By Yemi Adeleye/Clara Egbogota
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday urged churches to promote religious tolerance and also asked for prayers for those in government to overcome numerous challenges facing the nation.
He likened governance to spiritual warfare.
“Governance is a spiritual warfare, if anyone does not know that, I know. I ask the Church to pray for everyone of us in the position of authority in this land,” Osinbajo said.
Osinbajo spoke at the inauguration of the Deeper Life Bible Church Headquarters Auditorium, Gbagada, Lagos.
“It is the duty of the Church, as we are, that the Church prays for the government; that the Church upholds the hands of those in government, not by complaining but by supporting us with prayers.
On the edifice, Osinbajo said: “This is one of the proudest moments for me as a Christian. This great edifice is for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Osinbajo, who commended the edifice for its modern amenities and technology, said its surroundings were investments in the community with a connecting bridge, street lights and greatly improved access roads.
The Vice President commended Pastor William Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church, for his uncommon humility and commitment to the spread of the undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ.
He urged the Church to accept that there would be resistance, saying “the devil is even more desperate and grievous as the end draws nearer”.
According to him, part of the resistance includes resistance to the building of churches, saying there are cases of this, which President Muhammadu Buhari, has saddled him with.
“The devil’s biggest agenda is stoke up a religious conflict in Nigeria, one that would make it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel while the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to wipe out the perpetrators of these evil acts.
“And to bring a permanent end to all of the killings going on in the name of herdsmen, Boko Haram or any other name, we as a body of Christ must not lose focus.
“We are called to bring men and women to salvation, even those who kill.
“The enemy wants us to stand on our pulpits and preach hate but we will obey the Lord Jesus Christ, who said we must love our enemy and pray even for those who persecute us.
“There is no person born or yet to be born that can stop the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he added.
He decried killings of clerics and bombings of Mosques and Churches, saying it was the highest level of wickedness.
According to him, the right to freedom of worship is also a right to build places of worship.
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, who described the project as spectacular achievement, commended the Church for the multi level car park and bridge constructed in the community.
Ambode, who was represented by Mrs Lola Akande, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, said that the edifice had impacted positively on the aesthetics of the state as a mega city.
“Let me reassure everyone of our commitment to ensure harmonious relationship among all residents in the state.
“We will continue to uphold and respect the rights of every citizen to freedom of worship and ensure that other people’s rights are not infringed upon,” Ambode said.
Bishop Mike Okonkwo of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) said that ultra-modern facility was a prophecy being fulfilled, that “Nigeria would be great again”.
Okonkwo prayed for the nation to overcome the challenges facing it, saying unless God helped the country, there was nothing anyone could do.
“We shall see the Nigeria of our dream, our children will no longer die in the desert. Nigeria shall be great again,” the cleric said.
He urged Christians to continue to pray for the nation and politicians across all levels of governance to end the socio-economic and security challenges facing the nation.
Earlier in his address, Pastor Kumuyi, who said that the vision commenced in 2005, thanked God for seeing the Church through the project.
“We thank God for His uncommon faithfulness for seeing us through this great endeavour. When the project began in 2005, we knew that we were taking a leap of faith.
“For us, we trusted the Lord that he would not only provide all we needed but direct and steer the project to a successful completion,” he said.
Kumuyi, who said the edifice was due to many sacrifices of the Church members within and outside the country, prayed God to continue to reward and bless His people.
The cleric, who also commended the Lagos State Government and residents of Gbagada for support, said that the Church was not unmindful of its social responsibilities to the community.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Church also unveiled its new logo at the event attended by several dignitaries across all walks of life and Church members.
Renowned clerics and women leaders from Nigeria, Africa, Europe and the U.S. were in attendance to grace the occasion and commended the vision of Kumuyi.
The participants were thrilled by renditions from the Church’s children, youth, campus and adult choir with musical instrument.
The ultra-modern auditorium, with about 30,000-seat capacity, has a big main bowl and four galleries with state-of-the-art gadgets.