By Sunny A. David, Nnewi
The Catholic bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah says Nigerians must rise above ethnic and religious differences to tackle insecurity challenges bedeviling the country.
He made the call on Friday while delivering a homily at the funeral mass of Chief Michael Onyema, father of the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Dr. Allen Onyema at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mbosi in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Bishop Kukah noted that Nigeria was presently going through turbulent times characterised by banditry, kidnapping and herders/farmers’ clashes.
The cleric, however, expressed optimism that the country would overcome these problems if it was able to properly harness and maximise its diversity.
He said “The greatness of this country is its diversity. We have not been able to manage our diversity.”
Bishop Kukah said Americans had been able to harness its diversity by giving inclusion to all groups, adding that Nigeria should adopt a similar approach.
He said that it was unfortunate that herdsmen were now being accused of any criminal acts across the country, stressing that it was wrong to classify all herdsmen as criminals.
The Catholic bishop eulogised the deceased for living an exemplary Christian life and bringing up his children to be detribalised which had made his first son, Chief Allen to marry from Kogi State.
The Cleric said Air Peace boss had followed the footsteps of his father by giving employment to Nigerians without tribal or religious considerations.
Also speaking, Chief Onyema urged Nigerians to continue to live in love and unity, adding that other criminal elements were taking advantage of the division in the country to carry out their nefarious actions.
The Air Peace Boss described his late father as a man who lived a life of piety and made tremendous impact on his community.
Speaking on behalf of the governors, Chief Willie Obiano of Anambra State described the event as a celebration of life because the late Chief Onyema lived a fruitful life.
Our correspondent reports that the service was graced by eminent personalities including Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta States.
Others were former Anambra Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, and Timi Alaibe, former Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission among others.