Leaders of Pastor Chris Oyakhilome’s Christ Embassy Church in Ghana were over the weekend invited by the police in Accra to help in ongoing investigations into why the church broke the COVID-19 safety protocols when it organized a non-mask wearing and no-social distancing service attended by tens of thousands of persons in an enclosed auditorium on Friday night.
The service was held at the Fantasy Dome, Trade Fair Centre in Accra and as part of the investigations, the Ghana Police Service has locked up the venue to prevent the managers of the facility from renting it out to other persons who may repeat a similar event there.
Managers of the Fantasy Dome are also said to have been invited by the police for questioning.
A statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent of Police Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, said persons found culpable would be made to face the law.
The statement said the Police is investigating alleged gathering by the youth of the Christ Embassy Church at the Fantasy Dome, Trade Fair Centre Accra on Friday, April 30, 2021 in flagrant disregard of COVID-19 protocols. Trending videos of the alleged gathering, dubbed “Pneumatic Night” shows a non mask wearing mass crowd, screaming, chanting and dancing to the “evangelism” of non mask wearing leaders; putting the entire country at risk of spreading COVID-19.
“The Police did not provide security for the said event. In fact, the organizers did not give notice of the event to any Police Officer or Station. The event, advertised as a Church Service which ordinarily did not require notice under the Public Order Act, was organized at the blind side of the Police. Police have since Sunday morning locked up the Fantasy Dome and have started questioning leaders of the Church and Management of the Fantasy Dome about the event. Any person found culpable will be arrested and duly prosecuted”, the police statement added.
On the same subject matter, OccupyGhana, a social and political non-partisan pressure group has expressed shock at the Christ Embassy event that was dubbed ‘Pneumatica Night 2021’.
OccupyGhana in a statement said: “We are not opposed to the holding of religious events. But we need no reminders that the dangerous and murderous COVID-19 is still present and active with us. That is why the government has imposed protocols by law, which demands compliance, even by churches; and our local churches have largely been exemplar in this regard. On the contrary, we are seeing the colossal human disaster that is unfolding in India, caused largely by unrestrained political activities and religious events that did not respect COVID-19 protocols.
“That is why we are shocked that the authorities could either actively or negligently allow this event to be held in Accra, especially by a religious organisation whose leader actively denies the virus and preaches against the protocols.
“The government must answer to Ghanaians whether or not this event was held on its blind side, and if so, how that was possible? Was the police present at the event, and if so, why? Were government officials invited and were they present? Were the venue owners present, and did they take any steps to prevent or stop this?
“While the authorities investigate this matter, we call on the government to immediately stop any further meetings and apply the law on COVID-19 protocols to the organisers of this event to the fullest extent possible.
“The key lesson from COVID is this: If you pile thousands of people together, maskless, COVID spreads! We all should have learnt that by now! Even more, studies have shown that air-conditioners may help spread the virus.
“We hope that the authorities have learned the painful lesson on how the ‘kids-glove’ treatment of Aisha Huang all but killed the fight against Galamsey, that the way the government treats such a flagrant breach of our laws will tell Ghanaians how serious we are about this fight.”