By Sir Sunday U. Akpan (KJW)
On Sunday 21st January 2018, Governor Udom Emmanuel kick-started the building of an International Worship Center for Akwa Ibom State. Some people have since questioned the rationale for according priority for such investment at a time when the economy is experiencing recession. For us in the Christian Global Leadership Center of IMFI, Uyo, the International Worship Center project ought to have been done before now. Permit us, therefore, to publicly appreciate the people and the Government of Akwa Ibom State for waking up to redeeming a long awaited obligation we owe to our God (Akwa Abasi Ibom). We celebrate His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel for demonstrating a landmark leadership vision by according priority to the erection of a befitting Central Altar for Akwa Ibom State. The Christian Global Leadership Center sincerely desires the people of God to share this enthusiasm with us for many important reasons, some of which we can briefly mention here.
First and foremost, the erection of a Central Place of Worship is a cardinal requirement for the manifestation of greatness among a people called after God. This is because in God’s wisdom, humans are commanded to seek after God first, and then all other things will be added unto them. A Central Worship Altar for a people named after God, therefore, becomes a priority in the people’s governance strategy so as to facilitate their collective seeking after God. Thus, even in the midst of deprivation in the wilderness as the Israelites journeyed towards their Promised Land, their leaders (Moses and Joshua) erected make-shift Tabernacles as central worship places for the people. When they eventually settled down in the Promised Land, King Solomon built them the magnificent Temple in Jerusalem as a priority project to attract more favours from God. We believe the people and the Government of Akwa Ibom State are in the right track by following the example of King Solomon. Let us do faithfully and expect our greatness, for ever since Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sought after God, their legacy as the nation of Israel has remained supper in the midst of hostile neighbours.
Secondly, our people say “emafre ntak, ntak otoho”. When our State was created in 1987, our patriarchs had genuine reasons to prompt them to name the new State after God- Akwa Abasi Ibom State. How can we better commemorate and reflect the depth of their feelings of gratitude to God for that unique visitation than behaving like Jacob, by collectively raising a “Bethel” in God’s honour?
Lest some of us forget, permit us to recall that in the heat of the epic struggle for the implementation of the constitutional provision for the payment of 13% Derivation Revenue and the abolitions of the obnoxious On- Shore/ off Shore Oil Dichotomy, the State Government then in the place, gathered the people together in Ibom Hall to collectively cry to God to turn things around in their favour. Inspite of the crowd and the might of the opposition massed against that demand, God honoured the prayers of our people and government, and 13% Derivation Revenue was paid. That God has not changed. There, let us support Governor Udom Emanuel to build a befitting Altar to exalt the presence of God in our midst and wait patiently for more blessings as a reward.
Finally, while we respect the opinion of those who don’t understand the priority of having a Central Worship Temple for a people named after God- Akwa Ibomites (Ndito Abasi) we at the Christian Global Leadership Center join the majority of God’s people in Akwa Ibom State and beyond to thank our Governor for embarking on this extremely noble project and appeal for speedy execution, despite the economic recession. This is because of our belief that the Altar will speak greater fortune for our State. Our fervent prayer however, remains that in building this Central Temple of Worship, we should not only be affirming with King David that a day in the house of God in more profitable than 1000 days elsewhere, but that our thoughts and actions should be acceptable to God so that He may establish His covenant of love, peace, unity and prosperity among us.
Sir Sunday U. Akpan (KJW) is the President of Christian Global leadership Center which is the Leadership Development Arms of IMFI 54 Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo