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Daily Sun

By Patricia Onyekwere

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Daily Sun – A pastor and his wife have told how they narrowly escaped death in Ibeshe, Ijegun area of Lagos , because they dared to preach the gospel and condemn idol worshipping. The couple, Pastor Enoch Iburene and his wife, Evangelist Lovina, from Bayelsa State said they left their Ibeshe home for their usual early morning cry when some boys attacked them.

Evangelist Lovina, said: ” We left home as usual that Monday morning at about 6am. On our way, we usually pass through a bush path, and that morning was not an exception, as we negotiated the bend just after the bush path, we saw some boys, about six of them, they were obviously waiting for us, the next thing they did baffled us, they descended on us, beating us with everything they could lay their hands on.

“I didn’t know it had become an offence to preach in one’s neighbourhood, and I ‘m not aware of any law anywhere stating that we should stop preaching. That is what my husband and I do for a living. We are missionaries and it is our job to make sure we bring the gospel to everyone that we come in contact with, and as such, our neighbourhood should be first to feel our impact and that was what my husband and I did and were almost killed for it”

Pastor Enoch alleged that top people in Ibeshe land are aware of the attack on them, adding that the men who attacked them, were acting on the instructions of the people.

According to him, Ibeshe indigenes not only worship idols, they also go about vandalising pipelines to scoop oil in drums and big gallons. He said: “When we noticed what was happening around us, as ministers of God, it will be counted unto us as sinful, if we failed to talk to them about their sinful act and the repercussion of such acts, but instead of heeding the voice of reason, they waged war on us, beating us black and blue. It is what this country has degenerated into?

“Must Christians continue to suffer unduly for the gospel in this country? How long will this go on, what happened to the freedom of religion, that was stipulated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, of which we are a part of? We are calling on the government to please look into these area, because a lot of Christians have been sent to their early graves for this sole reason”.