The Imo State Government has apologised to the Anglican Church over the invasion of St Peters Anglican Church, Eziama Obaire, in the Nkwerre Local Government Area of the state, to arrest Uche Nwosu, a former governorship candidate.
The statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, condemned the action of the police, and pointed out that some people were hiding under the incident to whip up public sentiments.
The statement said that the governor and the government of the state 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.
“Government will continue to protect the interest of the citizens of the state while not impeding the work of security agencies.”