NIGERIA: Ted Wilson Visits Governor and Urges Freedom of Conscience for All

Posted on Oct. 27 2023

Ted Wilson Visits Governor and Urges Freedom of Conscience for All

[Photo: Pastor Ted Wilson and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno]
The President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson paid a pastoral courtesy call on the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, at the State House in Uyo, Nigeria, on October 26, 2023.

[Photo: Arrival of the President in Akwa Ibom State]
Pastor Ted Wilson came to participate in the centenary celebration of the Adventist Church in Eastern Nigeria. Ahead of the November 4 celebration in Aba, Abia State, the Adventist Church leadership organized visits to Nigerian authorities.
In his special address Elder Ted Wilson has given the formula for effectiveness in leadership and government as doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Speaking directly off Micah 6:8, Pastor Wilson noted that every decision made by leaders in government or spiritual affairs should be grounded on justice and mercy and done in humility before God and the people. He expressed words of commendation: “Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you for the hospitality of your people and your commitment to be a government that truly serves the people.”

[Photo: Governor of Akwa Ibom State receives gift from Pastor Ted Wilson]
Pastor Wilson also appealed to the Governor to use the instrumentality of his office to encourage state institutions to provide alternative opportunities for Seventh-day Adventists and other Sabbath keepers to participate in elections, examinations and community clean-up exercises outside of the Sabbath hours. “As Much as we acknowledge the commitment of your State and this nation to upholding citizens’ rights to religious freedom, I believe there is more that can be done.” He urged that the Sabbath issue was a matter of conscience and conviction, and as such, the rights of citizens to observe the Sabbath without hindrance or interference should be recognized and respected.
Governor Umo Bassey Eno received Pastor Wilson along with his deputy, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, the Secretary to Government, Prince Enobong Uwa, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uko Udom, all the Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries and Chairs of Boards and Parastatals.
Pastor Wilson acknowledged the graciousness of the Governor and his cabinet in waiting to have the visit after it was delayed by more than two hours because of technical problems in Pastor Wilson’s flight arrangement. He prayed God’s blessings and wisdom for the governor and his team.
In his remarks, Pastor Wilson also expressed his and the church's gratitude for the friendship and solidarity of ace industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who offered his private jet for use after the one provided by Dr. Deji Adeleke
developed a minor technical fault. He praised God for the humility and magnanimity of both men and prayed for God's blessings on them.

[Photo: President Ted Wilson thanks the crew as they get off the plane]
On his part, Governor Umo Eno thanked the GC president for dropping by with his team. “It is not all the time that the world leaders of Christian organisations come calling. We’re only about five months in office, so as world leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, your visit is very significant for us and we do not take it for granted,” the Governor enthused.
Governor Eno pledged that he and his team will serve the people of Akwa Ibom with commitment, competence and compassion, knowing that they will give account to God on the day of judgement. He indicated that the philosophy of his government, which is informed by his strong Christian background and values, is anchored on the ARISE agenda. ARISE is the acronym for Agricultural Revolution, Rural Development, Infrastructure Maintenance and Advancement, Security Management and Educational Advancement.
Pastor Wilson invited the Governor to the October 28 Sabbath Service holding at the Ikot Ekpene stadium as part of activities lined for the Year-End meeting of the West-Central Africa Division. Other visits to the authorities are planned during the stay, which will end on November 5, 2023.

[Photo: Tribute to the President by Adventist Youth]
On the visit with Pastor Wilson were his wife, Mrs Nancy Wilson, Associate Treasurer of the General Conference, Elder George Egwakhe and his wife, officers of the West-Central Africa Division, Pastor Robert Osei-Bonsu, Pastor Sessou Kwasi Selom, Elder Markus Musa Dangana and their wives, officer of the Eastern Nigeria Union Conference, Pastor Bassey Udoh, Pastor Onyebuchi Opara and Elder Emmanuel Manilla, the Vice Chancellor and Bursar of Babcock University, Prof. Ademola Tayo and Dr Folorunso Akande and the Akwa Ibom Conference President, Pastor Felix Anaba.

Pastor Wilson is in Nigeria to lead the grand finale of the year-long celebration of the Centenary of Adventism in Eastern Nigeria. He will, among other commemorative activities, attend the Year-end Council of the West-Central Africa Division, visit the uplink centre of the Hope Channel International-led satellite evangelism in Port Harcourt, and preside over the worship rally and Festival of Baptism on November 04 which will be the climax of the celebrations.
The Adventist Church in Nigeria has three Union Conferences with 312,175 members worshipping in 1,378 churches and 1,577 companies. The country has more than 223 million people, the largest population in Africa.

Chigozi Eti
Directeur de Communication
Union Fédération de l’est du Nigéria

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