The police in Akwa Ibom have explained why they sealed up Qua Iboe church along No 112 Ikot Ekpene road on Sunday where Governor Udom Emmanuel worships.
The state Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed said the sealing of the church was to avert a clash among worshippers over the change name from Qua Iboe to United Evangelical Church.
He also regretted that the action of his men had led to some worshippers sustaining varying degrees of injury.
Ahmed said the police were alerted of the plan by a faction in the ongoing crisis to factions to foment rouble and decided to seal the church to prevent further break down of law and order.
He said” police seal the church to prevent a crisis. Last Sunday there was a crisis among the worshippers in which many people were injured. We got information that a faction of the church was coming there to cause trouble, so our officers were there to prevent further clash”.
It was gathered that the police arrived at the church premises as early as 6 am and barricaded the entrance, preventing early morning worshipers from going in to worship.
Governor Udoma Emmanuel and some prominent members of the church were allegedly accused of having a personal interest in the matter rocking the church.
But speaking on Sunday, against the backdrop of insinuations, the Governor declared that he has no personal interest in the crisis, adding that he was rather committed to ensuring that peace return to
the United Evangelical Church which was originally founded as Qua Iboe Church.
Governor Emmanuel who said he has been making progress in bringing peace and harmony between the two contending parties urged agents of blackmail to direct their miss-applied talents elsewhere.
He said “It is very wrong for certain elements to make unfounded allegations concerning my role in the local assembly on Ikot Ekpene road,” said the Governor at a peace parley with the two parties.
“In a peace meeting I had with the leadership of the church on Thursday, September 26, I had outlined the processes and plans for peace to return to both the local and the national leadership of the church.
“The parties were very satisfied with the plans outlined and went back very happy. Very soon, we hope to see the full restoration of peace and understanding between the two groups.
“I think it is sad and unfortunate for some people to exploit the matter and make unfounded allegations against me.” Governor Emmanuel added.