By Biodun Busari
The presiding pastor of House on the Rock Church, in Abuja, Pastor Uche Aigbe, has tendered an unreserved apology to his congregation and the Nigerian people for mounting the pulpit with an AK-47 rifle.
Pastor Aigbe also announced his withdrawal from all pastoral assignments, noting he would use the time to reflect on the happenings that trailed his action.
Vanguard had reported last week how Aigbe brandished an AK-47 rifle in the church, which caused a stir among the congregation, during the sermon.
The police detained the pastor for questioning after the incident, and it was learnt that the gun, which was brought to the pulpit was used for an illustration not loaded.
Vanguard also learnt that the Chief Security Officer of the church, Inspector Musa Audu, identified as the owner of the AK-47 was interrogated.
Aigbe apologised during the service on Sunday, noting he was disappointed for his action, and that he did not have a second thought on the consequences of the action.
“This morning, I stand before you with a deep sense of sobriety and contrition as I humbly address the event of last Sunday at the second service which most of us were a part of, where I used an unloaded firearm to illustrate some texts from the Bible regarding the good fight of faith,” Aigbe said.
“Of course, like you all know, it has caused a lot of embarrassment and pain to the entire church family, to you House on the Rock (The Refuge), to my immediate family and, of course, to myself.
“The decision that I made to use that firearm was not thoughtful. It has left me disappointed in myself. My action has been very traumatic for me, my family and, I am sure, for many of us. And I trust that we will never ever experience such again.”
Aigbe, then, declared that he would withdraw from his pastoral tasks to reflect over the events of the past week.
As he appreciated the leadership of the church and his family, he also prayed for Nigeria to experience peaceful moments during the 2023 general elections.
“I want to thank you all for your prayers, love, empathy, goodwill messages and emotional support during this traumatic period. As Christians, time is of such trial that I have presently experienced, learning opportunities to grow in grace,” he said.
“I appreciate the love of our Heavenly Father who never leaves us nor forsakes us. He has promised us that no matter what happens, He will always be with us.
“To this end, I have consulted as necessary and with acceptable guidance from the senior leadership of the church. And I would like to humbly ask for your permission to take some time to pray, meditate, reflect and also to heal from all of the things that happened and its consequence. Notwithstanding, I will always be in church on Sundays and Wednesdays to worship with you.
“Let me say that I bear no grudge against anybody in my heart. If I have offended you, please forgive me. God is God and He will always remain our Father.
“So, let’s remain resolute in our faith and trust in God. Let’s continue to labour in the house and not allow the enemies to deter us in any way. I also believe God for a peaceful election on Saturday and the weeks after that.”
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