The Church Remains Key to Nigeria’s Progress – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the Church remains key to the progress and development of Nigeria.
Professor Osinbajo said this while speaking at the Greater Nigeria Pastors Conference held at the 10 Degrees Event Center, Ikeja, Lagos last Friday.
According to him, “We need a new tribe, a tribe of men and women of all faiths tribes and ethnicities committed to a country ran on the highest values of integrity, hard work, justice and love of country. A tribe of men and women who are prepared to make the sacrifices and self-constraints that are crucial to building a strong society, who are prepared to fight corruption side by side, and insist on justice even when our own friends are on the receiving end.”
The initiative, convened by Rev. Abayomi Kasali of the Fountain of Truth Assembly, FOTA, had in attendance pastors and Christian leaders from diverse denominations. Speaking alongside His Excellency Prof. Osinbajo were Bishop Mike Okonkwo, Prsiding Bishop, TREM Worldwide and Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, Director General, Institute of National Transformation.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also said the major bane of development in Nigeria is corruption. According to him, not the one perpetrated by politicians alone, but also in collaboration with the elite and religious leaders.
“It is my view that the Nigerian elite, religious leaders and politicians think alike when it comes to corruption and they were always very selfish, playing religious and ethnic cards when it pleases them,” he said.
He added, “Our elite and politicians are united when it comes to corruption. I have never seen a situation where an Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa and other tribes joined hands to steal money and argued about it.”
The vice president, therefore, said to build a new nation, there is the need to raise men and women of integrity.
While expressing confidence that Nigeria would take a new turn in the next few years, Osinbajo challenged the leadership of the church to eschew religious and ethnic sentiments in their approach to the issue of Nigeria.
“Why can’t we have Christian agenda based on the principle of the Bible, as the Lord Jesus Christ teaches?” he wondered.
“The church must begin the process of uniting Nigeria by uniting itself. What Nigeria needs to survive are already contained in the Bible. We cannot practise two gospels. The reason the country is what it is today is because we (Christians) care to practise what the Bible teaches.”
He also charged church leaders to henceforth begging to speak for the sanctity of human lives and not necessarily emphasising that religious extremists were killing Christians or southerners.