Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has said that idol worshiping is becoming the fastest growing religion in the state.
Soludo made the remark while speaking at the dedication of the new church building of House of Testimony, Life of Faith Gospel Assembly, Federal Housing Estate, 3-3, Onitsha.
He has expressed worry over the way some misguided youths are lured into criminality under the guise of idol worshiping but noted that efforts had been sustained to checkmate the trend.
According to him: “Idolatry is the fastest growing religion in the state. Since the inception of my administration, we have declared war on criminals, their shrines, priests and burnt down their idols.
“They can come with whatever they want to but with the Bible in our right hand, we shall prevail.
“Anambra is in the hands of God but we must continue to pray, to take back our state from criminals, touts and lawless elements.”
While describing Anambra as God’s Own State, and the need for all denominations to unite as one body in Christ Jesus, the Governor tasked the church on knitting together in the spirit of ecumenism, to confront the common enemy of idolatry which is fast pervading the land.
“We must not take it for granted. Pope Francis preaches ecumenism. I just don’t preach it, I try to live it out.
“If we bond together, we will survive collectively but if we go separately, we will die separately. This land is our own, we must not give up on this,” Professor Soludo noted.
He stressed that every Christian makes use of the Bible and has accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
Describing God as the Supreme one, Governor Soludo stated that nobody can battle with the Lord.
He informed the congregation that from the foundation of the world, God had written it in heaven that the new church would be built and that he would be present to celebrate with them in thanksgiving to God.
“I have come in solidarity with you. My immediate younger brother has his own church so I understand the feeling.
“For me, it’s really a joy that every Monday, I enjoy the Pentecostal service,” the Governor said.
Speaking on his eight months in office, Governor Soludo disclosed that while many Governments usually grapple with setting up their cabinets, his administration can account for what it has achieved everyday of the eight months.
In the aspect of insecurity, he admitted that “it won’t disappear overnight,” expressing optimism that steady and surely, his administration will restore peace and tranquility to the land as “it’s already being experienced now by the people.”
“Our benchmark actually is that in our first 24 months, we will be able to deliver over 230 km of roads. The quality of roads we are delivering has never been seen in the state before.
“Coincidentally, our Commissioner for Works was selected on the basis of his competence and integrity. He also happens to be a Pentecostal.
“I have known him for years but never knew if he was a Christian or not. When I was selecting him, I had no idea of his religion. It was later I discovered he was a Pentecostal.
“Our main aim is to get people who would deliver – a round peg in a round hole.
“Let us all be the change that we want to see. Anambra will continue to rise,” Soludo concluded.
In his episcopal address, Bishop Emmanuel Obiorah, said he was thrilled with the way noble men and virtuous women from all walks of life gathered in honor of the epoch making event.
“Today as I stand before this great crowd of witnesses, I make bold to say without sounding immodest that by the mercies of God, the church is not indebted to any commercial bank in Nigeria neither did we solicit for public donations in building this auditorium,” he said.
The State PFN Chairman Moses Ezedebego in commending Soludo said: “Prof Soludo is the first Governor of Anambra State to institutionalize the unity chain prayers through the office of the Chaplain at the Governor’s Lodge. This is indeed very strategic and it has succeeded in reducing the alleged cry of religious and denominational bias in our dear state,” Bishop Obiorah said.
The event was attended by eminent personalities including the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Ernest Ezeajughi; the State PFN Chairman, Bishop Dr. Moses Ezedebego; Apostle Lazarus (President Voice of the Cross) among others.
Others were Governor’s Chief Protocol Officer, Hon Chinedu Nwoye; Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr. Sly Ezeokenwa; Bishop Augustine Nwodika; and Bishop O.C. Dominic.