- Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the federal government will no longer fold its arms while miscreants create religious tensions across Nigeria
- Osinbajo describes killings in worship centres as the height of wickedness
- He reveals the return of Jesus Christ is even closer than it was believed in the past
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that the federal government will not allow miscreants to stoke up a religious conflict by making it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel or even for Muslims to worship in their mosques.
A statement by Laolu Akande, his spokesperson, said Osinbajo stated this at the inauguration of the headquarters building and auditorium of the Deeper Life Bible Church in Gbagada, Lagos on Tuesday, April 24.
“It is not only a heinous sacrilege but high wickedness to kill persons in a place of worship. It is evident that the devil’s bigger agenda is to stoke up a religious conflict in Nigeria, one such as will make it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel or even for Muslims to worship in their mosques,” Osinbajo said.
Looking at examples of the recent attacks on worship places in Borno and Benue states, Prof Osinbajo said the federal government was working on arresting the situation and urged all Nigerians to be calm and remain focused on the teachings of their faith.
“While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of these evil acts, we all must not lose focus,” he said.
Concerning the church headquarters, Osinbajo said the opening of the building was one of the proudest moments for him as a Christian, seeing the great edifice being dedicated for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the disciplining of the saints.
Read the full statement below:
In the surroundings of this edifice in this neighbourhood, are investments in the community, a connecting bridge, street lights and greatly improved access roads. Because we know the Deeper Life Bible Church and we know of its commitment to the full gospel of Jesus Christ, we know that the motivation for this is to honour Jesus Christ and glorify His name in this land.
There is no question at all, for those of us who have watched how this church has grown, for those of us who lived in this neighbourhood at one point in time, saw what was here before, that the ‘glory of this latter temple is greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And we declare in the words of scripture that in this place the Lord of hosts will give peace’.
But there is another reason why the dedication of this sanctuary is at an exceptional moment in the history of the church of Jesus Christ in Nigeria and the world.
We are in the end times. Indeed the time of his return is closer than when we first believed. The immediate implication is that there must be an urgency in the fulfilment of the great commission. We must work harder to obey the command and commission in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded.”
As we work and recognise that we must work to meet with this commission, we must accept that there will be resistance, the devil is even more desperate and devious as the end comes nearer. So, what are some of the resistance we see? First, there is a resistance to the building of churches, there are specific cases of places where specific allegations have been made of valid applications to build churches have been refused.
The president has mandated that I take up those cases with the specific state and local authorities, the right to freedom of worship is also the right to build places of worship.
Second is the physical persecution of Christians; a phenomenon we have seen for years. Just this morning on my way here, I was notified the violation of a catholic church in Benue state by armed killers who went in while a burial mass was taking place and they killed a priest and some worshippers.
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It is not only a heinous sacrilege, but high wickedness to kill persons in a place of worship. As I discussed these issues with the president and other ministers in the Security Council, it is evident to me and to many, that the devil’s bigger agenda is to stoke up a religious conflict in Nigeria, one that will make it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel or even for Muslims to worship in their mosques. A few days ago in Bama, a mosque was bombed and many died. Many such examples abound.
While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of these evil acts and to bring a permanent end to all of the killings going on in the name of herdsmen, Boko Haram, or in any other name, we as a body of Christ must not lose focus.
The enemy wants us to stand on our pulpits and preach hate, we will not.
Addressing the congregation, the general superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor Wlliams Kumuyi, thanked Osinbajo for finding time to witness the official commissioning of the new auditorium, which he described as historical concerning the journey of the church towards evangelizing the world.
Pastor Kumuyi recalled the modest beginning of the church, which he said has remained true to the propagation of the message of love embodied in the life of Jesus Christ on earth.
He promised that the new auditorium would be a pilgrimage centre for spiritual development designed to emancipate the society from the shackles of sin.
He also called on members of the church to take advantage of the new auditorium to continue to propagate the gospel, saying that only the eternal truth in the message of Christ has capacity to lift the country from the forces plaguing its journey to unity and prosperity.
On his part, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode thanked Pastor Kumuyi for being an example of selfless evangelism and expressed his joy to be associated with the church.
Represented by the women affairs and poverty alleviation commissioner, Lola Akande, Ambode said the state government was especially impressed by the fact that the new church building came along with a new bridge and road enhancements for the people of Gbagada community and pledged for the use of the tabernacle towards the spread of the good news of Christ.
“As a government, our mission is the entrenchment of harmonious relations among the people; respect for the rights of other people for freedom of worship and association and we are happy to have found a worthy partner and ambassadors in the leadership of Deeper Life Church,” the governor said.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that impromptu protests erupted in major areas of Makurdi, the Benue state capital as news of the killing of two priests and 17 worshipers by suspected armed herdsmen filtered into the town.
Among the victims were two priests; Rev Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, two primary school headmasters; Peter Di*k and Ape Chia, a secondary school principal; Michael Tor and 14 other worshipers.
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