Kindly Share This Story: By Chioma Onuegbu
The Christ Embassy Church, Uyo, has denied attacking members of Akwa Ibom State Government/Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, COVID-19 monitoring team during its Sunday service.
Pastor Kelvin Atang in a statement made available to newsmen Monday in Uyo explained that the state government sealed the church by acting on falsehood, noting that it was even the team that assaulted the church’s cameraman when they arrived the church premises.
He stated, “To set the record straight, we totally debunk the fabricated stories making the rounds which the Akwa Ibom State Government acted on.
“The fact is that Sunday the 21st day of June, 2020, we held our usual service which started by 8:30am and ended at about 10:45am, while adhering strictly to the widely circulated guidelines as provided by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
“It is unfortunate that the Akwa Ibom State Government has chosen to act based on tissues of lies and absolute falsehood that only occurred in the figment of the imaginations of those peddling same.
“As a Church, we are shocked that government has lent itself out as a willing tool to individuals and groups who see themselves as appendage of government and are all out to use mechineries of government to intimidate, oppress, harass and malign Christ Embassy Church in Akwa Ibom State for stating without equivocation that the Church is not and has never been a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria”READ ALSO: COVID-19: Akwa Ibom seals Christ Embassy Church over alleged attack on monitoring team
Atang explained that upon inquiry, Pastor Emmanuel Effiong informed them, that when Enobong Uwah and other members of the monitoring team arrived the Church premises and were told that Church service for the day had ended they insisted that they tried to force their way into the compound.
He called on the state government to unconditionally release Pastor Emmanuel Effiong, and a member of the church media team, Gabriel Ekpa, who was assaulted and brutalized by Uwah, and confiscated the camera which contained a true reflection of what occurred.
“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. In an era of social media, the team claimed it was assaulted, yet there is no video to capture the act, rather what has been pushed out to the public domain are mere still photographs.
” As a Church that respects the rule of law, we had envisaged this gang up and also took steps to seek protection of the law by approaching the Federal High Court of Nigeria sitting in Uyo, in Suit No. FAC/UY/FHR/106/2020, between Pastor Emmanuel Effiong v. Rev. (Dr.) Ndueso Ekewre & 2ors., this obviously must have also contributed to today’s drama.
“We totally condemn the closing down of our Church and detention of our Pastor, Pastor Emmanuel Effiong, who has been detained by the Commissioner of Police, without giving us the right to fair hearing and state that this action is borne out of malice, deep seated hatred and calculated attempt to malign the Church for disassociating herself from the Christian Association of Nigeria”
“We have been partners in development with the Akwa Ibom State Government and chosen to remain bi-partisan at all times”, Pastor Atang stressed.