Christ Embassy Church in Uyo of Akwa Ibom State has said none of its members attacked the COVID-19 monitoring team from the Christian Association of Nigeria monitoring committees it was reported.
The government of the state sealed the branch of the church in the state for attacking members of the Christian Association of Nigeria monitoring committee on COVID-19 on Sunday, and according to the church, the government of Akwa Ibom is acting on falsehood and are playing the victim.
The branch pastor, Pastor Kelvin Atang in a statement said;
- Advertisement -
“As a Church, we are shocked that government has lent itself out as a willing tool to individuals and groups who see themselves as an appendage of government and are all out to use the machinery of government to intimidate, oppress, harass and malign Christ Embassy Church for stating without equivocation that the Church is not and has never been a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“It is highly preposterous that the team has turned round to play the victim card when in actual sense, the Church was deliberately targeted. It turns fact and objective reasoning heads down for a team that goes around with armed policemen to claim that it was attacked by unarmed men and they did not make an arrest. Facts are sacred and from even the pictures circulated on behalf of the team show that there was no form of an altercation between the parties involved.”
He said the monitoring team came after the service ended and that they did all they could to make sure all members and attendant of follow the COVID-19 guideline.
- Advertisement -
“When Mr. Enobong Uwah, an appointee of the Akwa Ibom State Government, who heads the CAN monitoring committees, in the company of other people arrived at the Church premises around 11.30am and insisted that they must gain access into the Church. They were informed that the Church service for the day had ended about an hour earlier and members dispersed, but obviously acting a scripted plot, they tried to force their way into the compound.
“While they tried to force their way in, a member of the church media team, Gabriel Ekpa, who was stationed outside before the team arrived, captured all that transpired with the Church Canon camera, but was assaulted and brutalized by Mr. Enobong Uwah, who rained blows on him and confiscated the camera which contained a true reflection of what occurred, ran into his SUV and zoomed off, with members of his team following suit.”
The statement condemned the closure of the church, challenged the state government to produce evidence of the assault on members of the committee since their own cameraman was assaulted and his camera destroyed and called for the unconditional release of their pastor.