The Apostolic Church Denies Suspending Pastor over Opposition Party in A’Ibom

Okon Bassey in Uyo

The Apostolic Church Nigeria (CAN), Eket Field, Akwa Ibom State, has reacted to purported suspension of one Pastor E. E. Henshaw by the Church Council for hosting members and candidates of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the state on a thanksgiving service.

The Field Secretary, Church Council of the ACN Eket Field, Pastor B. E. Okon, in a statement said that such action could cause rancor in polity.

Henshaw, who is pastoring the Apostolic Church, Ndoneyo District in Onna Local Government Area of the state, was purportedly suspended by the church council. 

But refuting the report, Okon stressed that only the church council has the exclusive authority to sanction staff of the church.

He said: “Available information from the Office of the Field Superintendent, Pastor U. S. Ukpong shows that the church council which has the exclusive authority to sanction erring staff of the Church has not met since their last General Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

“On this note, there is no way the said Pastor E. E. Henshaw could have been suspended on an issue that occurred on Sunday, October 2, 2022.

“On behalf of the church council, we refute any information fed to the public on the suspension of Pastor E. E. Henshaw as falsehood, misleading and scandalous with the sole aim of causing rancor in the polity.

“To this end, the public is hereby advised to disregard and discountenance the said information as there is no iota of truth in it.” 

Meanwhile, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has warned opposition parties to stop telling lies as campaign for the 2023 has commenced. 

The State Publicity Secretary of PDP, MR. Borono Bassey, in a statement made available to journalists in Uyo said that the claim that a certain church in Onna was sealed on the orders of the state government was totally false and untrue.

The PDP reasoned that since Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, is not a clergy or member of any of the churches mentioned, he couldn’t have directed the suspension of a priest.

It said that if not for the wisdom of Akwa Ibom people who rose in unity to pick holes in the false report, the expected beneficiaries would have turned a hallowed place of worship, The Apostolic Church Nigeria, into their first casualty in the series of things they plan to destroy in their journey of seeking elusive political offices.

“For a governor who is making enviable, exemplary and applaudable efforts in delivering on the promises he made to Akwa Ibom people as encapsulated in his Completion Agenda, we will, in concert with millions of Akwa Ibom people, beginning from now, push back all forms of smear campaigns on Governor Emmanuel and other members of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State.

“We expect candidates of the opposition parties to steer the path of decency and concern themselves with issues throughout this electioneering period. With the new electoral act, this is not just morality, but the law.

“The PDP in Akwa Ibom State is confident that as it has been the tradition of Akwa Ibom people, they will together, in unison, tell off, those who seek to sow seeds of division amongst us through their selfish aspiration.

“They will also maintain a patriotic distance from candidates who in the bid to curry public sympathy degenerate to outright falsehood and traffic in painting the state in dark colours.

“Akwa Ibom has been on a journey of progress with the PDP. With the trusted, unfailing support and consent of the people, we will continue on that journey,” the statement said.

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