A resident, who preferred anonymity, said that heavily armed youths stormed the sanctuary, last Friday, while the people were asleep, wrecked havoc and melted into thin air.
Pastor dumbfounded The stunned Resident Pastor, Elijah Inyang, said the relationship between Aka –Itiam Assembly established June 10, 2011 and the community was convivial and there was no leadership tussle. “Well, I am short of words because this type of incident has never happened. They broke into the church and as you can see, destroyed our altar, set it on fire and destroyed all the musical instruments.
“When I came in this morning, I saw smoke billowing from the place. Perhaps, their intention was to burn down the building, but God had to stop them. “No one has been caught and I have never had any issue with my members. Therefore, it is still a surprise to me. I am appealing to the Akwa Ibom state government and all the security agencies to come to our aid.
The matter should be investigated to know the cause and also bring those involved to book to avoid future occurrence,” he said. His members, who came for worship for service, could not believe their eyes, but the pastor consoled them.
Remote reasons for the invasion
A source said the pastor and his members, however, prayed God to bring the assailants to shame and make certain of their arrest by the police so they will face the consequences of their action. Police visit crime scene Pressed on the remote reason for the invasion, he maintained, “I do not really know but I am going to the Police Station right away to report the matter.
The men of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) were here and they have asked me to report the matter at the Ewet Housing Estate Police Division. I am on my way to the station now.”
Residents scared When NDV visited the police division, a senior police officer insisted that it would jeopardize investigations to speak to the press at this time Many residents of Aka-Itiam were afraid to comment on the reason for the attack by the assailants.
However, one of the inhabitants, Peter, who braved the odds, revealed, “The invasion of the church is likely connected with its regular activities, which cover most of the days of the week. These regular church services always conflicted with the operations of the criminal elements that have their den in the area.
“Their grievance is that the church by its activities was not allowing them to step out for their operations as scheduled. The hoodlums are terrorizing the community until the church also stepped up its activities, thereby making it difficult for criminals to operate there.
“The police patrol the area but it is not intensive enough to track down the criminals, so they want the church out of the way to terrorize the area unhindered.”
Posted by Razyblaze Gist at 8:11pm