The presiding pastor of House on the Rock Abuja, Pastor Uche Aigbe, has tendered an unreserved apology to his congregation and the entire Nigerians for mounting the pulpit with an unloaded AK-47.
A remorseful Aigbe, in a video posted on the church’s social media page on Tuesday, showed the pastor in last Sunday’s service saying he was disappointed in himself for not considering the consequences of bringing the firearm to illustrate a passage in the Scripture before taking the decision.
Recall how the preacher caused a stir when he mounted the pulpit with the rifle to address the congregation on ‘Guarding the Faith.’
The viral video clip of him brandishing an AK-47 on the altar generated mixed reactions from Nigerians, with some people calling for his arrest by security agencies.
Following the tension created by the viral clip on social media, the church released a statement, saying the minister had always shown exemplary leadership since he became a pastor in 1999.
While explaining that the minister was trying to illustrate his message through the action, the church, however, faulted his use of the gun.
While the drama was ongoing, Aigbe was invited for questioning and subsequently detained by police authorities in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The command also confirmed the arrest of the Chief Security Officer of the church, Inspector Musa Audu, who it identified as the owner of the AK-47.
But Aigbe addressed his congregation midway through the Sunday Service that the traumatic experience he had in the last one week had given him a lot of concerns.
While apologising for the embarrassment his action had caused the church, he admitted guilt for not giving his decision to mount the pulpit with a firearm a second thought.
He said, “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.
“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.”
While appreciating his family and the leadership of the church for the moral, physical and spiritual support he received since his trial started, the presiding pastor suddenly announced that he would be withdrawing from his pastoral assignments to reflect over the events of the past week and for healing.
According to him, the decision was taken after due consultation with the church leadership.
Aigbe also used the opportunity to pray for a peaceful and violence-free election.
“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. 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,” he urged.
After he finished, the entire congregation rose clapping and applauding him.
Many walked up to pat and hug him, while reassuring him that the storm is over.
There were also reactions on the church social media handle where some followers hailed his courage and his mind-blowing apology.
Tony Atambi exclaimed, “Great to see you again, Dear Pastor!!!” while another social media user, Omiete Alalibo, wrote “Pastor Uche, the Lord will continue to stand for you. Every plan of the enemy will be turned around for good.”
Another follower, Ogunniyi Oluseye Oreofe, stated that “God has turned it around for our Good.”
A barrister, Sheyilami Longe, said, “It is well with you my pastor.”
On his own part, Nanman wrote, “God is good to us through every season of our lives and he is with you Pastor Uche, your family and every member of House On The Rock.