The Christian community in Ilorin has accused the Secretary of Nigerian Inter Religious Committee (NIREC) and former Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Professor Isiaq Oloyede of setting a church ablaze over land dispute.
The new church building which was constructed about two months ago has been an issue of litigation between the church and members of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria in the city.
While briefing the press on the issue, the state secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Cornelius Fawenu alleged that the former Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin had thrice threatened to deal with the worshippers, claiming that the land belonged to Muslims.
The clergy further alleged that Professor Oloyede had also threatened to dislodge them by all means if possible.
Reverend Fawenu also added that several efforts have been made to avert trouble as the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, the state governor and the state Commissioner of Police were contacted to avert trouble.
Reacting, Professor Isiaq Oloyede fuming with anger denied ever being involved in the fracas and he threatened to sue the leadership of Christians in the state for damaging his name.
As the secretary of Nigerian Inter Religious Committee, Professor Oloyede said he will never be involved in what could lead to crisis in whatever form and urged Christians in the state to avoid dragging his name into mud.
A visit to the church reveals the total destruction of musical instrument and chairs in the church as remnants of burnt equipments litter the surrounding.
Although the church which is still under construction had been used on several occasion for worshipping.
All efforts to get the reaction of the police proved abortive as the state Commissioner of Police and the Police Public Relation Officer were not on duty despite several visits.