Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday declared that the country’s future would be better than its past.
He made the declaration in his remarks at the 2017 Independence Day Interdenominational Church Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The Vice President, who made the declaration in the form of prayer, said, “I declare concerning this nation that this nation will be fruitful, that this nation will prosper, that this nation will attain all of the plans and purposes of God.
“We will all benefit from the fruits of this nation.
“I declare concerning this nation that the glories of the former days will be nothing to compare with the glories of the latter.
“I declare concerning this nation that all will be well with this nation; our joys will be full in this nation.
“We will live in this nation to declare the wondrous works of God, we will prosper in this nation and we will hand to generations yet unborn a better country.”
Mr Osinbajo called on Christians to live according to injunctions of God to make the country better and prosperous for everyone.
He said the Christian should teach others in the country how to unite but added that they should start by teaching our nation how to unite with ourselves and uniting the body.
He noted that within the body of Christ there were no denominations, no ethnicities or groups but that all were one in the Lord Jesus Christ.
He said the responsibility to gather together was for all who were named after Jesus Christ.
“Our nation is at a point where Christians are called to stand up and do what it is that scripture has commanded us to do.
“Our nation is at a point where we as Christians have to rise up and teach our nation the virtues that Jesus Christ taught us: loving our neighbours, praying for even our enemies, uniting the body and uniting all at the centre,” he said.
The Vice President recalled that Christians were described as the salt of the earth, a chosen generation and a royal priesthood.
He further said that Christ empowered and commanded Christians not to take vengeance but go and make disciples of the nations and to love one another.
According to him, such mandate makes it imperative that God asks the Christian to account in leadership and for the destiny of the nation.
Mr Osinbajo thanked God for preserving the lives of Nigerians as they marked their independence.
Earlier in a message entitled “Godly Leadership” Yusufu Turaki of the TEKAN/ECWA, remarked that Nigerians should show loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Osinbajo and the national flag.
(TEKAN is a name of collection of Christian faithful in Northern part of the country, meaning “Tarayyar Ekklisiyar Kristi a Nigeria)
He stated that the persons and flag represented the symbols of the country’s unity.
According to the cleric, the President and the Vice President are under oath to rule Nigeria in accordance with the tenets of the constitution and the rule of law.
He highlighted the essence of unity and peace in the country which he noted that their absence did not augur well for the people.
Mr Turaki, a reverend and professor, observed that in spite of the challenges, the country could remain a peaceful and sustainable nation but noted that it required strong moral character of the people.
“We need men and women of steel as bridge builders, willing and ready to sacrifice their comfort for all,” he stated.
He wondered why peace, unity, patriotism had become scarce commodities in the country and attributed it to the lack of willingness of ethnic and religious groups to make sacrifices for the country.
He observed that many Christians and Muslims attended churches and mosques to pray but lacked morals adding that there was “too much religion without ethics and morality is dead”.
The cleric reminded leaders that God pays attention to the needs of the ordinary people and that they should strive to satisfy them as God will hold them accountable.
He appealed to the faithful of the various religions to shun attacks at each other but engage and interact to create new national values to guard the country’s unity in diversity.
He also urged the leadership of the country to address the crisis in the country by convening a national conference where all agitations would be discussed and treated.
“Nigerians should embrace common grounds that unite us and also shun violence,” the cleric advised.
A former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, saluted Nigerians on their 57th Independence anniversary and urged them to continue to pray for the peace and unity of the country.
Mr Gowon, a retired general, asked the citizens not to fear as the nation had fought for its unity which would continue to exist.
Mr Gowon’s remarks were endorsed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of Interim National Government, Ernest Shonekan both of who chorused “we concur” when asked to address the gathering.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that intercessory prayers were offered for the leaders, the three tiers of government, armed forces, the family and the church for stability.
The Service was attended by the wife of the Vice President, Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of Mr Shonekan, Margret; Speaker of the House of Respresentatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Chief Justice of the Federation, Walter Onnoghen and his wife, Nkoyo.
Others were the representative of the Deputy Senate President and Senate Chief Whip, Sola Adeyeye, National Chairman of APC, John Odigie- Oyegun and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
The Service was also used to round off the 400 hours of non-stop praise which began on Sept. 14, organized by the Christian Association of Nigeria under the guidance of the Pastor Seyin Malomo of the Aso Villa Chapel.