Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday led the nation’s former leaders and other top government officials to attend an interdenominational church service in commemoration of Nigeria’s 57 years of independence.
The service which was held at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja was also attended by former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.); former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
The service had “National Unity in the Bond of Peace and Love” as its theme.
The service first bible reading was read by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, from Ephesians 4:1-16 while Dogara read the second bible reading from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.
Osinbajo assured the worshippers that Nigeria would overcome its challenges.
He said as the salt of the earth, Christians were to teach the nation about righteousness, peace and national unity.
In doing this, he said they must first be uniting the body of Christ.
“This is the responsibility of all who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our nation is at a point where we should teach the people the virtues of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.
Osinbajo prayed that the nation would blossom and overcome its challenges and that the glory of the former days would be nothing to be compared to the glory of the latter days.
“This nation will be joyful and prosperous,” he declared.
Gowon, who spoke on behalf of other former Nigerian leaders, urged Nigerians to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country, describing the gesture as their greatest responsibility.
The representative of the Senate President, Senator Sola Adeyeye, attributed the nation’s woes to the fact that many people seek the glory of men and not that of God.
“Do not fear, for Nigeria has fought for its unity and that unity will remain,” the senator said.
In his message, titled, “Godly leadership,” Rev. Aminu Turaki of TEKAN/ECWA, called for an urgent national conference to address the calls for restructuring.
He said wisdom, strength and riches without God had been the bane of leadership in the country.
Turaki appealed to Nigerians to go beyond attacking one another.
Prayers were said for Nigeria’s, security and economic challenges facing the nation.
Prayers were also said for President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo and others in the Federal Executive Council, the legislature and judiciary both at national and state levels, governors, deputy governors and others.