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CHRIST EMBASSY CHURCH Closed Down by Akwa Ibom State Government

Chris Oyakhilome

Akwa Ibom state government sealed the premises of one of the Pentecostal churches Christ embassy church branch at Nung Akpa Ime, for non compliance to the rules and guidelines to adopt during church service to prevent the spread of the Corona virus in the state.

On the 21st of June 2020, the Akwa Ibom State government and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) monitoring team payed a visit to Christ embassy church at Nung Akpa Ime branch off Nsikak Eduok Avenue in Akwa Ibom state to enforce and check if the state protocols were being observed and adopted by the said church. On getting there they found them defaulting the COVID 19 guidelines for church gathering. In a statement, the secretary to state Government and chairman of Covid-19 management committee, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem said the church was sealed after some of its pastors and members attacked the government protocol compliance team. He further added, that “the pastors and members involved in the attack would be made to face the full wrath of the law”.

On the other hand, in response to these allegations, the members however refuted the accusations brought forth against them. One of the pastors, Kelvin James said the church was already done with its Sunday service when the monitoring team arrived, and that the church worker who filmed the arrival of the team was assaulted and a church camera confiscated from him. The church said it adhered to the protocols put in place by the Nigerian centre for disease control in its Sunday service.

Christ embassy church claimed that the seal off was instigated against them because of their refusal to be a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

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Written by Diana Emah