THE Reigners Bible Church International ignored ‘stop work’ warning from the Uyo Capital City Development Authority, UCCDA, and went ahead to erect the edifice, it was learnt yesterday.
The UCCDA was established by the Akwa Ibom State Edict 13 of 1988 and is vested with the responsibility of managing land within the capital city, designate sites for government and other projects, undertake public sensitisation, and organise stakeholders meetings, enforcement of and demolition of illegal structures, among others.
A source at UCCDA, who preferred anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the church building was marked “Stop work” by men of UCCDA at foundation level sometimes in 2013.
He explained that the founder was asked to bring his building plan, structural design, environmental impact assessment EIA), and other relevant documents relating to the building for assessment, professional advice, supervision & approval, and was required to pay necessary levies to UCCDA on behalf of govt, and other regulatory body like the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), but he refused.
According to him, in 2014, men of UCCDA visited the site again with the ‘stop work’ order and requested the church to bring its drawing plan for assessment/approval given the topography of the land the church sits on, but Reigners Bible Church International ignored the order.
He said: “On 16th July 2014, UCCDA marked the place again, but the church building committee, and contractors, out of impunity and pride went ahead to construct the church, accusing the agency of fighting God. Pastor Akan Weeks used his connection in government to suppress UCCDA, and went ahead to raise such magnificent edifice without approval from UCCDA and other relevant agencies.”
In a statement by the Reigners Bible Church International and signed by its Area Pastor, Anietie Daniel, the church said: God will wipe away every tear from their eyes-Revelation 21:4.
The statement said: “On behalf of the entire family of Reigners Bible Church International, we share in the agony, pain and anguish of the injured, traumatized and deceased worshippers and guests as a result of the unfortunate collapse of the roof structure during the aborted Bishopric Enthronement Service of our General Overseer; Apostle Akan Weeks on Saturday 10th December at about 1130hours
“Following the mishap, the Apostle was NOT Consecrated at any location as widely reported. The Bishopric Enthronement was NEVER held at the church or anywhere else.
“The Church is reaching out to the afflicted in various hospitals to hold hands, pray and identify with them in this painful and sorrowful moment in the Body of Christ. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes-Revelation 21:4
“We Bless God for the demonstration of leadership and love by His Excellency, Our Governor, Government Officials, Medical Practitioners and Law Enforcement Officers. Also various individuals who have donated blood and relief materials, the Churches and brethren who are praying for and with us at this period of tribulation…Isaiah 43:2
“Our hearts go out to the families of the afflicted even as we pray for the repose of lost souls, divine direction and comfort. Isaiah 40:1″Comfort,yes, Comfort my people, says your God”
“God will Comfort us all and keep this City, State and Nation from danger and destruction in Jesus Mighty name.”