Christian leaders across the nine (9) Local Government Areas of Uyo Senatorial District (USD) in Akwa Ibom State have been urged to strive on providing adequate COVID-19 compliance measures at their various places of worship to slow down the spread of the disease among believers – Hon. Eric Akpan.
Hon. Eric Akpan, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Government COVID-19 Church Monitoring Team for Uyo Senatorial District (USD) and Executive Chairman, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area made the clarion call while leading members of the team on a routine compliance/inspection visit to Churches to enforce the guidelines and protocols adopted to prevent the community spread of the dreaded COVID-19, Sunday.
He reasoned that although some churches have provided some level of appreciable measures to cushion the current problem, they provide such solutions within the new acceptable norm with certain inconsistencies, an approach, he deemed unhealthy for the church, communities and Akwa Ibom State.
The Chairman said although the present COVID-19 crisis has presented the Church with an immense challenge of practicing their norms, doctrines and precepts, he however called on Pastors, Priests, and Ministers to place themselves in a place of transition from where they must open up themselves to a new paradigm shift for the good of their members.
Hon. Eric Akpan enlightened that, although some clergymen may see the CAN, NCDC and WHO’s guidelines as a complex adaptability approach, churches in the present day should be seen as both religious and educational centres where believers are trained in faith as well as equipping them with the necessary measures needed to stem the tide of the virus.
The team led by Hon. Eric Akpan commenced today‘s monitoring exercise from about 7:15 am and visited 30 churches in 7 Local Government Areas of USD.
Local Government Areas visited today were; Ibiono Ibom, Itu, Ibesikpo Asutan, Nsit Ibom, Etinan, Nsit Ubium and Nsit Atai, respectively.
At Ibiono Ibom, six (6) churches were visited. They are; The Church of Christ Nigeria – Ikot Ada Idem, United Evangelical Church, founded as Qua Iboe Church – Ikot Ada Idem, Grace and Power Gospel Mission – Ikot Ada Idem, The African Church Nigeria – Ikot Ada Idem, Full Gospel Assembly Nigeria – Ikot Ada Idem and The Apostolic Church – Ibiaku Ikpedip.
The team moved from Ibiono Ibom to Itu Local Government Area, where a total number of five (5) churches were supervised. The churches include; St Hillary’s Parish – Ekit Itam, Church of Christ Nigeria – Ibiaku Itam 11, The Apostolic Church Nigeria – Ibup Assembly, United Evangelical Church – Nung Ukot Itam and Brotherhood of the Cross and Star – Ibiaku Itam.
At Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, the Bethel was found under lock and key. A church attendant on sighting the team members approached and informed that the Team that ‘the Kingdom of God’ in the entire Itu Local Government Area is yet to reopen for Sunday activities.
Also, Five (5) churches were visited in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area by the Committee. They are: The African Church, St. Peter’s Parish – Mbierebe Obio, Church of Christ – Mbierebe Obio, The Redeemed Christian Church of God – overflow Assembly – Mbierebe Obio, The Victory Christ Church Int. – Mbierebe Obio, and Salvation Ministries – Mbierebe Obio.
The Lutheran Church of Nigeria – Mbiokporo 1, The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria – Mbiokporo 1 and Living Faith Church a.k.a Winners Chapel – Mbiokporo 1 were the churches supervised in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
At Etinan Local Government Area; The Apostolic Church Nigeria – Etinan, The Apostolic Church, Ikot Ekan, Qua Iboe Church Nigeria – Ikot Udo Otto, The Apostolic Church – Ikot Udo Otto, and Church of God Mission Int. – Etinan were visited by the Committee.
The team supervised The Redeemed Christian Church of God – Ikot Edibon, St. Michael’s Christ Army Church – CBC, Ndiya, Salvation Ministries – Ikot Eyo and Christ Apostolic – Ikot Eyo in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area and African Apostolic Blessing Church and The Apostolic Church were visited in Nsit Atai Local Government Area.
Members of the Committee equally took turns in lecturing believers on the need to adhere to the guidelines as mapped out by NCDC, WHO and CAN across the seven (7) Local Government Area.