Dunamis International Gospel Centre says it has no hand in the arrest of five ‘Buhari Must Go’ protesters who were whisked away from the church on Sunday by the Department of State Services.
Human rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Deji Adeyanju, had on Monday, met the Senior Pastor of Dunamis, Dr Paul Enenche concerning the release of the youths.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that a top church official, who pleaded anonymity, stated that the church security handed the youths over to the DSS when they started the protest.
However, a statement from the church posted by Sowore on his verified Facebook page, stated that the church had no hand in the arrest of the youths.
The statement titled, ‘Arrest and detention of protesters – the truth you need to know’ was dated July 6, 2021 and signed by Dr. Adah Ochowechi.
The statement partly read, “Nothing can be further than the truth. The church holds three services every Sunday and the Senior Pastor, Dr. Paul Enenche preaches in all the services. After the sermon in the first service on that Sunday, an altar call was made to which many people came out, including the said youths, and nothing happened to them.”
“However, soon after their departure from the alter, they swung into a protest with blaring trumpet and saxophone right from the exit door of the church. At the same time, the event was been covered and live-streamed with the background shot of the church building and those of the thronging crowd both exiting and entering the sanctuary for the next service.
“The live-streaming had the caption, “Buhari Must Go protest hits Dunamis Church in Abuja.”
The statement also faults the protesters by stating that the church was not a protest ground.
“Moreover, the church is not an activism ground but a center for the projection of truth against all forms of evil. The church is non-political and non-partisan and thus not an appropriate ground for political protests. It is not the seat of government where those been protested against reside.
“We wish to state categorically that Dunamis International Gospel Center has no hand in the arrest, and detention of the said youths as they were arrested outside the premises of the church. The church has no right to arrest and detain people and has no detention custody. The right of arrest and detention resides with government security agencies.”
Reacting to the statement, Sowore stated that the details in the release were “materially false on so many levels,” as he revealed that the video caption was made by him and not the activists.
Sowore also insisted that the church security team called DSS to arrest the protesters.
“It was the church security team that called the DSS and they (lawless DSS) sent a white Hilux van accompanied by two power bikes to whisk them away. They’ve not been seen or heard from ever since,” Sowore said.
“I am using this opportunity to urge Dr. Paul Enenche to go to the DSS headquarters in Abuja and get the innocent young activists freed without delay,” he added.