– Loses additional N100m
THE running battle between Pastor Lazarus Mouka-led Charismatic Revival Church, popularly known as Lord’s Chosen and the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment over the closure of the church’s headquarters at Ijesha, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos on Sunday, October 6, 2013, has entered the second week with the ministry’s loss totaling an average of N200 million from six services.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s check on Thursday, October 17, 2013, revealed that the main auditorium is still under seal by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment.
According to our source, although the church is making frantic effort to fulfill the conditions given by the ministry, it has not been fully opened. Thus, they couldn’t hold their Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday services in their one kilometer auditorium headquarters. Rather, they made use of a makeshift worship place which affected them as several worshippers who normally throng the venue were absent. We gathered the issue has been given the fiery clergy headache as the ministry has lost close to N200 million now as the closure glided into its second week.
A source who spoke to us under the condition of anonymity questioned the rationale behind the continued closure of the place by Lagos State government. “I wonder why they closed this church? They always harass the church authority. Is the Lord’s Chosen the only church that has such issues?”
This is not the best of times for the Pastor Lazarus Mouka-led Charismatic Revival Church, popularly known as Lord’s Chosen over the shutdown of its headquarters on Sunday, October 6, 2013, by the Lagos State government over environmental nuisance. Officials of the Ministry of the Environment shut down the church on Sunday morning and prevented worshippers from having their Sunday service usually attended by over 500,000 worshippers. It was reported 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 hazards. 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 allegedly built its toilets on the canal, thereby discharging all its human waste into the canal. In order to prevent an outbreak of epidemic, the state government had to seal the entire church premises. The Lagos State 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.
Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said the church had committed lots of environmental abuses which it must stop before the massive edifice could be reopened by the government as such illegality could not be tolerated any longer.
Bello added that the church would only be reopened if it constructs new toilets as well as bags its solid waste as well as manages such wastes properly, adding that the church must build a septic tank for the treatment of waste water as the condition for reopening the church must include: complete sanitization of the entire church environment, putting in place proper solid waste facility, stoppage of refuse burning, removal of all structures on drainage channel, building of new toilet facilities, evacuation of solid waste dumped inside the canal and so on,” he said.
– FEMI OYEWALE