Christian Associations in Akwa Ibom State have been charged to close ranks and work together for the collective growth of the Christendom and the larger society.
The state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, made the call at a thanksgiving service for the newly elected Chairman, Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Ndueso Ekwere, at the United Evangelical Church (Founded As Qua Iboe Church), Ikot Ekpene Udo, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
He advised both the leadership of Pentecostal churches and orthodox Christian denominations not to allow other interests to becloud their identity as members of one fold and emphasised the need for them to eschew all forms of divisiveness and bitterness, noting that this would single them out as true Christians.
Governor Emmanuel who decried incessant propagation of falsehood in the christiandom noted that the trend has pemeated the fabrics of the society thereby depleting the core values in which the Akwa Ibom person was known for, pointing out that it behove on the Christian body to work for the restoration of core values among members of the society.
He enjoined the leadership of Qua Iboe Church to harmonise with that of United Evangelical Church and sugested that the link in the latter’s name should be rephrased to “Also known As ” instead of “Founded As “saying that God will use the present leadership of CAN to get the Church to return to it statusquo and expressed his administration’s preparedness to partner christian denominations in it drive to create a virile society.
On the dilapidated state of Akwa Ibom – Cross River State Highway, Governor Emmanuel explained that he has carried out feasibility study on the road and presented same to the Federal Government requesting for private sector participation in it reconstruction as it is done in civilised clime and that he is awaiting approval for the take off of the project.
He said he has laid foundation for greater Akwa Ibom and sued for patience from the people saying ” we cannot get to the promise land without going through the wilderness” and expressed optimism that the present economic recession would give way to abundance.
Governor Emmanuel congratulated Reverend Ekwere on his emergence as State Chairman, Christian Association Of Nigeria and enjoined him to partner the administration to ensure the sustenance of relative peace inherent in the state.
Preaching on the theme “The Glorious Hand Of God ” Bishop Emmanuel Udofia of the Methodist Church Nigeria, who culled his sermon from the Book of Ezra Chapter 7 verses 6 through 9, called on all to lend a helping hand to leaders of religious organisations to enable them succeed in their task of building the right temple for spiritual rejuvination.
Bishop Udofia advised the new leadership of CAN against converting the Association to a bureau of government, guard against factions, be ready to make sacrifices and to concentrate on spiritual matters so as to make the Association a spiritual foundation for all to acknowledge the supremacy of God.
The Cleric recalled the historic strides of Ezra – a Jewish immigrant who worked for the restoration of Jewish identify as well as rebuilding of Jerusalem and advised Reverend Ekwere to learn from the experience and apply same to his new office.
The celebrator, Reverend Ndueso Ekwere, recounted that from an ordinary Sunday School teacher, he has traverse the length and breath of the church hierachy as a chorister, elder, Pastor, Secretary and now State chairman of the christian body.
He expressed appreciation to God for his benevolence on him and his family and attributed his emergence as CAN chairman, in a keenly contested election, to the work of God couple with the all – round support he enjoyed from christians across the state.
Reverend Ekwere acknowledged that the thanksgiving service has co-incided with his 60th
Birthday anniversary and promised to key- into the vision of the present administration to make the state a haven for all to live and particularly appeal to all blocks and Unit Leaders to put behind all interest and work for the progress of the Association.
The thanksgiving service which featured song rendition by Uyo Area Conference of the Women Fellowship, climaxed with the presentation of Joshua Of This Generation Award to Governor Udom Emmanuel and donation of wrappers courtesy of the wife of the CAN chairman, Deconess Ekaette, to all widows in the Church.
Ambassador of Community Policing Award was presented to Reverend Ekwere by Consultant to Inspector General of Police in Community Policing, Chief Jomi Charles, while Governor Udom Emmanuel donated one hundred thousand naira to every widow in the church and a new car to the State CAN chairman.
Religious leaders including Prelate Emeritus Sunday Mbang, Bishop Imoh Otong, Professor Issiah Isong, Pastor Umoh Eno, Dr Patrick Jerom, Chief Judge of the State Justice Stephen Okon, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon Onofiok Luke, Distinguished Senator Anietie Okon, Members of the State Executive Council, Political Stakeholders and people of the area, graced the occasion.