Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has asserted that only harmonious living and peaceful coexistence among Muslim and Christian faithful can help Nigeria to overcome its present problems militating against its development.
The governor made the assertion in Bauchi on Thursday at the funeral service of the late chairman of the state chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Emmanuel Ogbeba.
According to Governor Mohammed, it is only when there is peace in a society, which he said would be achieved when there was religious tolerance among the people, that government would be able to focus on developmental issues.
The governor, who was represented at the event by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Christian Religious Affairs, Rev Zakka Magaji, submitted that Bauchi State is enjoying peace as a result of the people’s resolve to not only tolerate one another but also allow peace to reign.
“We in Bauchi State have enjoyed relative peace because the people decided to live together, share things in common because we are brothers and sisters who must tolerate one another. Those were the virtues late Emmanuel Ogbeba stood for,” the governor said.
While eulogising the late General Superintendent of the Gospel Life Church, the governor declared that Ogbeba was more than a father to his family and church, saying that, “when someone achieved what late Emmanuel Ogbeba achieved in life, he is no longer a father to his family and church alone, but, a father to all in the state.”
On his part, the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Adamu Suleiman, described the deceased as a real bridge builder who built bridges of peace and peaceful co-existence between residents of Bauchi, irrespective of their tribes and religions.
Represented by the Wakilin Wajen Bauchi, Rev Baba Tala (rtd), the royal father declared that religious tolerance and understanding were the main ingredients of unity and progress.
He then called on Nigerians, particularly people of the state not only to imbibe but also promote those things the late Ogbeba stood for.
In his remarks, the PFN National President, Bishop Wale Oke, said that the body of Christ was one but that denomination was just a creation of convenience of assembly and association.
Oke, who was represented by the National Vice President, North – Central, Prophet El-Buba, assured that the Fellowship would continue to seek for the good of Nigeria and the unity of the people, especially the church.
DAILY POST reports that the highlight of the service was the formal introduction of the Ogbeba Foundation by the family of the deceased.
The Foundation, according to the family, would focus on catering to the problems of widows, orphans, and other vulnerable people across the country.