By Sam Eyoboka
Warri—GOVERNOR of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Chief Seriake Dickson, yesterday, urged Christian leaders in the country to speak up against the ills in the society and reprimand political leaders not towing the line of rectitude for the sake of the nation.
Speaking at a reception and interdenominational victory thanksgiving service in honour of the immediate past National President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, His Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, at the Word of Life Bible Church, Warri, Okowa told Pastor Oritsejafor, his successor and all Christian leaders in the country to stand up to defend the Church.
Describing Oritsejafor as a voice for the Church while he was piloting the affairs of CAN for which Delta State and indeed the nation was proud, Okowa maintained that no one could take that from him.
According to him: “I believe there is no room for retirement. So, I come to let you know that it will not be right to withdraw to your church because you will be doing a disservice to the entire Church in Nigeria and all over the world. We are told that the voice of the elder is the voice of wisdom and I believe that the Church needs you now more than they needed you when you served as CAN President because certain things you couldn’t say then you can afford to say now.
“And I believe you will definitely continue to speak for us not just for the Church, the poor, the children but because as a nation we need the truth at one point in time and you must the voice of justice for this country and all over the world.
“A lot of things are going wrong in the country and all over the world because we are not yet doing enough as Christians….we are praying but most times our prayers are for other things but not for salvation. I believe there is still much more to be done.”
Earlier, Governor Dickson who was represented by the state’s Secretary to the State Government, Royal Highness Dokubo Spiff, also described Pastor Oritsejafor as “a great man who has given direction, authority and credibility to Christianity in this country and as he takes a bow in one capacity, he will be assuming responsibility in another capacity.
“I want to say that as a Christian that Christendom is faced with incredible challenges at this time globally,” stressing that in England statistics have that 448 churches were shut down in the last one year as against the establishment of 500 mosques during the same period.
Responding in a brief comment, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who was dressed up in his characteristic garment (black) said tearfully that everybody who made it to the occasion had become a source of encouragement to him.
“Many times I have wondered about the Church, what’s going to become of the Church…but I can now see that there is hope for the Church. I appreciate you and thank you that this God who brought you safely take you back safely and give all of you good health, strength and do for you what you cannot do for yourselves,” he prayed.