Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has performed, for the first time, performed a groundbreaking and foundation laying ceremony for the building of a chapel in the State Government House.
The ceremony for the foundation laying for the Chapel christened Chapel of Peace and Unity held on Monday at the Chapel site in Lokoja the state capital.
In his address, Governor Bello said he feels it was the right thing to do and that as people come from God, they deserved what is good hence the decision to build the chapel.
“When I arrived here as Governor by the peculiar deeds of God, the construction of a bespoke place of worship for Christians inside the premises of the Kogi State Government House became a personal aspiration of mine.”
Governor who noted that comparatively speaking, building a Chapel anywhere is a small project for a Governor added that the chapel is not just going to be a place for worship for Christians, but also a place that gives them a sense of belonging in the scheme of things in the state.
“I remember that around 2015 while I was still campaigning for Governor my team and I noted the absence of a Chapel in Lugard House even though a mosque for Muslim faithfuls had been built. We resolved to do something about it of God ever put us in Office.”
He expressed regrets that for about 20 years, indigenous Governors of the State took care of one religion and refused to build a corresponding place of worship for about half the populace in the very place co-owned by all citizens of the state, describing the action bas an indication that demonstrates they either pretended not to notice that it did not exist.
The Governor then expressed his determination to continue to carry out programmes that amplify the unity of all the ethic and religious existence in the state.
He then thanked the CAN national President for his commitment and love for the state which informed his decision to be in attendance at the groundbreaking, adding that the policies of his new direction government would encourage unison among the people at all times.
In her Welcome address, the secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Arike expressed excitement on the occasion, adding that the ceremony shows the Governor as a positive history maker as Christians can now raise their hands and worship God Almighty within the Government House.
She said the project showed high expectations the Christian Community has for those in government because the government of Yahaya Bello has given the Christian faith in the state a pride of place in his administration as several of his appointees, including herself, are Christians.
Speaking, the National CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle described the occasion as one that shows Governor Bello as a pacesetter and trailblazer.
He said it takes courage for a governor to execute the project Governor Bello had decided to carry, especially as it had never been done before in the history of the state.
‘This is not to flatter you, but your desire to have religious and ethnic harmony a priority is the destiny that has been conferred upon you by God. Like Christ, Kogi State has become a leveler for all of inhabitants of the state.
“Like I told the President, Nigeria is a multiethnic and multilingual and multireligious nation. Where there is justice and equity, no one would care about who the President or Governor is.
“Muslims and Christians have no option than to work together for the progress of the state. I commended the Governor for his openness to bring people together. The occasion is amazing because he is the first to do it.”
Speaking, the CAN Chairman for Kogi State, Bishop John Ibenu said the Lord had tried the hearts of Governor Bello which he passed.
The CAN national President had earlier Soar, a book by T.D Jakes to the Governor in his office where he noted that reading the book would enrich Governor Bello with wisdom in his duty.