Fashola Preaches Peaceful Co-Existence As Methodist Church Confab Opens
…Receives kudos from Prelate Makinde for Traffic Law, religious harmony in Lagos
Aug 9, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday declared open the 43rd/8th Bi-ennial Conference of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, declaring that the unity of the nation and state will continue to be forged on tolerance, peaceful co-existence, mutuality of respect for faith and ethnic belief.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Hoare's Memorial Methodist Cathedral Yaba, where Christian leaders from the Methodist Church and other Christian faithful gathered said these conditions represent the sense in which the nation can harness the diversity that really exist in the nation.
"If God wanted all of us to be the same, or wanted all of us to speak the same language, or have the same colour, he could have done so, but if he chose to make us different from that difference, then we can find fraternity and brotherhood and build a great nation", the Governor said.
He added that the nation has benefitted tremendously from the rich stock of human capital that its educational system has produced such that the imprimatur of the church could be found in all aspects of human life.
The Governor also acknowledged the tremendous work done by the foremost missionary , Reverend Birch Freeman who is the founder of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, adding that his efforts is represented in many foremost schools like the Olowogbowo Methodist Primary School and the Methodist Boys High School.
He said the efforts of the founding founders and the present leaders of the Methodist Church of Nigeria in the educational sector have not been in vain and neither has it gone unnoticed before the people.
The Governor also commended the private and public support shown by the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria since the disappearance of popular Islamic broadcaster, Alhaji Rasaq Gawat had gone missing by his public display of solidarity and concern.
Governor Fashola explained that his gesture speaks of the common humanity that bonds everyone together, stating that it is the same water that people who are both Christians and Muslims drink just as everyone eat the same meat and also commute through the same bus services.
The Governor gave kudos to the Methodist Church for supporting the newly enacted traffic laws in Lagos State which he described as one of the strategies of government at managing the prosperity of the State.
Governor Fashola who reiterated his assertion that traffic congestion is a sign of prosperity added that what people should note is that in places that are ravaged by poverty, there would be nothing like congestion, stressing that roads are assets that must be managed and shared for full utilization.
He emphasized that by enacting the law, the State Government is keen on encouraging compliance rather than meting out punishment to offenders and would also emphasise a substitution of high fines with communal and community service if anyone is found guilty of contravening the law.
The State helmsman stated that the State Government has fully embarked upon a programme of advocacy, public awareness to fully arm the citizens so that they do not fall victim or run foul of the law.
On the clamour for additional investment in Tourism especially in the Badagry axis by the Prelate, the Governor said the State Government has invested considerable capital in the Badagry axis which includes the light rail that will pass through the route and promote its tourism potentials.
Earlier, the Prelate of the Methodist Church, Reverend Samuel Ola Makinde had commended Governor Fashola for the religious harmony that is prevalent in the State, saying the present government has integrated all religious beliefs without segregation.
He also commended the Governor on the signing of the Road Traffic Law adding that it will no doubt enhance safety, environmental sanitation, longevity and decent social behaviour.
He added that if the traffic laws are enforced, it will encourage more states with huge urban population to enact similar laws, adding that law enforcement agents should not see the new law as a source of making fortunes.
In his message of goodwill, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Reverend Ayo Orishetjafor said the Methodist Church is the pride of church in Nigeria with the kind of God fearing leadership that it has.
He implored the members of the Church to change to new things because God is doing a new thing in the life of the country.
Prominent among those who witnessed the opening ceremony were the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu, Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice B.O. Adeniji, foremost businessman, Chief Kessignton Adebutu and delegates from all over the world.