Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday urged religious leaders to see the period as a time to continue to preach the message of hope, peace, unity, integrity and religious tolerance and God’s intervention intensify prayers for and restoration of hope in the future of Nigeria.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at a special Independence Interdenominational Service, held at the headquarters of the Deeper Life Bible Church Headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos, said he was optimistic that the best of Nigeria and the State was yet to come, urging Nigerians to continue to pray, hope and work for a better future for all.
“My brothers and sisters in the Lord, at this auspicious period in the history of our nation, the Church and indeed everyone who believes in the efficacy of prayer have a responsibility and patriotic duty to pray for the wellbeing and progress of our nation. I believe strongly that the best of our nation and our State is yet to come. Let us continue to pray, hope and work for a better future,” he said.
He said that as the nation prepares to go to the polls next year, all hands must be on deck to sustain and deepen the process that will result in sustainable growth and good governance for all, just as he urged Nigerians to eschew all tendencies that may aggravate the challenges being experienced at the moment.
“As we celebrate our 58 years independence anniversary, I urge us to remain steadfast and continue to uphold those values that have been passed down from our heroes who sacrificed so much to liberate us from the yokes of colonial rule.
“Today’s occasion is also coming at a critical time in the history of our nation when all hands must be on deck to sustain and deepen the process that will result in sustainable growth and good governance for our people. We must all get involved and work together to ensure that the potentials of this nation are fully realized for the benefit of everyone and future generations,” he said.
He specifically commended the General Superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, for his dedication and commitment shown towards the propagation of Christianity and the service of God over the years, adding that he (Kumuyi) had continued to impact the lives of many globally through inspirational teaching of the Word of God.
Governor Ambode also lauded the contributions of the church in the State, saying that the Gbagada community has benefited immensely from their various corporate social responsibility projects initiated by the church.
“I congratulate the Deeper Life Bible Church on this magnificent edifice you have put up here. I was unable to join you for the formal opening but I am very happy to worship in this sanctuary today as we celebrate another anniversary of our Independence.
“As I congratulate you on this new Church building, I also thank you for the good works you have done in the Gbagada Community. Your holistic approach to religious activities has been demonstrated in your corporate social responsibility actions especially the construction of the Oduwole Bridge and a multi-level car park to ease traffic in this community.
“You have demonstrated that the Church can play a lot of roles in nation building. Beyond the spiritual role of praying for the Government, the Church can also partner with the Government to make our communities a better place,” the Governor said.
He said his administration, in furtherance to the efforts of the church, embarked on the construction of a network of six roads identified by the community development associations, including Aderemi Akeju Street, Okun Street, Femi Kuti Street, Brown Road, Adegbenro/Ganiyat Dawodu Street and Yetunde Brown Street.
Governor Ambode said the contract for the road, which was awarded in September 2017 was already 60 percent completed and is expected to be concluded by the end of the first quarter of 2019, while adding that adjoining road networks such as Diya Street and Ajayi Aina streets have been scheduled for rehabilitation to further enhance road connectivity within the axis.
“For us as government, we will continue to promote fairness, justice and everything that will make life more comfortable for our people,” he said.
Also speaking, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in his message titled ‘Coming of Age’, said Nigerians must come to the realisation that the destiny of the country was in their hands and as such must continue to make concerted efforts to promote values that unite rather than divide us.