The Anglican Province of Owerri, Imo State, has stated that it will work with the police to determine why it desecrated the church while enforcing the arrest of Uche Nwosu on Monday during a thanksgiving service at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obieri in the state’s Nkwerre Local Government Area.
The church stated that, while it supports the arrest of criminals regardless of their position, the invasion of a house of worship by security operatives while a service was in progress was unacceptable.
The Archbishop of the Province, Most Rev Dr David O. C Onuoha, said in a statement on Monday that the shooting of bullets and dispersal of worshippers had never occurred in the state’s over 160-year history.
The statement read, “It was a black Sunday yesterday December 26, 2021, as armed men in uniform invaded St. Peter’s Anglican Church Eziama Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government Area, Diocese of Orlu in Imo State and roundly desecrated God’s sanctuary.”
“The officiating priest had barely concluded the celebration and administration of the Holy Eucharist, ready for the end of year thanksgiving, when armed men stormed the church. The Nigerian Police later explained that it was for the purpose of effecting an arrest.”
“Much as we are not concerned or interested in the reason for this invasion, which is unprecedented in the more than 160 years history of the church in this state, we are gravely worried and disturbed that worshippers were greatly frightened, worried, confused and completely disorganised by the presence of heavily armed security operatives in the church service thereby disrupting the worship of God’s people.
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“That the police jumped inside the church in a gestapo style when the service was in full session is reprehensible, primitive, and highly condemnable. We are at a great loss why the police decided to throw caution to the winds and completely ignore internationally acclaimed rules of engagement and civility in this matter.”
Reports had emerged on Sunday that armed policemen whisked away Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law of Senator Rochas Okorocha, from St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obieri in Imo State’s Nkwerre Local Government Area.