The Nigerian Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has called for bridge building across Faith and Tribe. According to Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, he made the call during a visit of a delegation from US-based Bridgeway Community Church on Tuesday to the Presidential Villa.
The delegation, led by Bridgeway community church founder and senior pastor, Dr David Anderson, visited Osinbajo in the company of another delegation from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission led by its Executive Secretary, Dr. Sule Bassi.
In his speech, the Vice president noted: “It has become clear to us that we must find different ways of building bridges, especially between faith and ethnic nationalities. “And one of the critical things that our faith teaches us is that, regardless of what the situation may be, we must love even our enemies and pray for them.
“The future for society, in my view, relies on our ability to build bridges and to ensure that those bridges are firm and we can walk across it and interact with each other,” he said.
Vice president Osinbajo who himself is a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God has repeatedly come under fire in the past for his “lackadaisical and often hypocritical” posturing in the face of countless incidences of Christian persecution by radical Muslim herders across the country. His call for bridge building across faith and ethnic nationalities and that “we must love even our enemies” strikes a very sensitive chord which could be misconstrued as him suggesting minority Christian communities who are daily losing ancestral lands to invading Fulani herders should learn to love and live the radical Islamists who take over their lands, kill and rape their wives and children.
In his own remark, Anderson said that there was a need to build bridges between Africans and African-Americans. Agreeing with Anderson, Osinbajo said that he was inspired to build a Diaspora Palace Hotel and resort in Badagry, Lagos so that “when people come back from the Diaspora, wherever they are, they would no longer just come to the Point of No Return, but they would walk through the Door of Return; and that they would be accepted as royalty.”
Anderson noted that several African-Americans desired to be identified as Africans. He said that he was working with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and the Foreign Affairs and Information ministries to realize that through what he called the ‘Door of Return initiative.’
In his remarks, Bassi noted that the Door of Return initiative, among other objectives, aimed to advance the exchange of economic cooperation and direct investment between Nigeria and the Diaspora, particularly in the area of tourism and sustainable development.