On Wednesday, December 11, members of the largest bible and Christian books market in Africa, Ajegunle Bible and Christian Book Dealers Association (ABCBDA), gathered at the Calabar Hall at Boundary, Ajegunle, Apapa, Lagos. The event was to thank God for keeping their lives and business going in the past 15 years.
The thanksgiving, with the theme “Celebration of God’s Faithfulness,” was attended by almost every member of the association. There were bible ministrations, prayers, songs and award presentation to some members.
The event also presented an opportunity for members to evaluate their progress so far, underline their shortcomings and list their challenges. Among the attendees were stakeholders, customers, friends and well-wishers.
Chairman of the association, Evangelist Chikaobi Chukwuleta Nwabuaso, said ABCBDA was an umbrella body of dealers in bibles, Christian literature and motivational books, adding that the group had been in existence for a long time without a strong structure, but was officially registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2004, with the election of its executive members.
He said the thanksgiving became necessary due to God’s faithfulness to all members of the association, who were alive and doing well in their business.
Nwabuaso explained that the event was to commemorate 15 years of God’s faithfulness to the association and to celebrate themselves. He said the milestones they achieved were not the efforts of one man, but the product of collective efforts by every member of the association.
According to the chairman, the vision and objective of ABCDA was to have a common front that would defend the interest of its members and also defend the geographical enclave where they do their business from external disturbances.
“Through the association, we have achieved solidarity and pursued our collective interest. This has seen to the economic and social development that the association and her members have enjoyed so far.
“The journey has been tedious at some point but through determined, consistence and perseverance, we are able to come this far, not minding the many hurdles, impediments, challenges and battles that have sought to bedevil the association,” he noted,” he said.
A guest minister, Evangelist Ann Nwokerobi of Jesus Christ is Real Liberation Centre, Ibafon, Lagos, spoke on the topic “Jesus, My Strongtower.” She admonished the members to hide themselves and their businesses under Jesus for better protection and preservation against dangers and attacks.
She called on them to key into God’s faithfulness so that their divine strength and salvation would be guaranteed: “The faithfulness of God is unchangeable, therefore, you must be faithful to God in all you are doing and make him your habitation. If you make yourself a light, no darkness shall comprehend you.”
The CEO of Winners’ Gospel Bookshop, Dr. Herbert Obum Ezeudu, said the association had come a long way in ensuring a good distribution of bibles and Christian books across the country and beyond.
Ezeudu, one of the pioneer dealers in bibles and Christian books in Ajegunle, explained that he provided the platform for others to exploit their tradesmanship in the Christian books trade.
“My vision of having a vibrant store in the area so many years ago has metamorphosed into hundreds of bookshops owned by different persons in the business community known today as ABCBDA, Africa’s largest bible and Christian books market,” he said, observing that the proliferation of churches has helped to boost business for the dealers, and more sales were now being recorded, unlike in the past.
He called on members of the association to remain steadfast in their business activities so as to protect the good image of the association.