By GILBERT EKEZIE
Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Nigerian president and elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Bishop Wale Oke and other stakeholders were among those present at the One-Day Christian summit with the theme, “The Holy Bible, Our Reliable Foundation for Maximizing Personal and National Well being,” organised by the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) at Ikeja Lagos recently, where they charted a way forward for the activities of the Bible Society.
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Osinbajo who arrived the venue with Chief Obasanjo and others expressed satisfaction for the contributions of BSN at ensuring that the Bible is available for Nigerians and beyond. ” I acknowledge the good work of the BSN since inception. They have made a very impressive achievements. With a total of 500 languages in Nigeria, many have not been translated to have access to the Bible, and without people having direct access to the Bible, how will they benefit from salvation? So, there is need to spread the Bible to reach the unreached and in their languages.”
He explained the importance of the Bible, pointing out that it helps people to know more about God and helps to correct societal ills
According to him, knowledge of the contents of the Bible has the tendency of redirecting leaders to do the needful in leadership. “There is need to spread the gospel, it is an important foundation for leadership. However, I promise to partner to move BSN forward.”
On his own part, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo also commended the BSN team for their efforts in the proper distribution of the Bibles to the who need them.
He stated that the Holy Bible is a way to get revelation of whom God is, and without it, many people will get lost.
Obasanjo described the Bible as the foundation for measuring personal and national well being. “The Bible is so important to all, so let us support the construction of the proposed Bible House in order for them to actualize their dreams.”
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President and BOT Chairman of BSN, Bishop Timothy Banwo charged Churches in Nigeria to support BSN” activities by taking the ownership of the production and distribution of the Bible, to enable it reach the unreached communities accross Nigeria.
He said that the mandate of making the scriptures available to all was a divine one that must be accomplished for the growth of the society and the salvation of mankind.
Banwo explained that the Holy Bible is the bedrock of the Church and the fulcrum on which the country’s nationhood stands, noting that it behoves on everyone to explore its teachings and apply it in the reformation of the Nigerian drifting nationhood, with a view to avoiding bad blood, corruption and organised crime.
According to him, internalising the content of the scriptures as a national marching order , will aid in halting subsisting crisis that has enveloped the land for sometime.
“God the Creator in varying ways in the scriptures reveal to mankind solutions to societal problems , only if we should heed to His directive as encapsulated in the Holy Bible.”
Banwo who condemned the killings in Nigeria by bandits , called on the people to assist BSN in its work to ensure repentance of hardened and wicked people who believe that killing others would secure them a place in heaven. “The words of the scriptures is Jesus Christ made flesh , and it dwells among us with the power to disarm battalion of bandits , when assimilated.”
Also, the General Secretary of BSN, Pastor Samuel Sanusi, informed that the core of the BSN are Bible Translation, Publishing, Bible Distribution, fundraising and Life-, Transforming programmes.
He hinted that so far, the organisation has translated the Bible into 26 local Nigerian languages to encourage readership and easy assimilation.
He said the high cost of printing materials and logistics for resource persons are posing serious challenges to the smooth operation of the Bible Society of Nigeria and appealed to organisations, local and international partners not to relent in their support at ensuring that BSN meets its mandate and obligation to the public. “We have been operating in a rented office, so we need our own building and.the process is on. Therefore, we would welcome donations and grants from the public and organizations to support our multiple people oriented projects and programmes.”