The General Conference President, Seventh-Day Adventists Church, Dr. Ted Wilson, has called on governments in Nigeria to provide the opportunity for freedom of conscience and religious liberty that will enable people, especially Sabbath keepers, carry out their beliefs and convictions accordingly.
Wilson, who made this call during his visit to Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo , Ogun State, after he had inaugurated some landmark projects, explained that the government should consider alternative arrangements and accommodation for Sabbath keepers so that they can be part of public engagements like elections, examinations, community works, among others.
“Interestingly, we have met with two governors; the Governor of Abia and Akwa Ibom States. We have specifically asked that those governors and their legislators should consider alternative arrangements and accommodations for Sabbath keepers.”
“Many times, the community work experience, is on a Saturday and seventh -Day Adventist wants to participate, but we do not believe in working on the seventh day. We rest. Sometimes elections and exams in public universities will be on a Saturday.
“We cannot feel consciously to be part of something which is not honouring God on that day . So we have made an appeal to those governors,” he stated.
He stressed the need for every state in the continent to fully understand that when there is religious liberty and freedom of conscience , there will be a tremendous platform for progress, growth and true peace among people .
He expressed concern that quite a number of churches put too much emphasis on protocols and ceremony saying that Seventh-Day Adventist do not hold people up like gods but facilitate personal relationship with God through bible study and prayers.
“ All faith and churches can understand that even within their own context, we are all headed towards a better knowledge of God.”
Wilson, who is also the visitor to the university, stated that Seventh-Day Adventist was expanding its educational system around the world as well as in Nigeria, while describing education as one of the best ways to bring the population up to a level where they can achieve their full potential.
He expressed optimism that Babcock University will become the most stellar in the country in terms of academic standard and will help students understand profoundly their obligations to serve others and God.
Earlier in his remarks, the Vice Chancellor/ President of the University, Prof Ademola Tayo, recalled how the institution was able to set up the Adventist Geoscience Centre under the General Conference administration to explore the natural world, which seek to develop and share an understanding of nature in a way agreeable with biblical teaching as expressed in the church’s statement of fundamental belief on creation.
According to him, “this is achieved through collaboration and interaction with other scholars to foster, sponsor and participate in original scientific research on topics relevant to the biblical view of origins; coordinate opportunities for networking, mentoring and scholarly discussion of scientific issues in origins from the perspective of the biblical worldview; and act as a consultative resource for the church regarding its understanding of the relationship of creation and science.
He disclosed that the centre in February this year, visited two secondary schools in Ile-Ife, Oyo State and two in Ogun State to share knowledge with the students on creation and science.”