In a statement on Sunday, the Secretary to State Government & Chairman of COVID-19 Management Committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said the church was sealed after some of its pastors and members attacked the government’s COVID-19 protocol compliance team.
Ekuwem said the pastors and members involved in the attack would also be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“Today, Sunday 21 June 2020, the Akwa Ibom State Government and Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) Monitoring Team, while on a routine compliance/inspection visit to the Christ Embassy Church, Nung Akpa Ime branch, State House of Assembly Road, off Nsikak Eduok Avenue to enforce the Akwa Ibom State government/Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)/World Health Organisation (WHO)/Christian Association( CAN) Guidelines and Protocols adopted to prevent community spreading of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic in Akwa Ibom State, were obstructed, attacked and brutalized by the Pastors and some members of the church.”
“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, the Christ Embassy Church building and premises are hereby sealed up with immediate effect till further notice.”
“The suspected Pastors and relevant members of the church will be made to face the wrath of the law.” the statement read.
It was gathered that 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.
It was also learnt that appeals by the leader of the monitoring team, Enobong Uwah, and other members, including the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Ndueso Ekwere, were rebuffed.
The pastor of the church, Emmanuel Effiong, said its global ministry was not bound to obey the guidelines jointly approved by the state government and the CAN.
According to him, Christ Embassy is not a member of CAN or any other association in Nigeria and does not believe nor advocate for unionism of church, rather believe in the unity of the faith.
KanyiDaily recalls that the General Overseer of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome had also attacked his fellow pastors who supported the closure of churches amid coronavirus pandemic.