The Presiding Pastor, Livingspring Chapel International, Femi Emmanuel, has condemned organizers of the annual Ibadan marathon race for choosing Sundays for the event.
This year’s event was held on Sunday April 14, 2019. Coincidentally, it was Palm Sunday, a special day Christians celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem.
In a statement, Pastor Emmanuel said the choice of Sundays was insensitive to the feelings of Christians as major roads in Ibadan are usually temporarily closed for the race thereby disrupting movements of Christians to church. He lamented that hundreds of thousands of Christians are prevented from moving freely to church on such Sundays which amounts to needless pain.
Stressing that he bears no personal grudge against the race and its organizers, the man of God stated that the race has transformed to a huge economic event and which gives room for youths to channel their energy appropriately.
His words: “Christans in the city of Ibadan on Sunday April 14, 2019 woke up to witness another violation of their freedom of movement to worship their God in the name of Ibadan Annual Marathon Race. This has become an annual occurrence but this year’s event was done with so much reckless insensitivity to the feelings of Christians and the christian faith. The organizers neglected and failed to take into consideration the significance of Palm Sunday to the Christian faith and many worshippers were unnecessarily either delayed or prevented from going to church for service.
“The Presiding Pastor of Livingspring Chapel Int’l, Pastor Femi Emmanuel hereby calls on the organizers of the Ibadan Annual Marathon Race to stop holding the event on Sundays. Christians are vehemently opposed to the distruptions of people going to their places of worship on Sundays as major routes are temporarily closed for runners. This is grossly unfair to the Christians. It is also a show of disrespect for the Christian faith. Christians will no longer tolerate such affront to their faith and freedom of movement.”