– Osinbajo, Onaiyekan, Others Hail African Church ReunificationTHISDAYLIVE – THISDAY Newspapers
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, hailed the African Church for resolving the crisis that polarised the church and for its 120 anniversary.
Osinbajo spoke at a unification service attended by leaders of the church, among who were the Primate of African Church, Emmanuel Udofia, and the Lay President, Babatunde Odufuwa.
The service, which held at the African Church Cathedral Bethel in Lagos, attracted Christian leaders across denominations, among whom were The Catholic Archbishop (Emeritus) of Abuja, Nigeria, His Eminence, John Olorunfemi Cardinal Onaiyekan, who preached the sermon; the President, Christian Council of Nigeria, Most Rev Fubara Benebo; and Most Rev. Matthew Kukah, who delivered the anniversary lecture.
Osinbajo identified unity, peace and harmony as key to promoting growth in church in particular and the nation, at large.
The Vice President, represented by the Chairman of the Nigerian Pilgrims Commission and Senior Pastor, Foundation of Truth Assembly, Yomi Kasali, said, Nigerians, regardless of their diversity, must embrace peaceful coexistence.
On the anniversary, Osinbajo commended African Church leaders, saying, “I commend and congratulate the leadership of African church for this landmark feat. As the church celebrates its 120 years in existence, it is imperative to note that unity, peace and harmony is key to growth and development of the body of Christ.
“Today, our nation will learn lesson of unity and peaceful coexistence from the African church,” Osinbajo added.
Onaiyekan, in his sermon, extolled African Church for ending the internal crisis and celebrating peace and love.
He said, “Unity, reconciliation and peace are the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire the body of Christ. Churches must collaborate towards promoting unity, peace and reconciliation for growth in the body of Christ.”
Also, the President, Christian Council of Nigeria, Most Rev Fubara Benebo, urged churches to wake up in pursuit of justice and righteousness, adding, “It takes God’s people to move the church forward on the path of peace.”
Kukah, in his anniversary lecture, said it was imperative for Christians to pray for national redemption, stressing the need for Christians to unite in peace and caring for one another.
He spoke on the theme, ‘The role of the church in the face of insecurity in the nation’ and urged Christians to show interest in the plights of fellow Christians, especially as they face insecurity.
The Prelate, Udofia, in an interview with journalists, expressed delight over the unification, saying, “It is the responsibility of the church to ensure peace and unity revolve around the nation for growth and development.”
Similarly, the Lay President, Odufuwa, expressed delight.
He said: “There is strength in unity and we can achieve more united. Disagreement can come up, yes, we disagree to agree but all should be committed to promotion of the body of Christ. I am happy for the unification of the African church today.”