The Abuja Pastor, Uche Aigbe of House on the Rock Church, who carried an AK47 rifle to the pulpit has apologised and explained that he merely used the firearm as a prop to illustrate a message.
The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had Monday arrested the pastor with the House on the Rock Cathedral and two others over unlawful possession of a firearm in Abuja.
DSP Josephine Adeh,Police Public Relations Officer in the FCT, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
She said the pastor, whose message and demonstrations were tagged as inciting in the media and on social media, was arrested in the early hours of Monday.
Adeh said the pastor was arrested alongside the church’s Chief Security Officer and one police Inspector, who was on duty on the said day.
She said the inspector had unprofessionally released his rifle to the pastor without permission or recourse to police authorities.
Adeh said, “The FCT Police Command on the heels of intelligence arrested one pastor, Uche Aigbe, of House on the Rock cathedral, Abuja, and two others.
“The pastor, whose message and demonstrations were tagged inciting by various media and social media users, was arrested in the early hours of Monday, February 13, 2023, alongside the church’s Chief Security Officer and one Inspector Musa Audu, who was on duty on the said day and had unprofessionally released his rifle to the said pastor without permission or recourse to police authority.
“While the discreet investigation has commenced, members of the public are urged to shun actions or utterances that are in breach of extant laws as the law is trite and all violators will be adequately sanctioned.”
Aigbe caused a stir when he mounted the pulpit with an AK47 rifle and addressed the congregation saying that he was ready for the people looking for his trouble.
“Today, there are some pastors with the gift of divination, who go about ripping people. This is why we should carry our guns and defend ourselves. I will particularly be coming for some of you sleeping in the church,” he said.
Aigbe’s remark triggered laughter among the entire congregation even as he urged them to guard their heart against false teachers.
The pastor’s action which was captured and shared in a video clip that was released on social media platforms.
The church has however released a statement Monday evening conveying the apologies of the Pastor for the unsavoury development. The statement said Aigbe had always shown exemplary leadership since he became the pastor of the church in 1999.
The Pastor, the church said, was only trying to illustrate the message through his action, the church, however, said the gun was not loaded, adding that it did not support any form of violence.
The church noted that it would cooperate with the authorities throughout the investigation into the matter.
The statement read in part, “Without hesitation, pastor Uche has acknowledged the gravity of his actions and apologised unreservedly for them.
“As a church, House on the Rock rejects all forms of violence and we stand in the good news gospel of Jesus Christ which embraces peace and goodwill for all mankind.
“We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they carry out their investigations into the incident, and we will continue to engage internally to ensure this break in protocol does not happen again.”