Akwa Ibom Shuts Oyakhilome’s Church As Pastors, Members Attack COVID-19 Team

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The Akwa Ibom government has sealed off the premises of Christ Embassy Church, Nung Akpa Ime branch, Uyo, for allegedly attacking the state COVID-19 compliance monitoring team.

Emmanuel Ekuwem, secretary to the state government (SSG) and chairman of the COVID-19 management committee, disclosed this in a statement in on Sunday.

Ekuwem said the church was sealed off for obstructing, attacking and brutalising members of the monitoring team.

He added that sealing off the church was due to acts of lawlessness and to avoid the risk of community transmission of the coronavirus.

The SSG said the pastors and members involved in the attack would also be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“In response to this act of lawlessness by the Church and in order to avoid the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State, the Christ Embassy Church building and premises are hereby sealed off with immediate effect until further notice,” he said.

“The suspected Pastors and relevant members of the church will be made to face the wrath of the law.”

When the monitoring team arrived at the church on Sunday, at about 11am, some men prevented the team from gaining access into the church premises.

Appeals by Enobong Uwah, leader of the monitoring team, and other members including Ndueso Ekwere, state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), were rebuffed.

The Akwa Ibom government had ordered the reopening of worship centres on June 7, based on the guidelines submitted by CAN.

As of June 20, 2020, the state had confirmed a total of 65 COVID-19 cases.

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