Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State has called on Christian leaders not to relent in praying for Nigeria to overcome its challenges.
Fayemi made the call when he received the South West Zonal Executives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on a courtesy visit on Wednesday in Ado Ekiti.
Represented by his deputy, Bisi Egbeyemi, the governor hailed the contribution of the Church to peace, stability, social and economic development of the country.
It was gathered the visit was part of activities to mark the first quarter meeting of CAN chairmen from the six states of South West as well as maiden meeting of the zonal executve inaugurated in February.
Fayemi said the Church play critical role in nation building, spiritual uplift and giving the less privileged access to education.
He said his upbringing, as a Catholic, contributed to his moulding as a leader which began with service as an altar boy in his formative years.
The governor urged CAN leaders not to deviate from the divine mandate to positively affect lives and destinies.
He charged them to keep on praying for the country to experience positive turnaround, adding that prayers will go a long way in engendering a prosperous country that all Nigerians crave for.
“I am sure, you have been praying for us. We know the work of the Church and without the Church, we cannot be where we are today.
“The Church brought many of us from grass to grace, gave us education and brought us nearer to God.
“You have continued with the work of teaching and evangelism and we are happy that CAN in the South West have gathered here in our state which I consider a blessing.
“I believe your prayers will save us in this country and we will always be ready to cooperate with you to make our country great and ensure it continues to witness peace and development,” he said.
The delegation, led by the South West Zonal CAN Chairman, Raphael Oluwafemi-Osegboun, described Fayemi as “a worthy ambassador of Christian values and a promoter of peace and harmony in Nigeria.”
Osegboun hailed Fayemi’s contributions to national peace and unity as well as his administration’s developmental strides in key sectors at a difficult period in Ekiti.
He also commended the Fayemi-led administration for returning some mission schools to their owners and working closely with the Church for the progress of the society.
Osegboun stressed the need for the government to see the Church as a partner in progress rather than a competitor, adding that the Church is also an important stakeholder in fostering moral rectitude and integral development of the people.
“We have come to express the love and the respect we have for you as one of our Christian leaders in South West, and also as the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum.
“We wish to show fraternal solidarity with your people in this state, Christians and non-Christians alike who through their constitution have firmly and solemnly resolved to live in unity and harmony, and to work for the welfare of all.
“It is our humble desire to pay tribute to your government’s contributions to justice, the wellbeing of pupils and students, positive gender-based programmes, assistance to the aged and vulnerable and building of lasting infrastructures in Ekiti,” he said.
The CAN leaders also used the opportunity of the visit to pray for peace, stability and prosperity of Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria as a whole.