Members of Qua Iboe Church, Ikot Oko-Okon, Essien Annang Superintendency in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have decried the effects of a recent windstorm which amongst other damages ripped off the roof of the church.
When reporters went on an assessment tour of the affected church, it was discovered that apart from ripping off the roof, the windstorm also destroyed concrete pillars, musical instruments, electrical appliances, chairs and other valuables.
Speaking with newsmen, the presiding pastor of the church, Pastor Charles Umoh, while noting that the incident has negatively affected activities in the church, however, expressed happiness that it did not result in injury or death to any member of the church.
“It was on Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017, about 8:35am. There was a rainstorm that morning after we dismissed so, some members were still inside when they heard a big bang. Behold, the roof of the church was flung in their presence. We ran out for our dear lives, and since then, we have been rendered helpless without a place of worship.
“I thank God that no life was lost and no injury recorded but some of our musical instruments, electronics and properties worth millions of Naira have been destroyed.”
The cleric while revealing that members of the church lack the financial capability to shoulder the renovation of the edifice, called on Governor Udom Emmanuel, who is a Deacon in the Qua Iboe Church, and other well meaning people to come to their aid.
Also speaking to newsmen, Chairman of the church, Elder Aniefiok Samuel Udoh, disclosed that the church was established in 1919, adding that members of the church have over the years been channeling resources for the maintenance of the edifice.
He admitted that as an aged edifice, a thorough renovation must be carried out before the church can be deemed fit for people to congregate.
“The church was established in 1919 and we’ve been maintaining it till now. The disaster also damaged some economic trees around the church. The church may be showing signs of aging, so we are calling on philanthropists, relevant bodies, well placed individuals to come to our aid.
In his statement, Superintendent of the church, Rev. Friday Nkok, called on the media to create optimum awareness on the issue and also solicited for assistance for the renovation of the project.
“Since the incident took place, activities in the church have been disrupted. Our financial capability is a hindrance. We can’t execute the task of renovation on our own. We’ve reported to the national leadership of our church but we also need assistance from government.
In their separate statements, Elder David Jack, Mr. Mboroh Mboroh and Deaconess Mercy John equally pleaded with relevant bodies to assist in the task of renovating the edifice.
When contacted, the Area Superintendent/ Chairman, Ikot Akpan Anwa Area Conference of Qua Iboe Church, Rev. NseAbasi Anako, stated that having received the news of the mishap, he went to the site to ascertain the level of damage done.
He said though the mishap is unfortunate, he is glad that no human life was lost, adding that the church will remain committed in the task of rectifying the damage caused by the incident.