Thursday, January 7, 2010
Our Common Humanity Binds Us Together – Fashola
Jan 3, 2010 - As eminent Lagosians, religious and traditional leaders as well as politicians gathered together Sunday at the Lagos House Open Ground for this year’s Annual Thanksgiving Service, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said, in spite of our religious and ethnic diversities, what binds us together is our common humanity.
In his welcome address at the colourful Thanksgiving which attracted both serving and retired top government functionaries including former governors of the State, Governor Fashola said only our common humanity counts in times of adversities.
Noting that “our differences have been over-emphasized”, the Governor declared, “When we want water, we do not ask whether it is a Christian or a Muslim that owns the water, When we are sick, we do not want to know whether the doctor that treats us is a Christian or a Muslim, we do not reject money given by either Muslim or Christian when we launch. These are what should bind us together and not divide us”.
He expressed joy that the Annual Service, initiated by the immediate past administration, is getting better every year adding, “It typifies the co-existence in which Lagosians have chosen to live whether Christians or Muslims”.
Governor Fashola paid glowing tribute to the past administrations in the State for laying the solid foundation on which his administration stands today to make progress.
He declared, “I thank you for all the great works you have done for it laid the foundation on which we are building today. We are flying high today on your broad wings”.
True to tradition, the 2010 Annual Thanksgiving Service followed the same Order of Service commencing with Praise and Worship songs, through Congregational Hymns, Bible Readings and Special Prayers for the State Governor and his family, for the three arms of the State Government, for the State Civil, Teaching, Judicial, Health and Local Government Services, for citizens and residents of Lagos State, for Youths of Nigeria and for Nigeria and Exhortation by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
The First Lesson taken from the book of Psalms 136; 1 – 9 and 23 – 25 was read by the First Lady, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola while the Second Lesson taken from 1 Timothy 6: 6 – 12 was read by wife of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mrs. Mayowa Ikuforiji.
The Third Lesson taken from the Gospel of Mathew 5: 20 – 26 was read by the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Akande while the Fourth and last Lesson taken from the Book of Proverbs 29: 1 – 18 was read by the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sesan.
While the Special Prayers for the First Family was said by Reverend Mercy Ezekiel of the Christian Pentecostal Mission, those for Lagos State Civil, Teaching, Judicial, Health and Local Government Services was said by Pastor Taiwo Odukoya of Fountain of Life Church while Pastor S. O. Oke prayed for all Law Enforcement Agencies in the State.
Others who rendered Special Prayers at the occasion were Pastor Wale Adefarasin of the Guiding Light Assembly who prayed for all citizens and residents of Lagos State, Reverend Sam Adeyemi of the Daystar Christian Centre who prayed for the Youths of Nigeria and Bishop Mike Okonkwo of the Redeemed Evangelical Mission who prayed for Nigeria.
In his message at the occasion with the theme, “All Praises Belong to God”, the General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, exhorted the people to praise God at all times, pointing out that when He is praised, God can reverse an irreversible situation.
Taking his theme from Malachi 1: 11, which says “From the rising of the Sun to the going down of the same, my Name shall be praise”, Pastor Adeboye drew references from both the Old and the New Testaments as well as personal experiences to show that praises move God more than prayers.
The Pastor said God deserves to be praised from the rising of the Sun to its setting “because He controls the Sun” adding that just as God can make the sun stand still, move forward or reverse at any time He chooses, so can he cause a man’s situation to change for better or for worse.
He prayed that more people in Lagos will praise God and worship Him in spirit and truth in 2010 so that He could exalt both the State and the people.
Also present at the grand occasion were Former Governors of the State including Brig. Gen. Mobolaji Johnson, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Admiral Mike Okhai Akhigbe and the immediate past Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Others were the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, members of the State Executive Council including Commissioner for Transportation, Professor Bamidele Badejo and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, traditional ruler including the Akran of Badagry among many dignitaries, top Government functionaries, religious and traditional rulers.