Akwa Ibom State Government Arrested Pastor, Members, Church Building Demolished For Disobeying Covid 19 Guidelines.

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Covid-19: AKSG storms Prayer House in Uyo

June 23, 2020/ 9News Nigeria.

The Akwa Ibom State Government on Tuesday arrested the General Overseer of The Knowledge of God Ministry, Prophet Victor Elijah in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

Commissioner of Works who also doubles as the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Akparawa Ephraim Inyangeyen told newsmen that the church’s pastors and members were arrested because they did not comply with the guidelines and protocols adopted to prevent community spread of coronavirus in the state.

“We got a tip from a concerned citizen informing us that a certain church situated at Paulinus Urua Street, behind the Ministry of Works was having a special prayer service and we immediately responded. What we saw was a total disaster. Over one thousand people had assembled in a small cubicle; no social distancing and none of them was wearing face mask. The crowd was so much that place couldn’t contain them. In response to this act of lawlessness by that church and in order to avoid the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State, we decided to arrest the pastor and some of his members and the structure demolished”.

According to Mr. Inyangeyen, the suspected pastor and relevant members of the church have been handed over to the Police and will be made to face the wrath of the law.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang has stiff sanctions against clerics whose churches violate the safety measures put in place by government to check the spread of the ravaging coronavirus during church programs. He said such pastors should be arrested and prosecuted for willfully endangering the lives of their church members and the larger society. Senator Ita Enang was answering questions today on Team Nigeria, a sponsored enlightenment program on a local radio station, Inspiration FM, Uyo.

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The presidential aide was reacting to the recent closure of Christ Embassy church in Uyo by the Akwa Ibom state government for denying the government Covid-19 Restriction Compliance team access to the church.

He particularly called for the arrest and prosecution of the founder of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakilome for allegedly misleading his church branches to violate the safety protocols emplaced by the state government to prevent the spread of the virus.

Senator Ita Enang likened the breach of the safety rules by any church to attempted mass suicide which he noted amounted to serious offence.

He dismissed the narrative by Christ Embassy that since the church was not a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, it was not bound by guidelines set by CAN, saying that the said guidelines were approved for implementation by the state government. ‘Therefore, they(the guidelines) could not be said to have been given by CAN since they bear the stamp and seal of the governor’ he added.

Senator Ita Enang commended the Federal and Akwa Ibom state governments for their commitment and resoluteness in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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