By Patience Danjuma
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday said that Nigeria will overcome all challenges facing it.
According to him, Nigeria will be prosperous in the coming years.
Osinbajo spoke at the 2017 Independence Day Interdenominational Church Service at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The service was themed “National Unity in the Bond of Peace and Love.”
The Vice President said the greatest commandment in the scripture is “love the Lord your God with all your strength and love your neigbour as yourself.”
He also reminded the congregation that the Bible also encourages us to love our enemies.
To those who sought revenge, Osinbajo reminded them that the Lord says vengeance is His.
“I was very inspired by the words spoken by Professor Turaki a few minutes ago very challenging words that he spoke and I think that in some senses it led to the question who does God hold responsible for the destiny of nations. There is a people of whom Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, a people who are charged with sweet name but bitterness of hate of selfishness and pride.
“There is a people described by scripture in 1st Peter 2:9 and the words of the scripture says but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness and to his marvelous light.
“It is this same people whom Jesus Christ empowered and commandedth in the following words, he said all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth and to these people he said go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the father and of the son and holy spirit.
“Teaching to observe all the things that I have commandeth you and low am with you always until the end of the world.
“It is this same people that God has commandeth to teach the world all that he has commandeth the greatest of those commandment is love the lord your God with all your strength and love your neigbour as yourself.
“Our nation is at a point where we should teach the people the virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Osinbajo prayed that the nation will blossom and overcome challenges and that the glory of the former days will be nothing to be compared to the glory of the latter days.
He declared that the nation will be joyful and prosperous.
Speaking during the service, former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, said that Nigeria’s unity has already been fought for.
He said, “Continue to pray for the peace and unity of Nigeria. Do not fear, Nigeria has fought for its unity and the unity will continue with your prayer.”
As soon as Gowon finished his remarks, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan, who came with him to the podium to make their own remarks, immediately shouted “We concur.” and left the stage with him.
Delivering the message, Rev. Prof. Aminu Turaki (TEKAN/ECWA) called on the Federal Government to urgently convene a National Conference to resolve the divisive challenges facing the nation.
He titled his message as “Godly Leadership” and cited Jeremiah 9: 23-24, Isaiah 11: 1-5.
While appealing to all Nigerians to stop attacking one another either because of religious or ethnic differences, he called on them to embrace values that unite the nation and resist divisive tendencies.
Stressing that God holds all leaders accountable to the ordinary people, he said that Godliness is the moral character of God.
“Having power over the people are not good enough, the leaders must be rooted in Godly character.” he said
Noting that the Book of Jeremiah in the Holy Bible described the soul of Nigeria, he said that selfishness and lack of knowing God are among the factors responsible for the challenges facing Nigeria.
He said “Too much religion without ethics is useless. Religion without ethics and morality is dead.”
Stressing that immorality and violence is everywhere in the world, he said that the Nigerian society is in dire need of prophets that preache peace and not violence.
Scripture reading I was taken from Ephesians 4:1-16 by Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen
The Scripture reading II was taken by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, from 1st Corinthians 13: 1-13.
Beside the prayer of thanksgiving, intercessory prayers were also offered for the Nigerian nation, Security and economic challenges, the Nigerian Leadership.
Other intercessory prayers were for political stability, Nigerian families, peace and development in the country and the unity of the Church.
There was also praises and worship by Hallelujah Nigeria 400hours Praise Team and special song by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Mass Choir.
Others dignitaries and clergies at the service were the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, the Wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, was represented by Prof. Olusola Adeyeye.
Also at the service were the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, Nicholas Okoh, Bishop Peter Ogunmuyiwa and top government officials and security personnel.
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