The Imo State Government on Monday apologised to the authorities of St Peter’s Anglican Church in Eziama Obaire, Nkwerre Local Government Area of the state and members of the public over the arrest of a former governorship candidate, Chief Uche Nwosu, during a church service on Sunday.
Police operatives stormed the church in their numbers on Sunday morning and shot sporadically before whisking Nwosu, who is a son-in-law to former governor Rochas Okorocha, to the command headquarters in Owerri.
The incident sparked angry reactions from Nigerians with many condemning the desecration of the worship centre by the security agents.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who reacted to the public outcry that trailed the arrest of the Action Alliance (AA) candidate in the 2019 election via a statement, said Governor Hope Uzodinma and the state government held the Anglican Church and the church of God in general in high esteem.
The statement read: “The Imo State Government is aware of the futile efforts by some people to whip up public sentiments against it over the arrest in an Anglican Church of Mr. Uche Nwosu. The plan is to de-emphasise the possible criminality behind his arrest by playing up the desecration of a church.
“For the avoidance of doubt, while the government believes that no stone should be spared in the effort to rid the state of criminality and banditry, it will not support any form of disrespect for a place of worship by security agencies.
“In this regard, the arrest of Mr. Nwosu within the church premises could have been avoided and therefore stands condemned.
“While government regrets the manner the arrest was made, we wish to emphasise that since it was purely a security matter, the full reason why such an action was taken will eventually unfold, and perhaps guide the public better.
“Government, therefore, wishes to appeal to those negatively affected by the action to bear with the security agencies.
“His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, holds the Anglican Communion in very high esteem and will never support any act that will disrespect her reverential status as a place of Divine worship.
“The government will continue to protect the interest of the citizens of the state while not impeding the work of security agencies.”
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.
If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
SPECIAL REPORT: Illegal miners degrade Ekiti community, engage in child labour
The activities of illegal miners in a community in Ekiti State have caused degradation of the environment, as miners engage...
SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the illegal trading of forest woods in Cross River community
“With a N20,000 bribe, an external buyer can influence the youth in host communities , Cross River State, to cut...
SPECIAL REPORT: Enugu govt watches as waste takes over state, threatens public health, environment
In this report, Arinze Chijioke looks at how delays in evacuation of waste in Enugu State encourages indiscriminate waste disposal, its health implications, and how...
INVESTIGATION: NDDC awards N1bn road contract to poultry farm
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in what appears a breach of procurement laws, awarded a contract worth N1.028 billion...
FEATURE… Hard job, low income: Agony of Nigerian commercial drivers
Amid increase in fuel price over the years, coupled with bad roads and insecurity in Nigeria, many commercial drivers have...