By Emmanuel AddehÂ in Yenagoa
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) along with the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev Samson Ayokunle; his predecessor, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and Bishop Felix Omobude, President Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) will next Tuesday inaugurateÂ the 10,000 capacity Ecumenical Centre built by theÂ Bayelsa Government.Â
In a press briefing yesterday, theÂ State government , represented by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, flanked by the Special Adviser on Religion, Pastor Samuel John-Peters, Bayelsa CAN Chairman, Arch Bishop Jacob Apiri and Chaplain Government House , Bishop Dotimi Ekpegi, said the programme will culminate in the annual thanksgiving of the state on November 2.Â
The building located in Igbogene, which commenced over five years ago, the Bayelsa government said, also houses two libraries, including an e-library , special locations for retreats, cafeteria and a restaurant.
â€œ As a government we are excited about these developments. For the first time our state is going to experience the unveiling of a place of worship. No other state has done that in the magnitude we are doing it. As people of faith, this is very cheering newsâ€, Iworiso-Markson said.
The Special Adviser on Religion , Pastor John-Peters said aside the prayer and fasting on the first day of the three-day programme, there would also be dedication and the annual thanksgiving backed by law which would be superintended over by Rev Uma Ukpai.
He said that God had always been interested in people raising altars for him, noting that the ecumenical centre would draw economic benefits as time goes on.
The cleric added that major Christian meetings all over the country will be held in the centre for which a hotel accommodation is also being planned for people who would travel from all over the country to have religious conferences.
According to him, the dedication of the worship centre would further â€œ connectâ€ Ijaw land and Bayelsa in particular to God, noting that the building was initially valued at N1.2 billion, but in the last five inflation would have led to an increase in the initial budget.
CAN Chairman in the state , Arch Bishop Apiri, noted that the ecumenical centre was non-denominational and urged all Christians from every denomination to see the centre as their own.
He said that while the ecumenical centre in Abuja could only seat about 3,000 persons, the Bayelsa centre could comfortably accommodate 10,000 persons in one session, stressing that without prodding from religious leaders in the state, Governor Dickson started and completed the project.
Also expected during the event are Bishop God-do-well Avwomakpa, South South leader of CAN and popular gospel musicians, Kirk Franklin, Asu Ekiye, among others.