(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
The Primate and Metropolitan of all Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh has often in his capacity as the head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria received visitors from far and wide, who often come to discuss issues bothering on the Church and the nation. These courtesy visits are often a time of fellowship and establishment of understanding between both parties, in other to foster long-lasting relationships and future partnerships. One of such visits was paid on the Primate by the Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria, David J. Young, accompanied by Matthew Purl, who is a Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, Abuja, Nigeria.
According to Primate Okoh, the visit was one where ideas and views were shared about the Church and their countries – Nigeria and the United States; how both countries can work together to make things go forward. He revealed that the visit has been able to establish a measure of understanding about David Young and the work he has come to do in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Mr. Young described his visit to be two-fold, which were based on his capacity as a diplomat of the United States and a Deacon of the United Methodist Church. He explained that as a diplomat, he was there to discuss issues of politics, economics, and security and as a Minister, to share ideas about the state of the Church. He said that the embassy was working on ways to boost the economy of Nigeria to alleviate poverty and the current economic crisis in the nation. However, as a Minister of the gospel, he urged the Church to fulfill its role by teaching people on the importance of faith in these challenging times. He quoted from the Scriptures that “Faith without works is dead,” and opined that whatever tradition one comes from and whatever religion one professes, if it’s not put into practice in a way that it works for brotherhood and sisterhood, justice and peace and respect for all people, then it is not real.
The visit was brought to a close with a prayer by David Young and the exchange of contact information by both parties. Also present at the meeting was the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Venerable Dr. Ayodeji Fagbemi. It was a time of fellowship, where scriptures were discussed and its relevance to Christian living and practice.