Nigeria’s Unity more important than Religion, Ethnicity — Ag. Army Chaplain

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The Ag. Director of Chaplain Services (Roman Catholic) of the Nigerian Army, Very Rev. Fr Anthony Maimagani has stressed the importance of Nigeria’s unity over individual’s religious and ethnic inclinations.

Mr Maimagani, a Colonel of the Nigerian Army, stated this at an inter-denominational church service held at the St Mark’s Military Church, 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze Barracks, Owerri, on Sunday.

The church service was part of activities marking the Nigerian Army Day Celebrations for year 2022.

In his homily, Mr Maimagani, who took a reading of Romans chapter 13 verse one, advised officers to obey constituted authority, adding that it was a core aspect of military training and discipline.

The military cleric also urged Christians to contribute to national unity by all possible means through the pursuit of religious and ethnic tolerance, as well as mutual co-operation, as a matter of ecclesiastical responsibility.

He said:

”Our training and discipline suggest that we must be tolerant, embrace peaceful co-existence and not turn a blind eye to issues that can affect the unity of our God-given nation, no matter how subtle they may appear.

”Elected officials and public office holders at all levels must also place national interests ahead of personal aggrandisement so as to preserve our nationhood and give each Nigerian a pride of place.”

Speaking on the theme: ‘Promoting National Unity Through Religious Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence’, Chief of Army Staff, Lt..-Gen. Farouk Yahaya, urged officers to work on their vigilance and avoid collaborating with enemies of the state to sabotage efforts of the army.

Mr Yahaya, represented by the Corps Commander, Infantry Corps of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Victor Ezugwu, took lessons from the reading of Psalm chapter 127 verse one and attributed the professional successes of the Nigerian Army to divine backing, among other things.

”As we celebrate the 159th anniversary of the Nigerian army, we must know that our ability to professionally surmount our numerous challenges is evidence of divine backing; God has been our compass bearer in all these years.

”I wish to most humbly thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his tremendous support which has raised the morale of our troops, as well as our legislative and judiciary arms for their support and encouragement to the Nigerian army,” he said.