(NAN) – Pastor Ishaya Izang of COCIN Church, Tilde-Fulani, Toro Local Government, Bauchi State, has described as “very shameful and embarrassing’’, an alleged attempt by some members to bomb the Church.
The members, who allegedly attempted to bomb the Church using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), on Sunday, were arrested by the police.
Mr. Izang told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at Miya-Barkatai village that five of the eight persons arrested in respect of the bomb were indeed members of the Church.
“There are three branches of the COCIN in the area and we have had disagreements over where we shall be holding our communion service after the main regional Church Congregation was burnt in the wake of the post-election violence last April.
“We have been holding discussions and thought we were on the verge of resolving the dispute without knowing that some aggrieved members were planning such evil.
“Each time I think about it, I feel sad, embarrassed and disappointed that such a thing could come from my members. It is indeed very shameful and I feel discouraged.’’
Explaining further, he said that after CC1 was burnt, the three Churches in the area resolved to select the Miya-Barkatai Church Congregation (CC) as the interim regional headquarters.
According to him, after sometime, some members from the burnt Church felt that the interim headquarters was too far, and insisted on a return to the burnt Church even though it had not been rebuilt.
But other members also argued that there was a need to continue at the interim place until the burnt Church was rehabilitated.
Izang said that the stiff opposition to the new place that allegedly led to the attempt to bomb it was spearheaded by some disgruntled members, whom he said had been under Church discipline over various offences.
“One of the suspects was under discipline for marrying two wives, others had committed other offences.’’
He said that the regional headquarters matter was being discussed on Sunday morning, when the suspects turned violent, forcing an official to rush to invite the police, who conducted a search on the suspects and discovered the IEDs.
“We called the police because a member whispered to us that one of the suspects was carrying a knife. We did not know that they were in possession of more deadly items.’’
On why the matter was not reported to the COCIN headquarters, making the COCIN president Rev. Soja Bewarang, to deny the existence of such a disagreement, Izang said that the headquarters had not been informed because he, as a Pastor of a local Church, had no direct access to the headquarters.
“There is a long bureaucratic process before reaching the headquarters.
“From the local Church Council here, we can only move to the Regional Church Council, which will have to report to the Provincial Church Council and thereon to the General Church Council who have the powers to reach the headquarters.
“So, you can see that it was impossible for the President to know because we were working toward resolving the dispute locally.’’
He expressed the opinion that some outsiders must have taken advantage of the feud to sponsor some of the members to attack the Church with such deadly devices.
“In spite of this shameful incident, I will call on my members to fear God and abhor evil. We must re-commit and re-dedicate ourselves to serving God with all our hearts so that we can always overcome evil.’’