Church Of Nigeria honours Sanwo-Olu, Wike, Akeredolu, others in Lagos
• Visits Publisher Of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru
• Elects New Bishops, Bishop Of Lagos, Olumakaiye Becomes New Archbishop Of Lagos
The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion’s Standing Committee Meeting for September 2021 held in Lagos, and was hosted by the Diocese of Lagos at the Archbishop Adebola and Mrs. Oluranti Ademowo Christian Resource Centre (Faith Plaza), Bariga, Lagos. The uniqueness of this year’s meeting, which ended on Friday, manifested in the visit of the Church of Nigeria delegation to the Chairman and Publisher of The Guardian, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru and the awards bestowed on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and Ogun State Governor, Adedapo Abiodun for their excellent and courageous leadership qualities. Also, honoured was the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Emmanuel Abayomi. The Church also paid a courtesy visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday.
The Primate, Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba was also guided on a tour to the Diocese’s multi-mega Centenary City project, situated on a 1,500-plot parcel of land behind PAN Atlantic University, Ibeju, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.
Addressing the gathering on the theme: “Abiding in Christ: God’s Panacea in An Unstable World,” taken from John 15:1-8, the Primate and President of the Standing Committee, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba, noted that the 21st Century had simultaneously witnessed the wonders of the scientific and technological advancements, as well as the chaos of eroding moral and spiritual standards set by God, hence the necessity of abiding in Christ, which he described as a “total and continuous surrender of our hearts, desires and wills or aspirations to the judgment and scrutiny of God, His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
Ndukuba enumerated benefits of abiding in Christ and consequences of doing otherwise. He said the benefits include fruitfulness, access to God’s presence, assurance of answer to prayers, empowerment for mission and accomplishing God’s purpose and eternal salvation; while the disadvantages include cutting off from source of life, God’s disapproval and anger as well as eternal damnation.
The Bishop of Asaba Diocese, The Rt. Rev. Justus Mogekwu, who led the Bible Study sessions, urged the people to know what God wants them to be and live to accomplish same. He condemned aligning or following other people’s way, stressing that Christ is the true vine, while others are fake and as such, Christians should abide only in Christ.
Primate of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, The Most Rev. Foley Beach, who preached during the Eucharistic service and also delivered a goodwill message, identified “great omission” of the Great Commission as the bane of the Church today. He explained that Christ’s mandate to His followers is the Great Commission, but churches are rather too busy with church buildings and other activities.
Beach, who came with some of his Bishops and clergy from USA, condoled with Church of Nigeria for the murder of one of its priests in Imo State. He also thanked the Primate of Church of Nigeria for the invitation and all support to ACNA.
Welcoming the ecclesiastical assembly, the Bishop of Lagos, The Rt. Rev Dr Humphrey Olumakaiye highlighted some of his achievements in the diocese within three years of his translation to the Diocese, which included planting of over 24 churches, Lagoon Radio and TV, Specialist Hospital for the elderly, schools, with fees slashed for all and Anglicans in particular paying 50 per cent, N1m for-First-Class-Graduates Programme, Empowerment of over 70 youths with a minimum of ₦500,000 each, assistance to many dioceses and speedy development of the Centenary City project.
Other highlights of the programme included presentation of awards to some outstanding Anglicans, who distinguished themselves in the governance of their states, not only by impressively responding to the challenges that have bedevilled the nation, such as COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity and infrastructural/industrial developments, but also visibly standing out for justice against all odds, thereby making the church proud.
Appreciating them, Ndukuba said: “They have become beacons of the shining light, courageous leaders and standing for what may not be generally acceptable or politically correct, but what in the long run would have served the good of the citizens.”
Awards of Excellent/Meritorious Services were also given to the GAFCON Chairman, The Rt. Rev. Foley Beach, former Coordinator of Senior Clergy Advanced Management Course, The Rt. Rev. Dr Samuel Sowale and his Assistant, The Rt. Rev. David K. Bello.
As the church prepares for the next Standing Committee meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in 2022, to be hosted by the Diocese of Evo, Ndukuba and GAFCON chairman, Archbishop Foley Beach have paid courtesy visit to the former primate and first GAFCON chairman, Archbishop Peter Akinola at his home in Abeokuta. While the church elected new Bishops and Bishop of Lagos, Rt. Rev. (Dr) Humphrey Olumakaiye becomes the new Archbishop of Lagos. He replaces the Most Rev. (Dr.) Michael Fape.