The Spiritual Fathers of Faith in Akwa Ibom, has vowed to continue to support the Akwa Ibom governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to end well and produce a successor.
Speaking separately during the one-day mega prayer summit of the body, Prelate Emeritus, Dr Sunday Mbang, Prelate Prof Isaiah Issong and Rev Dr Uma Ukpai, pledged unalloyed loyalty to the governor whom they roundly described as Godsend at a time like this to Akwa Ibom.
In an unusual show of unity, the fathers converged in their hundreds, amidst thousands of pastors to assert their authority as credible and most widely accepted leaders of the Christian community in Akwa Ibom, as their presence drew thousands of pastors to the occasion, hosted, Thursday, at Believers Assembly of Nigeria, Mbiabong Etoi, Uyo.
Setting the tone for the prayer summit, Prelate Emeritus, Dr Sunday Mbang, told the gathering that the intention was to birth a new Akwa Ibom, where Jesus Christ will truly take the centre stage in the lives of the people.
Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai, speaking on the theme of the programme, “Finishing Strong, described Gov Udom Emmanuel as a true child of God, who must be supported by all believers to finish well, while Prelate Isaiah Issong, urged Akwa Ibomites, who are majorly Christians, to emulate the sterling virtues of Governor Emmanuel, whom he described as a patriot.
Irked by the divisive posturing of some pastors, geared towards elections next year, the Spiritual Fathers of Faith, during the prayer conference, also unveiled a new subsidiary that will go into the trenches on behalf of the Fathers of Faith Forum and rally all believers to her cause.
The new body, Fathers In Faith for Good Governance, which is an offshoot of Fathers of Faith, has Prelate Isaiah Issong as its president general.
Declaring the charge before swearing-in Issong, Dr SundayMbang, CON, admonished that Issong and his team must lead the fight for the reChristianization of Akwa Ibomites.
We, the Fathers of Faith, are now inviting you to join us, Prelate Isaiah Issong, and soliciting your commitment today and always as the Fathers In Faith for the re-Christianization of the sons and daughters of the state, to help them and us return to the renewed Christ-like lives experienced at our baptism, thus making this state, truly Akwa Abasi Ibom State, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Addressing the audience before swearing in the officials of the Fathers In Faith for Good Governance, as an offshoot of Fathers of Faith, Mbang, now over 85 years old and still very agile, bemoaned the emptiness of many Akwa Ibomites who professed to be Christians but lack the necessary fruits and essentialities of the Christian faith, as enunciated in the Scriptures.
Asked rhetorically who a Christian is, he emphasized repentance as symbolized by baptism by immersion, which according to the erudite theologian, sums up the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, adding, At baptism, the baptized must be ready to leave the old life behind him to a new life, the God and Jesus ways.
Charging pastors to strive towards a new life as evidence of salvation, he noted that Akwa Ibom State and the Nigerian nation would be a new heaven and new earth if citizens, including, traders, the law enforcement officers, the Judges, the politicians, etc., were truly Christians.
He placed the burden of birthing a new Akwa Ibom on the shoulders of Prelate Isaiah Issong and other inductees, charging them to be courageous, selfless and also eschew greed and covetousness, as you are inducted into a new era of good governance today.
Responding, Prelate Isaiah Issong vowed to abide by the principles upheld by the Fathers of Faith Forum, as he knelt before Mbang and thousands of pastors to receive the mantle to lead a new army of faith for good governance in Akwa Ibom.
He said, Indeed, I am humbled by this occasion of my swearing-in formalities as the president-general of this circumstantial new born, adult children of the already existing Fathers of Faith Forum for Good Governance.
Assuring the Church fathers of loyalty to the new commission, Prelate Issong pledged to serve, as a mature patriotic breed to fulfill the Biblical mandate as recorded in Psalm 127:4-5.
As arrows are in the hand of the mighty man: so are children of thy youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Expatiating, he submitted, This type of adult children are those to shape the better and brighter future as the Bible further presents them as the defenders (arrows) of their parents in war, and in litigation and against adversaries in the gate or place of public and business with unflagging strength and energy of the eagle.