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African Church Internal Disputes: Osinbajo Commends Resolution

VP Osinbajo with leaders of African Church

By Laolu Akande

Church leaders to VP: We admire your leadership qualities, dedication to Country

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has commended leaders and members of the African Church for peacefully settling their differences and the internal dispute in the denomination, noting that such reconciliation is true to Christian ideals. 

According to him, "love of brothers and sisters prevailed and we are able to show the world that amongst Christians, men and women of faith, certain disputes shouldn’t ever become a matter that would be difficult or impossible for us to resolve." 

Prof. Osinbajo said this today when he received a delegation from the African Church led by His Eminence, Dr Emmanuel Josaiah Udofia, Primate of the African Church, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Joining the Primate were also His Eminence Julius Abbe and other leaders of the denomination. 

While extolling the African Church for the maturity displayed in settling the internal dispute in the church, the VP observed the leading of the Scriptures in resolving disputes. 

"We have all it takes and scripture points us in the right direction and there is no reason at all for it to be difficult in settling disputes. The devil has been put to shame in the African Church." 

He then restated the firm commitment of the Federal Government to freedom of worship, adding that it remains a fundamental responsibility of the Buhari-led administration.

According to the Vice President, "one of the critical things for us just as our Constitution states, is freedom of worship. 

“It is our duty as a government and we intend to maintain that duty in every possible way. This is why repeatedly when visits like this take place, the President reasserts that principle. Every man of faith, even those who say they have no faith, must be allowed to practice whatever systems or beliefs that they wish.” 

Prof Osinbajo encouraged the members of the delegation to make a conscious effort to “actively promote all across the country and speak about freedom of worship because it is very important that we respect the rights of others. Government stands ready to protect your rights as Christians just as we protect the rights of men and women of other faiths.” 

In his own remarks, Most Rev. Udofia expressed his gratitude to the Vice President for his role in resolving the dispute within the church. 

“On behalf of the management and members of the African Church, I wish to express our profound gratitude to God Almighty for the miraculous way our 2-year internal wrangling was brought to an end. We are grateful for the role played by the ecumenical affiliated bodies we belong to, and most importantly the special interest Your Excellency has shown and demonstrated in our church” 

He thanked Prof Osinbajo, recognizing his “presence through your representatives on the reconciliation service held on 12th October 2021, in Lagos and also manifestations of your good gesture to our dear church, the African Church.” 

The Most Rev. Udofia declared the church’s admiration for the VP commending his “dedication to our great country, Nigeria. We are endeared by your leadership qualities, and we hereby request your continued and untiring support for our church. 

“We wish to renew our commitment and loyalty to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.” 

Others in attendance at the meeting include the Most Rev Dr Peter Oluwakemi Ogunmuyiwa, Archbishop of Abuja, Elder Babatunde Odufuwa, and others.

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