Former Presidents of Nigeria, Gen Yakubu Gowon, Dr Godluck Jonathan; and former minister of defence, Gen Theophilus Danjuma have called for religious harmony and nurturing of the young ones.
They spoke at the 20th anniversary celebration of Pastors’ Training Trust Fund.
It was gathered that the Trust Fund which was established in 2003, has helped in the training of over 600 Pastors.
Speaking, Gen Gowon who is the ground patron of the group, said he commissioned the office headquarters in Maiduguri and has watched with admiration of the accountability of the leadership.
“They started with five pastors and now they are sponsoring over 120 student pastors in the 2022-2023 session.
“This is a remarkable achievement. It means that we Africans and Nigerians are now sponsoring the work of mission rather than waiting for sponsorship from abroad,” Gowon said, adding that the organisation is non denominational with 36 denominations pastors sponsored in 26 theological colleges. We have sponsored 600 theological students in seminaries.
“We are planning to sponsor 250 students annually. We were spending N100,000 per student but not covering their fees. There are more demands.
“This is to ensure that the future generations of pastors have good Biblical training for religious harmony and nurturing,” Gowon said.
Speaking, former president Jonathan said religious harmony is important adding that the clergy men are faced with a series of challenges.
According to Jonathan, Yakubu Gowon and TY Danjuma used the rifle to keep Nigeria one adding that even after retirement, they are using the Bible to keep Nigeria one.
“We believe this institution will help you to be nurtured as Christian leaders, community and political leaders,” Jonathan added.
On his part, Gen Danjuma, who said he has been avoiding such gatherings because of his health, added that God ordered him to personally attend the 20th anniversary.
“I am here because God ordered me to be here. I didn’t know of the existence of the pastors training fund and the organization that is sponsoring this ceremony.
“This goes beyond the denominational rivalry that normally destroys Organisations like this. I congratulate you and urge you to continue to work together and train our clergymen,” Danjuma said.
The chairlady of the day, retired Justice Olufunlola Adekeye, said Gen Yakubu Gowon is a God gift to the Nigerian nation and the first intercessor of the country.
She said their efforts at keeping Nigeria one through interfaith and national unity will never be forgotten.