Church leaders in Uyo Senatorial District have been tasked on insisting on appropriate use of face masks by their congregation before gaining access into places of Worship.
This was the position of Uyo Senatorial District Joint Monitoring for re-opening of churches in the State today, Sunday June 21, 2020 led by the committee’s Chairman, Hon. Erick Akpan who is also the Executive Chairman of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area.
The committee visited a total number of twenty-three (23) churches in eight (8) Local Government Areas in Uyo Senatorial District which are: Uruan, Itu, Ibiono Ibom, Ibesikpo Asutan, Nsit Ibom, Etinan, Nsit Ubium and Nsit Atai, respectively.
From the general accessment of churches as observed by the committee, there has been an impressive improvement in the provision of running water/hand sanitizers by most churches while observation of physical distancing and appropriate use of face masks by some churches still beg for further improvements.
During today’s monitoring exercise, the Chairman of the committee tasked pastors, priests and Ministers on denying any church member without face masks access into the church auditorium.
Hon. Akpan reiterated that God is mindful of every single life in the universe and the lives of Akwa Ibomites are precious to the Executive Governor of the State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel as such, church leaders should reciprocate Government’s gesture of re-opening of churches with laid down safety measures by adhering strictly to avert the spread of the deadly virus at religious gatherings.
The Chairman also appreciated churches that adhered 100 percent to Christian Association of Nigeria’s (CAN) Akwa Ibom State Chapter’s principles and guidelines for re-opening of churches and encouraged adhering churhes to remain steadfast with such practices for the wellbeing of their members while he enjoined other churches to follow suit.
Churches visited at Uruan Local Government Area were: St. Joseph’s Parish – Ifiayong Usuk, and Apostolic Faith Church, Idu.
while in Itu Local Government Area, the Team monitored St. Hillary’s Catholic Church, East Itam Akon, Presbyterian church of Nigeria – Mbiatok, Church of Christ – Mbiatok, The Redeemed Christian of God – Ikot Andem Itam, and Church of Chirst Ikot Andem Itam.
Arriving Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, two churches were supervised; Church of Christ – Ikot Akpan Obong, Ididep.
From Ibiono Ibom, the Team landed at Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area and supervised three (3) churches; St. Anthanasius – Nung Oku Ibesikpo, Living Faith Church -Obot Idim – Ikot Oduot and The Apostolic Church – Ikot Oduot.
At Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, The Apostolic Church – Afaha Offiong, Qua Iboe Church – Obontong/Nkwot/Ikot Idem, The African Church – St. Peter’s Parish – Obiokpok Nsit were the three (3) churches visited by the Committee.
The case was not different at Etinan Local Government Area as the Committee monitored three (3) churches; Winners Chapel Int’l – Ikot Ekan, The African Church, St. John’s Parish- Etinan and The Apostolic Church – Etinan Field Headquarters.
Two (2) churches were supervised in Nsit Ubium; The Apostolic Church – Ndiya, and St. Peter’s Catholic Church – Ndiya.
Finally, the committee rounded up today’s monitoring exercise at Nsit Atai Local Government Area with visitation to four (4) churches; New Apostolic Church – Ikot Ebiyan, The Apostolic church Odot, Christian fellowship Evangelical Inco. – Odot and Brotherhood of the Cross and Star – Idiaba.
At Brotherhood of the cross and Star, the Committee members were barred from gaining access into the Bathel on the grounds that the place of worship “isn’t running a church but a kingdom of God” which is a non member of CAN and other affiliate groups in the State.