Anglican Church condemns police invasion of church, says ‘It was black Sunday’

December 28, 2021
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The Anglican Church in Nigeria has condemned the police invasion of the church during Sunday service to arrest Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law to a former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.

The incident happened on December 26 at the St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.

Mr Nwosu is a former governorship candidate in the 2019 election in Imo State.

The masked police officers fired gunshots in the air and reportedly assaulted Mr Nwosu, his wife, and others before his arrest.

He was released some hours after without the police informing him why he was arrested, his media aide said on Monday.

“It was a black Sunday,” the Church Of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, said in a statement issued on Monday by the Archbishop of the Owerri Province, David Onuoha.

Mr Onuoha said the officiating priest had barely concluded the celebration and administration of the Holy Eucharist, ready for the end of year thanksgiving, when armed police invaded the church.

He said what happened was unprecedented in the more than 160 year’s history of the church in Imo State.

“We are gravely worried and disturbed that worshippers were greatly frightened, worried, confused and completely disorganized by the presence of heavily armed security operatives in the church service thereby disrupting the worship of God’s people.

<img data-attachment-id="502756" data-permalink="https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/502754-photos-of-okorochas-in-law-in-handcuffs-surface-online.html/attachment/mr-uche-nwosu-in-handcuffs1" data-orig-file="https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/12/Mr-Uche-Nwosu-in-handcuffs1.jpg?fit=720%2C564&ssl=1" data-orig-size="720,564" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"Picasa","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1640611283","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Photo of Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha." data-image-description="

Photo of Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/12/Mr-Uche-Nwosu-in-handcuffs1.jpg?fit=446%2C349&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/media.premiumtimesng.com/wp-content/files/2021/12/Mr-Uche-Nwosu-in-handcuffs1.jpg?fit=720%2C564&ssl=1″ loading=”lazy” width=”720″ height=”564″ class=”size-full wp-image-502756″ src=”https://onlinenigeria.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/anglican-church-condemns-police-invasion-of-church-says-it-was-black-sunday.jpg” alt=”Photo of Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.” srcset=”https://onlinenigeria.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/anglican-church-condemns-police-invasion-of-church-says-it-was-black-sunday.jpg 720w, https://onlinenigeria.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/anglican-church-condemns-police-invasion-of-church-says-it-was-black-sunday-1.jpg 446w” sizes=”(max-width: 720px) 100vw, 720px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

Photo of Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

“That the police jumped inside the church in a gestapo style when the service was in full session is reprehensible, primitive, and highly condemnable,” he said.

The archbishop warned that the police action could worsen the security challenges in the state.

“The Church will in the next few days engage the Nigerian Police in a dialogue to truly understand the reasons behind this dastardly act and how to avoid a repeat occurrence.

“While this process is on, we urge all Christians to continue in prayers for God’s mercy on all of us and peace in our land,” he added.

The police are yet to disclose why Mr Nwosu was arrested.

Imo govt’s reaction

The Imo State Government has condemned the police invasion of the Anglican Church.

“The arrest of Mr Nwosu within the church premises could have been avoided and therefore stands condemned,” the state Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, said in a statement on Monday.

ALSO READ: Police invade church, whisk away Okorocha’s son in-law

“While government regrets the manner the arrest was made, we wish to emphasize 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,” Mr Emelumba said.

The commissioner said Governor 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”.

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