The owner of the popular Madugu hotel located at Jabi in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in person of Alhaji Bello Bashir, has gotten himself involved in a religious battle with one of the top leading churches in Abuja, God’s City International Church over the proximity of the church to his Hotel.
The church which was founded on the 1st of May, 2016. The Senior Pastor of the church is Pastor Matthew Morakinyo. GCIC as is fondly called was initially situated at the Women Development Center, Central Area, Abuja, before moving to their acquired plot at 16, Ebitu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja.
The church was able to get a multifunctional plot around Jabi area which was approved twice (2) by the relevant agencies to get the church built. It was gathered that the said property used to be a Motor Park and a dangerous hideout for some criminal elements. This has always been a huge concern for the residents of that area. As soon as the church took over the property, calmness and sanity returned back to the area. Trouble started when God City International Church dedicated her building and started holding services.
Obviously, this didn’t sit well with the owner of the Madugu Hotel which is located beside the church and also separated by a high fence.
The hotel owner claimed a church shouldn’t be situated beside his hotel, despite the approval of the FCDA whereas, a Plaza about some few meters to his hotel accommodates many different churches. As a matter of fact, a mosque without any form of sound proof is also very close to the hotel, unlike the Gods City International Church which is built with sound proof and absolutely sealed compound. It was revealed to our reporter by a very close and reliable source to the hotel that in the early part of year 2020, the management of the Madugu Hotel invited armed Police Officers who mobilized and came in 11 Hilux Trucks to the church just to intimidate the worshippers.
Some members of the church were heavily harassed and their mobile phones were seized. The hotel owner is a Muslim and he is maximizing his close relationship with the Director of Development Control – Mukta Galadima and FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Bello who are also in full support of the inhumane and unlawful conduct of the hotel owner, all because they both hail from Adamawa State.
The church representative met with Hon. Minister of FCT in person of Mallam Mohammed Bello, around June last year (2021) and he promised to intervene in the situation. Unfortunately, nothing was done. It’s so obvious that, what is exactly playing out is a show of power, intimidation and religious persecution which could escalate into a full blown religious crisis if not carefully handled.