VICE President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, stated that the church in Nigeria holds the key to the unity and progress of the country, just as he bemoaned the failure of Christian leadership to take its rightful place.
Osibanjo, who stated this during the dedication and commissioning of the 10,000 capacity ecumenical centre in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, also fingered corruption and ethnicity as the bane of the country’s progress.
Represented by the chaplain of Aso Rock Villa Chapel, Pastor Seyi Malomo, Osinbajo said what the country needs now was a new tribe of men and women of all faith and a new thinking based on high values of integrity, hardwork, justice and love for the country.
His words: “We stand on the threshold of perhaps the most significant moment in the history of Nigeria. It is a time of economic challenges, ethnic and religious tensions. It is a time to build, it is a time we have the greatest opportunity to build and become not just Africa’s largest economy by GDP, but also the most efficient and most productive.
“The most important problem is the failure of the Christian leadership to take our rightful place. The truth of the matter is that the key to the unity and progress of Nigeria is in the church.
“To build a new Nigeria we need a new tribe of men and women of all faith, tribe and ethnicity run on high values of integrity, hard work, justice and love for the country.
“This requires a new way of thinking, a new leadership call, a new tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self restraint that are crucial to building a strong society who are prepared to stick together and fight corruption side by side.”
The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, who led other clergy including the immediate past national President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oristejafor, to officially dedicate the edfice, commended Governor Seriake Dickson for building a house for God, and declared the building a place of miracle and refuge for all.
Governor Seriake Dickson, who had earlier inaugurated a management board for the ecumenical centre, described it as an interdenominational worship centre for all Christian faiths in the state, and urged the board to preserve and hand it over to future generations.
American gospel artiste, Ron Kenoly and other local gospel artistes performed at the occasion which also witnessed intercessory prayers for the state and country.