Full Valedictory Speech: Archbishop Lamido Shares Insight of His 27 Years in Wusasa

  • Korede Akintunde
  • May 20, 2024

It was a glorious exit on Saturday, 18th May, 2024 for The Most Rev’d Professor Buba Lamido who was the former Archbishop of internal province and Dean of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion and Bishop of Wusasa Diocese.

At 64 he served the church for 27 years, voluntarily retiring 5 years and 3 months ahead of his official retirement age and coming from the Hausa Fulani tribe his choice of faith among his Muslim family could only be explained as God’s chosen vessel.

And indeed the Lord used him mightily to win many souls into God’s Kingdom and even in his voluntary retirement he would still continue to actively spread the gospel to the four corners of the world.

The Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Dr. Henry Ndukuba in his message at the retirement service held at St. Bartholomew Cathedral, Wusasa acknowledged the spiritual exploits of Most Revd Lamido as God’s divine. He described him as an icon of note in the Church of God “whose election was divine and uncommon as he remained the only bishop from the Fulani tribe in the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion.”

Archbishop Ali Buba Lamido expressed gratitude to God Almighty and shared in few words the tensed environment that made his pastoral works so difficult in the last four years of his active ministry in Wusasa.

Below is the full valedictory speech of the Most Rev’d Prof. Ali Buba Lamido (Rtd);

It is with great honour and humility, yet with a sense of pride, that I welcome you to this thanksgiving service to mark my valedictory as Bishop of Wusasa. We are so so delighted to have you. We are humbled by the fact that in spite of your tight schedules and scarcity of petrol, you still found time to be here. May the Lord bless your labour of love

We cannot express how grateful we are for the opportunity and blessing of leading the clergy, lay leadership, and congregations of the Diocese of Wusasa in our common goal of transforming the world via the making of disciples of Jesus. You have been dependable and productive collaborators. Your kindness and consideration are immeasurable.

As we offer our primary thanks to God for His continued blessing upon us as a diocese it is also right that we should say “thank you” to all those who serve Christ and serve the church in contributing to the growth of this diocese. Some may be people that we see every week involved in activities, but many are hidden behind the scenes, and simple, apparently, small acts of service ensure that this project is a reality. Without the voluntary input of so many, without the generosity of time, skills, gifts, and finances of so many it would be impossible to finish this gigantic project. Thank you to everyone who contributes in any way.

For all of the Diocese’s goodwill toward us over our years as their bishop, we are incredibly appreciative. You are this local church’s greatest asset. Signs of a vibrant church filled with the spirit of missionary disciples include your commitment, your desire to grow in your faith, your willingness to face challenges head-on, your openness to be a part of the diversity that God has blessed us with, and your embracing of the core values of hospitality, reconciliation, faith sharing, and collaboration. You are the body of Christ’s followers, called to share the gospel with your family, neighbors, and society at large so that people can live hopeful

Our personal experience negotiating instability within this Diocese emphasizes how resilient and determined one must be to fulfill pastoral responsibilities in the face of hardship. Our unwavering dedication to serving the community acts as a beacon of hope amid uncertainty, despite the hurdles being enormous.  We praise God for providing priceless insights into the challenges of leadership in conflict-affected areas, as seen by the numerous kidnappings and banditries that have occurred recently.    My experience highlights the vital significance of resilience, adaptive leadership, and an unrelenting dedication to helping the community in the face of hardship.

The health of the Diocese and its members is intrinsically linked to the position of a bishop. But when insecurity seeps throughout the community as a whole, carrying out this responsibility becomes a difficult undertaking full of obstacles.  The community of Wusasa Diocese has struggled with the difficulties of banditry, and kidnapping. In addition to endangering people’s physical safety, these difficulties cause anxiety and uncertainty, which weakens the socioeconomic foundation of the area.  We have had multiple threats from armed persons in the bishop’s court. 

It is frequently necessary to avoid the Diocese for extended periods to maintain one’s safety. While providing for personal safety, this physical distance makes it difficult to carry out pastoral responsibilities and sustain community bonds.  Without the incredibly good priests who have been serving the Diocese as a family for the past three and a half years, it would have had an impact on my administrative skills, function, and influence.  There are several different leadership problems when a diocese is in such circumstances. Making wise decisions and using flexible leadership techniques are necessary to strike a balance between the need to provide spiritual guidance and the protection of the clergy and congregation.

My safety is impacted by the insecurity, which also interferes with family life. I frequently have to distance myself from my family due to the persistent fear of violence and instability, which exacerbates an already difficult and uncertain position by causing emotional distress.   Because of the unstable security environment, traveling within the Diocese carries major dangers. Highways turn into dangerous areas where there is a constant risk of ambushes, kidnappings, and armed group attacks. Traveling with extreme caution and careful planning is required because of this ongoing threat.  Additionally, it frequently caused high blood pressure levels to rise before, during, and after trips.  Glory to God that we are still here to bear witness to his benevolence.

Our stewardship as bishop has witnessed some ups and downs and straights. We have enjoyed support from many. However, some consciously or ignorantly constituted a cog in the wheel of progress. Let me state in very clear terms that as I leave this place, I leave without grudges against anyone. Their actions have succeeded in bringing out the best out of me. My advice to them is to have a change of heart and corporate with the new bishop that will be elected.

We will leave you with this commission: never forget that you are God’s people, sent to tell of the great deeds of Jesus, who brought you out of the depths of darkness and into his marvelous light. Make new disciples and shine your light amid political unrest, economic upheaval, racial injustice, and a persistent epidemic. Recall that you are God’s chosen people for this specific moment and location. Go ahead and dream big and accomplish God-sized dreams.  Remain steadfast and unified in support of Jesus’ message.

We will now bid you all farewell and take our leave, wishing and praying for your continued success. We would now give your immortal souls to the one who originally entrusted them to us, anticipating the day we must see you again in front of the Judge of the Quick and the Dead. We pray that we may never stop sincerely praying for your prosperity and that we may never forget these individuals, who have been our special charge for such a long time. God grant you a devoted pastor who knows his mind and will, who can properly chastise sinners, carefully screen instructors with discernment, and lead you to everlasting bliss. May you genuinely have a bright and sparkling light put up in this candlestick, and may you be willing to rejoice in his brightness not just for a short while but for the entirety of his long life.

And let us be included in the prayers of all God’s people who, regardless of their beliefs regarding the norms of church communion, have a tranquil spirit, and are peaceful and obedient in Israel. And may we all never forget our upcoming serious gathering on that big day of the Lord—the day of final judgment and the eternal, unchangeable word—Amen.

Archbishop Ali Buba Lamido was born on the 29th August, 1959 and hails from Shelleng Local Government of Adamawa State in Nigeria. He became a parish priest in the year 1993, was elected the first bishop of Wusasa Diocese in 1997, became the first elected Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion in February 2018, a position he served its full 5 years term till February 2023.

Korede Akintunde

CoN Communincation Officer

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