The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has said Nigeria may break up if efforts are not made to address the cracks.
He said efforts to mend the crack may be opposed, but such opposition would be defeated with focus and consistent prayers.
Osinbajo gave the warning on Sunday in Abuja at an interdenominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary.
The Vice-President was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, at the National Ecumenical Centre, where the anniversary service held.
In attendance were representatives of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan; permanent secretaries, military officials, members of the diplomatic community and other senior government officials.
Referencing the biblical story of how Nehemiah championed the rebuilding of the broken walls of Jerusalem, Osinbajo said, “The story should be a challenge to every Christian in Nigeria. It’s only that kind of Nehemiah’s love that will make us, as Nigerians, to rebuild the cracks we have in our walls today.
“For us in Nigeria, Nehemiah should be taken as a metaphor for those Nigerians who either reside in Nigeria or outside, to cry to God to use the abandoned opportunities in Nigeria to address our challenges of nation building.
“Fortunately for us, our walls are not yet broken but there are obvious cracks that could lead to a break if not properly addressed.
“Nehemiah started with fervent prayers, seeking the face of God and pleaded with his king to allow him return to Jerusalem to rebuild the broken walls because wall signifies peace, security, contentment and prosperity. It signifies the essence of the state of the nation.
“There’s an urgent need for a Nehemiah in our country, Nigeria, today. And like Nehemiah faced opposition in his efforts to rebuild the walls, any Nigerian that desires to rebuild Nigeria must also be ready to face stiffer opposition which will come in torrents. It can only be diffused by consistent focus and prayers.”
The Vice-President, however, expressed optimism that the 60th Independence anniversary could herald a rebirth Nigeria, saying “no group is more prepared for this task than our religious bodies.”
The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Samson Ayokunle, in his sermon titled, ‘The crucial need to attain greatness at 60’, stressed the need for justice, which, he said, would bring peace, tolerance and love.
“For us all to be on the same page, have sense of belonging and be happy, the doctrine of equality, that is equal access to employment, governance and education, must be available to all. The principle of inclusivity must be adopted. Nobody or region must be excluded from the scheme of things in Nigeria.”