FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that Nigerians must be prepared to protect and develop Nigeria at all times, and that the current challenges Nigerians were facing were transient as the country would definitely overcome them. He stated this while speaking at the public presentation of a book titled ‘The History of St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Otuoke,’ in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The former president urged Christians to continue to pray for the country, noting that the essence of history was to know how societies or clans evolved and emerged, and that there was need to capture the spread of Christianity in communities in the Niger Delta. He, therefore, appealed to indigenes of Otuoke to read the book and volunteer additional information for its next edition. President Jonathan also eulogised the book reviewer, Professor Emeritus Ebiegberi Alagoa, who has contributed so much towards the documentation of the history of Niger Delta. While unveiling the book, deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), who represented Governor Seriake Dickson, stated that the book would engender the spiritual upliftment of those that read it. He also congratulated the author of the book, Dr. Stephen Olali, who is also the chief historian and archivist of the state, for his efforts in writing the book. In his presentation, Professor Alagoa commended Dr. Olali, one of his former students at the University of Port Harcourt, for effectively telling the story of Otuoke from a Christian perspective. According to him, the author has become a specialist in church history, having done a similar work for the Anglican Church, Tombia, and himself being a Christian and a historian. In his speech, Dr. Sn Olali said that the idea of writing the book was mooted in 2011 and thanked former President Jonathan immensely for facilitating the publication of the book. Dr. Godbless Eruani, chairman, Azikel Group, who was the chief launcher, stated that a people without history were like a people without a soul, and commended the church for the laudable project of documenting the history of the church. Earlier in his sermon, Rt. Rev James Oruwori, Bishop of Ogbia Diocese of the Anglican Communion, emphasised the need for Christians to be truthful, stressing that truth brings about freedom from sin, sicknesses and all kinds of tribulation. He also said that the history of salvation and creation as stated in the Bible was how man was delivered and also how the earth was formed at the beginning. The only Bible reading which was taken from 1 Peter 2: 11 – 25, was read by Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the former President Jonathan. Other dignitaries that graced the event included Secretary to the State Government, Chief Serena Dokubo- Spiff, Prof. Edmond Allison-Oguru, Commissioners ofor Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuobite as well as King Amalate Turner, paramount ruler of Opume Community, amongst others.

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