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Anglican cleric to Buhari: Step up war against bandits, terrorists

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Bandits. Photo: BBC

The Vicar of Our Saviour’s Church, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, The Venerable Ife S. Okupevi, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to step up the war against terrorists and bandits in Nigeria so as to save Nigerians from further suffering.

He also enjoined the President to design ways to make life more bearable to Nigerians.

The clergy, who is also the Archdeacon of Ikoyi Archdeaconry, Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion), was speaking in a homily he delivered at the funeral service of Pastor Emily Aig-Imoukhuede, former President of National Council of Women Societies (NCWS).

“Kidnappers are killing and abducting our children, especially in the North. But we shall continue to pray for the president and the Vice President,” the Vicar said to a packed congregation that included Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and two former presidents, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

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He said that the future of Nigerian children should not be left in jeopardy as bandits and kidnappers were ravaging the land.

“Governance is not easy, but we shall continue to pray for our leaders. Christians should pray for our president and governors, instead of criticising and complaining all the time,” he said. 

The Vicar emphasised Pastor Emily’s selflessness, deep Christian faith and her compassion towards the less privileged. He noted that people like the deceased were saints “because a saint must have holiness and be close to God.”

He recalled that Pastor Emily was a role model, teacher and intercessor.

The clergy urged the congregants to forsake sin and unholy lifestyle.

He started his homily by reading sections of Pastor Emily’s biography, noting that she died as a good Christian and is currently in Heaven with the Lord.

Pastor Emily died in Surrey, England on June 8 and was buried in Lagos yesterday. The funeral activities had four events starting with condolence visits, Service of Songs in Sabongida-Ora, Edo State and Lagos; and a Night of Tributes.

Among the dignitaries at the church service yesterday were Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Access Bank Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe and industrialist, Aliko Dangote. 

Others were governors of Ekiti and Lagos states, Fayemi Kayode and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, respectively; former governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo; former governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and former Senate President Bukola Saraki. Former governors Donald Duke, Ibikunle Amosun and James Ibori of Cross River, Ogun and Delta states, respectively, were also present.

The coffin bearing the remains of the late woman leader was earlier escorted into the church by her four children and 17 grandchildren. The widower, Mr. Frank Aig-Imoukhuede, was also present.

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