Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has described the late Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Dr Sunday Mbang, as an embodiment of Christian virtues and an icon of national unity, love, morality and tolerance.
Speaking at the funeral of the late Mbang in Eket on Friday, Eno described him as a man of deep faith, who saw the ennobling ideals in other faiths, lived the aspiration of Nigeria and showed himself a great patriot who considered character and principles of those who came in contact with him.
“We are gathered here to bid farewell to a shepherd, who stayed close to his flock even at a point of personal harm, a quintessential son and an ecclesiastical Ambassador of our dear State.
“The late Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, the first Chairman of the World Methodists Council of African ancestry, an advocate of religious or inter-faith collaborations and tolerance.
“A proponent of good governance, who was not afraid to speak truth to power, the late Prelate Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigerian, Dr Sunday Mbang.
“Today, Nigeria is a better place because he collaborated and worked with other religious leaders, so the rainbow of colours on our national religious firmament would illuminate and beautify our diversity,” Eno said.
Eno acknowledged the support of Mbang towards his emergence as Governor of Akwa Ibom.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, in his tributes, recalled his days as President and how close he got to be with Mbang then, as head of the Methodist Church and Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, in spite of the cleric’s frankness in speaking his mind to power.
Obasanjo credited the ecumenical centre built during his tenure at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to the then Methodist Prelate and CAN President.
He said his purposefulness and consistency compelled him to lead fundraising to build National Christian Worship Centre and the only cathedral with a revolving altar.
In his homily, the General Secretary, World Methodist Council, Bishop Ivan Abraham, said the legacies and adorable exit of the Prelate Emeritus should place on the minds of the living the question of what they would be remembered for when you must have left the earth.
Abraham, who took his message from Ecclesiastes 44:1-1, said that death is not the end for those that trust in the Lord, but just a transition to be with God.