The Provincial Pastor of the church, Timothy Olaniyan, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that he got a distress call informing him about the incident around 5.am.
NAN gathered that the church and a group had been engaged in a squabble over the ownership of the land.
Olaniyan claimed that Prof. Ish’aq Oloyede, the Co- Secretary of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), had visited the site with some members of the group.
“We had reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police and wrote a letter to Gov. Abdulfattah Ahmed, who directed his Deputy Chief of staff, Mr Leke Ogungbe, to handle the matter.
“Also one Sharia Court judge, Alhaji Saliu Mohammed, came and said that the Emir of Ilorin instructed him to mediate in the matter in order to ensure peace.
“At about 8.pm on Monday, we noticed some strange people flashing touch light to the church from a distance.
“Again, we reported to the police only for us to wake up to see a burnt church on Wednesday morning,’’ he said.
Oloyede, however, said he intervened in the matter to ensure peace.
“I have a duty as a man of peace to prevent what happened this morning. People do not really know that I have been mediating in the matter.
“It is quite unfortunate that the incident happened, even the security agency is aware of my mediating role,’’ he said.
Ogungbe, who visited the scene, appealed for calm and urged the church members not to embark on reprisal attack.
He gave an assurance that government would ensure security of lives and property in the state.
Dr Muyideen Akorede, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, also told NAN that government had directed security agents to investigate the incident with a view to allowing the law to take its full course.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abdul Dube, told NAN that the police officer in charge of the case was still compiling his report.
He said that the police would make their report public after the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Kwara chapters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) have condemned the burning of the church.
CAN Secretary in the state, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, told NAN that the association would demand that justice be done.
“We are not going to lie low as we did in the past; CAN would explore all means to get to the root of the arson, ” Fawenu said.
The NLC chairman in the state, Umar Akanbi, also described the incident as unfortunate, saying: “We don’t need this kind of thing in Kwara.’’
Akanbi , who spoke to NAN, called on the state government to investigate the arson and prosecute those culpable in accordance with the laws of the country.
The NLC boss called for religious tolerance and understanding between adherents of the different religions.
In his reaction, the Chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Kwara chapter, Shakir Akorode, said it was dastardly for anyone to burn down a sacred place of worship.
“I don’t believe that any sane person would commit such a dastardly act. I am sure the fire outbreak is an accident.
“In Kwara State, everybody lives in harmony with one another.Government should investigate the fire and fish out the culprits, ’’ Akorode said.
He, however, called on youths in the state not to take the law into their hands.