Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto; Bishop Matthew Kukah has said that Nigerians must rise above ethnic and religious differences to tackle insecurity challenges bedeviling the country.
Kukah made the call on Friday while delivering a homily at the funeral mass of Chief Michael Onyema, father of the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace; Mr Allen Onyema at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Mbosi in Anambra State.
The cleric noted that Nigeria is presently going through turbulent times characterized by banditry, kidnapping and herders/farmers’ clashes.
He, however, expressed optimism that the country would overcome these problems if it was able to properly harness and maximize its diversity. .
According to him, `U.S is the most diversified country in the world. “Americans had been able to harness its diversity by giving inclusion to all groups; Nigeria should adopt a similar approach”, he added.
Continuing, Kukah remarked that it is unfortunate that herdsmen are now being accused of any criminal acts across the country, stressing that it was wrong to classify all herdsmen as criminals.
On the other hand, he eulogized the deceased for living an exemplary Christian life and bringing up his children to be detribalized, which had made his first son; Allen to have married from Kogi State. “The Air Peace boss has followed the footsteps of his father by giving employment to Nigerians without tribal or religious considerations”, he concluded
Also speaking, The CEO of Air Peace; Mr. Allen Onyema urged Nigerians to continue to live in love and unity, adding that other criminal elements are taking advantage of the division in the country to carry out their nefarious actions.
He 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; Willy Obiano of Anambra described the event as a celebration of life because the late Onyema lived a fruitful life.
The service was graced by eminent personalities including Governors Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
Others were former Governor of Anambra State; Dr Peter Obi, and Mr Timi Alaibe; former Chairman, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) among others.