Christ Embassy denies attacking monitoring team says Akwa Ibom govt acted on falsehood
Christ Embassy Church, Uyo has denied attacking members of the Akwa Ibom State Government, the Christian Association of Nigeria monitoring committee who were on inspection of COVID-19 compliance of churches in the state.
The church alleged that the State government acted on falsehood and turned around to play the victim’s card.
Recall that the Akwa Ibom Government yesterday, Sunday sealed the church over an alleged assault and attack on the monitoring committee by the pastor and members of the church.
But in a statement signed by Pastor Kelvin Atang, the church stated that last Sunday’s church service had ended by the time the team arrived at the church premises adding that it was the team led by Mr. Enobong Uwah that assaulted a church cameraman.
He said, “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 altercation between the parties involved.”
He noted that the church had it’s Sunday morning service with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols but had dismissed before the committee arrived for inspection.
“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 read.
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.
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