Onaiyekan urges Nigerians to emulate Mbang for a peaceful nation
John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja, has urged all Nigerians to emulate the life and virtues of late Dr Sunday Mbang, a former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), for a better and peaceful nation.
Onaiyekan made the call at a special service of songs and tribute in honour of the former CAN president in Abuja on Friday.
He described Mbang, who was also a Prelate Emeritus of Methodist Church of Nigeria, as a courageous, just and wise man, who always spoke the truth.
Onaiyekan said that Mbang was a man of faith, a servant of the church, who dedicated his life to God and the service of humanity.
According to him, he was a peace maker and a `unifier’, whose contributions to the unity of Methodist Church globally will never be forgotten.
“We are aware that wherever there was conflict, he had a word of encouragement for people to make peace.
“In our country Nigeria today, there is a lot of conflict and quarrel and the Church of God, while not ignoring the demands of truth and justice, cannot give up its responsibility to be agents of peace and reconciliation, whether we are welcomed or not.
“It is a great challenge for which we cannot abdicate ourselves. Blessed are the peace makers, theirs is the kingdom of God.”
“Prelate Mbang was a unifier; when things seem to fall apart, he was ready to give a hand, seeking common grounds in truth and justice, in order to bring people together.
“This was clear in his service to Methodist Church Nigeria, which he had also extended to the United Methodist Council at the global level,” he said.
Onaiyekan said: “the citizens could not simply resign themselves to a broken nation, where political parties were at each other’s throat and where ethnic groups were fighting unfinished ancient tribal battles”.
According to the cleric, we need indeed to work hard for unity in our nation hence, the election tribunals should complete their assignments as soon as possible.
He said that it will enable the nation to start to regain its unity and common action, without which the grievous challenges cannot be properly addressed.
Also speaking, the President of CAN, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, said that Mbang was instrumental to the completion of the Ecumenical Centre.
He said that as a cleric, he was fearless and always spoke the truth loudly on all matters irrespective of who was involved.
Okoh said the Mbang would be greatly missed not only by the Methodist Church but by the entire Christian community, the nation and Christians worldwide.
Mr Ini Mbang, the son of the late cleric, said that his father was a very jovial man, who played board games regularly and rode bicycle.
“He was God-fearing, a teacher and a loving man, who spent time reading the word of God at all times.”
He revealed that there were plans to build a library and museum in honour of his late father, who wrote 15 books in his life time and had gathered a lot of artifact. (NAN)