The leadership of HURIDE have decried the “unwarranted invasion and arrest” of their members of House of Prayer International Covenant Church by the men of Nigerian Army at the Headquarters of the church in Okporo, Orlu in Imo State.
HURIDE in a press statement made available to newsmen in Owerri Imo State called on the President Muhammad Buhari, Chief of Army Staff, Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze, the Imo State Commissioner of Police and well meaning Nigerians to deploy their good offices to affect the release of the worshippers.
In the statement signed by the Campaign and Publicity Secretary Comrade Unah Zack Unah, said the church in the course of the routine morning devotional service at about 6 am on January 22, 2021 unknown to the faithful that the soldiers has surrounded the church promises, shooting sporadically and forcefully gained entry into the sacred church arena and arrested over 12 members and injured several others including women and the aged, while some were taken to an unknown place.
HURIDE lamented that during the attack, the soldiers destroyed the most sacred worship centre and many things in the church including gates, doors and windows, water tank reservoir as they attempted to gain entery into the women populated church by force.
He said the soldiers who came with military vans did not state their reasons for the unfortunate invasion of the church and destruction of their property as well arrest of their members.
HURIDE said therefore call on the State Governor and all well meaning Nigerians to wade into the matter in order to effect an immediate release of the members among whom are aged who have serious health challenges”.
However, our source said the military went to a wrong location in search of some hoodlums who killed some security officers in the area.
HURIDE further warned that the invasion of the church with its attendant destruction of property and arrest of members including old people who have health challenges are gross abuse of their rights and a descration of the worship centre.
He noted that the military is notorious with arresting and killing innocent people who were not involved in any crime just to show their strenght.
He said this negate modern military operations and challenged them to carry out descreet investigation before they invade a place to avoid unnecessary damage to the victims and their unnecessary embarrassment.
Comrade Unah also condemned the killings of the Policemen and burning of their operational vehicles by some hoodlums at Okporo and Umutanze both in Orlu local council area and charged security operatives to spread their dragnet so as to bring the situation under control.
But he demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of those arrested at the House of Prayers, Church and urged the authorities to immediately withdraw the military in Orlu.
Unah further urged the authorities to engage the youths instead of forceful approach to avoid the repeat of security situation in the North East, Unah cautioned.