Bishop of Catholic Archdiocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah says Nigerians must rise above ethnic and religious differences to tackle insecurity challenges bedeviling the country.
Mr Kukah made the call on Friday while delivering a homily at the funeral mass of Chief Michael Onyema, father of the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mbosi in Anambra.
The cleric noted that Nigeria was presently going through turbulent times characterised by banditry, kidnapping and herders/farmers’ clashes.
He, however, expressed optimism that the country would overcome these problems if it was able to properly harness and maximise its diversity.
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“The greatness of this country is its diversity. We have not been able to manage our diversity.
According to him `U.S. is the most diversified country in the world.
He said Americans had been able to harness its diversity by giving inclusion to all groups, adding that Nigeria should adopt a similar approach.
Mr Kukah said it was unfortunate that herdsmen were now being accused of any criminal acts across the country, stressing that it was wrong to classify all herdsmen as criminals.
He eulogised the deceased for living an exemplary Christian life and bringing up his children to be detribalised which had made his first son, Allen to marry from Kogi State.
Mr Kukah said Air Peace boss had followed the footsteps of his father by giving employment to Nigerians without tribal or religious considerations.
Also speaking, Onyema urged Nigerians to continue to live in love and unity, adding that other criminal elements were taking advantage of the division in the country to carry out their nefarious actions.
He described his late father as a man who lived a life of piety and made tremendous impact on his community.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, Willy Obiano of Anambra described the event as a celebration of life because the late Onyema lived a fruitful life.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the service was graced by eminent personalities including Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
Others were former Anambra Governor, Dr Peter Obi, and Mr Timi Alaibe, former Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, among others.