The Police in Akwa Ibom State on Monday said they closed the Quo Iboe Church on No.112 Ikot Ekpene Road on Sunday to prevent further clash among its members.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Zaki Ahmed, said this while speaking with journalists on Monday in Uyo, the state capital.
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, is a member and a deacon of Qua Iboe.
Ahmed said there was clash among the worshippers on Sunday in which many worshippers sustained injuries.
He also said the police closed the Church when information reached them that one of the factions in the dispute was coming to ferment trouble that might result in breakdown of law and order.
An Aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel, who pleaded for anonymity, had confirmed the closure of the Church.
He said: “Yes, I saw something like that this morning when I was passing along Ikot-Ekpene road.
“I saw the police gathered in about three vans and worshippers in large numbers, he said.
It was gathered that the police came to the church premises of the church at about 6 a.m. and barricaded the entrance, thus preventing worshippers from entry.
The 131-year-old church split into two factions in Nigeria about 17 years ago when some members, uncomfortable with the name Qua Iboe, pushed for a change of name to United Evangelical Church.
Some of the church’s branches across the country have embraced the new name, while others, mostly in Akwa Ibom, have stoutly rejected it because of a special affinity with the name Qua Iboe.