Dogara, Atiku, Dickson, others: no alternative to democracy
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday urged Nigerians to make sacrifices for Nigeria’s greatness.
He spoke at the Interdenominational church service to mark Democracy Day at the National Christian Centre in Abuja.
The theme of the service, “The dry bones shall live again” was taken from Ezekiel 37:11.
Prof. Osinbajo recalled the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37 and urged Nigerians not to behave like the politician and the cleric in the story who looked the other way when they saw a man that was attacked by thieves.
He urged them to emulate the Good Samaritan, the man who had compassion on the injured, poured oil on his wounds, bandaged him and took him to the hospital.
Osinbajo said: “When we look at our country, it is not the state that fell that is the story, but the story is how the people reacted when you see the nation that needs to be helped.
“While the politician and cleric looked the other way when they saw the man that was half dead, the Good Samaritan had compassion on him, bandaged him and took him to the hospital.
“Who truly loves the nation? Is it the priest that said a prayer, walked past, or the politician that looked and walked past or the Samaritan that took the wounded to the hospital, paid some money and said treat him, on my return, I will upset the bill.
“The nation requires those that can make the sacrifices to make it great. They are those who Jesus spoke about, people that may not be of note but prepared to make the nation great again. Some are doctors, teachers, young graduates.
“There is sacrifice of integrity against corruption. When you speak against corruption, it fights back, so you must be ready to make sacrifice no matter how highly-placed or small you are. Teachers who are prepared to teach, doctors who are prepared to provide health services, no matter what.
“Make the sacrifices required to make our nation great whether you are a leader or a follower.”
The acting President prayed to God to speedily heal President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on medical vacation in Britain and bring him back safely.
He also prayed for grace on those willing to make sacrifices to make the nation great again.
Delivering his sermon, the presiding Apostle of the Word Communication Ministries and Founder of Christ Family Assembly Churches, Apostle Sunday Popoola, warned those contemplating a coup to desist because it would not succeed.
He said the service was mainly to thank God for 18 years of unbroken democracy, to reflect on how Nigerians have played their roles and seek the face of God for Nigeria’s glorious future.
He called for patience with the Buhari administration saying it meant well for the country.
The cleric said: “If you are out there like me, you will know that Nigerians are fed up and are waiting for something to spark. We need to be patient with the present government, which has something to offer.
“Coup cannot work now and will not succeed.”
Apostle Popoola called for institutions to be strengthened through radical reforms.
Like Prophet Ezekiel, he asked: “Can this dry bone called Nigeria rise again? He replied: “It can.”
Apostle Popoola said 100 years after the amalgamation of the North and the South, the country could not continue to blame the imperialists.
According to him, the 2014 National Conference ought to be revisited and the various nations that make up Nigeria must decide the future.
The First scripture reading, Ezekiel 37:1-14, was taken by Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen
The Second scripture reading was taken by House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Prayers were said for President Buhari and the Acting President. There were also prayers for peace, security and development in the country.
At the service were Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) President Rev. Samson Ayokunle, the wife of the Acting President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s wife Gimbia, CJN’s wife Mrs. Nkoyo Onnoghen, Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, members of the legislature, the judiciary, the military, clerics, traditional rulers and members of the diplomatic corps.