AKWA IBOM – Members of the Qua Iboe Church, 112 Ikot Ekpene road, Uyo,Akwa Ibom State, where Governor Udom Emmanuel worships at, held their new month ‘covenant service’ for October by the roadside.
The church has remained closed since last Sunday due to lingering crisis over name change.
Members of the church including an aged man was seen on Tuesday (1st October) morning, conducting the new month service in front of the gate of the church along Ikot Ekpene road.
About 10 police vehicles blocked the entrance of the church on Sunday 29th August, preventing members from having access to the church premises.
On Saturday 28th September,some worshippers in the assembly protested in front of the church, demanding the deployment of the resident pastor,Rev. Ibup Emah.
The protesters displayed placards which read, “Rev Ibup Emah must go”, “Rev Ibup Emah, go with your UEC Agenda”, “Let Qua Iboe Church, Oku be in Peace”, “Rev Ibup Emah, we are tired of your lies”.
The protest came barely few days after the church leadership said in a press statement that normalcy has returned to the church.
The resident pastor, Rev. Ibup Emah, whom the protesters said he must go, was one of the three persons
who signed a press statement.
The release sighted by this reporter reads, “The leadership of the church wish to inform church members and the general public that the issues have been resolved and normalcy restored to the church.”
The release was jointly signed by Elder Onofiok Etang, chairman church committee and Elder Sylvester Edem, Church Secretary.
The crisis is caused by a division in leadership of the church between those for and against a name church, from Qua Iboe Church to United Evangelical Church.
The Dune learnt that some members of the church who looked up to the governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, who is a deacon in the church to help resolve the crisis, have expressed regret that the governor was taking side with those supporting the name change.
However, Governor Emmanuel in a statement last weekend said he is committed to resolving the crisis in the church.
“It is very wrong for certain elements to make unfounded allegations concerning my role in the local assembly on Ikot Ekpene. At a peace meeting I had with the leadership of the church on Thursday September 26, I had outlined the processes and plans for peace to return to the both the local and the national leadership of the church. The parties were very satisfied with the plans outlined and went back very happy.”
“Very soon, we hope to see the full restoration of peace and understanding between the two groups. I think it is sad and unfortunate for some people to exploit the matter and make unfounded allegations”, the governor said.
The Dune learnt that members of the church at 112 Ikot Ekpene road are opposed to the name change.