Sunday, September 27, 2015 9:53 pm
He gave the advice on Sunday in Abuja in his remarks at the 55th Independence Anniversary Interdenominational Church Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja with the theme “Making Nigeria Function as a Family.’’
Osinbanjo expressed dismay that Nigeria had for long been divided on tribal and religious lines.
Quoting from the scripture, he warned that a kingdom divided against itself would be desolate.
He said that Nigeria’s unity was important and critical for the advancement of the society.
He said that from his travels around the country especially to insurgency-stricken states, he discovered that Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps were populated by children and adults maimed by bombs.
He called on Nigerians to rise against insurgency, saying the “bomb of a terrorist does not ask if you are a Christian or Moslem when it detonates.’’
“I have seen the dead, I have seen the wounded and I have seen the sick. Most of them are victims of terrorist acts.
“The truth of the matter is that of all those I have seen and they are in their hundreds in IDP camps; are Muslims and Christians.
“When a bomb goes off in Potiskum, in Gombe or in the market place, it doesn’t ask are you a Christian or are you a Muslim.
“It never asks whether you are Igbo or Hausa. No, the bomb of terrorists does not ask those questions.
“This is why it is important as Muslim or Christian leaders to understand that we must rise as Nigerians, as human beings against terrorism and against every form of prejudice that continue to threaten our existence,’’ he said.
The VP said it was the duty of all Nigerians to ensure that in their utterances and actions, they should focus on the things that bind the country together.
He thanked the Christian community for praying for the nation and its leaders, saying “ Christians “hold the Ace for peace.
He added “it is the gospel of love that will heal this nation and the world.’’
Osinbajo noted that in spite of the present challenges facing the country, the solution lay in the love the people shared.
He expressed sympathy with the families that lost their beloved ones in Saudi Arabia and prayed the Almighty to grant the souls eternal rest.
Osinbajo noted that the figure five depicts grace while 55 meant year of abundant grace for the nation and prayed that the nation should receive grace of undeserved favour and blessings.
Delivering a message on the theme of the Service, the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan, Joseph Bagobiri, described Nigeria as “a land of promise, milk and honey.’’
He urged the citizens to cherish the endowments God had given them, noting that Nigerians should practice true religion about God and not of killings and rape.
The Cleric criticised the lukewarm attitude of Islamic clerics and leaders in condemning the terrorist acts in the North and called on them to stand firm in rejecting it.
Bagobiri said Nigeria was at a crossroad of not being able to harness its potential and advised that the country would grow if the resolutions of the national conference were implemented.
“Anybody who throws the report of the conference away has thrown Nigeria away’’ he said and urged the Buhari administration to make fairness and equity its watchword to enjoy more support from the citizens.
In an interview, Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government (ING), said it was time Nigerians love themselves.
He said that God had blessed the country and would bless the country more if Nigerians worked to achieve unity.
Some other dignitaries at the service were Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, APC National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, and Corps Marshal of FRSC, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi.