the Environment, said the Church had committed lots of environmental abuse which it must abate before the massive edifice could be re-opened by the government as such illegality could not be tolerated any longer.
According to him, the Church did not have proper waste management system, adding that it burnt its refuse inside the Church, an action which ran fowl of the environmental and sanitation law of the state.
“The Church does not have proper sanitary system and they discharge their wastes into the canal. Most of their members trade on the expressway and we don’t want that,” the Commissioner stated.
Mr. Bello added that the Church would only be re-opened if it constructed new toilets as well as bagged its solid waste as well as managed such waste properly, saying that the Church must build a sewage septic tank for the treatment of waste water. He also assured that the state government would not shirk its responsibility of protecting Lagos environment and ensure that its residents were protected from environmental abuse.
The Commissioner stated that the Church must also ensure that none of its members trade on the expressway, while the Church must remove illegal attachments built on drainage channel alignment in the area.
He said any structure to be erected by the Church must be about 50 metres away from the drainage channel and ensure that the environment was kept clean, after which the government would re-open the Church.
Reporters who visited the Church in the morning of October 8 noticed many members of the Church who were working frantically to clean up their environment. Massive demolition of structures built on drainage alignment has also started.
It was not possible to get direct comments from Churches’ officials as they were not authorized by the Pastor for giving interviews.
The Lord’s Chosen is founded by Pastor Lazarus Muoka, who serves as the General Overseer of the Church.
Source: PM News