The Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, on Tuesday assured Nigerians that they would surmount the nation’s current economic challenges.
Okoh gave the assurance at the retirement service organised for the Most Rev. Adebayo Akinde, Archbishop of Lagos Mainland, held at the Cathedral Church of St Jude, Ebute Meta, Lagos.
“Nigerians should be patient with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“I believe that God Almighty, with our prayers, will turn around the situation of this country,’’ he said.
Okoh later told newsmen on the sidelines of the event that Akinde’s retirement was in line with the rules and regulations of the church.
He said that Akinde had made tremendous impact and was leaving where he served better than he met it.
“He was a pioneer bishop of the cathedral during which he executed many projects, organised and led many souls to Christ.
“This place is definitely better than it was before, so we believe that he has left his footprints in the sand of time; we wish him good health and God’s grace,” he said.
Okoh said Akinde would still be serving the church, but not in active capacity.
“He has clocked the mandatory age of 70 and by our constitution, he has to retire and a new bishop will take over.
“The church has arranged it this way for the purpose of refreshing people and the leadership so that nobody gets so weakened that he cannot carry on.
“It is good that after retirement, he will be able to enjoy the rest of his life without struggling,’’ he said.
Akinde, while speaking to newsmen shortly after the service, said he was overwhelmed, adding that he would still be teaching the Bible, counselling and evangelising the word of God.
“I am going to continue serving my God; it’s just that I can’t continue along the ecclesiastical order. I will give myself for the expansion of God’s Kingdom,’’ he said.
Akinde also urged his successor to hold on to God without wavering, be prayerful and always obey the heavenly voice.
“He should hold on to God firmly, he must be prayerful, he must learn to listen to God and ask for the grace to be obedient to God.
“God is the owner of the church; He has an agenda for his church, and any church leader that wants to succeed must run on God’s agenda,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Akinde was the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos Mainland for 10 years.
He was also the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for four years until his retirement.