Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for the building of bridges across religions and ethnic nationalities in order to ensure a better society.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the vice president made the call during a visit of a delegation from US-based Bridgeway Community Church on Tuesday to the Presidential Villa.
The delegation, led by its founder and senior pastor, Dr David Anderson, visited Osinbajo alongside a delegation from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission led by its Executive Secretary, Dr Sule Bassi.
The vice president noted that Nigeria was a country with different ethnic nationalities and dominant Muslim and Christian populations.
“We have to find ways of actively disseminating to our people here, and in Africa in particular, the importance of building bridges across religion and ethnic nationalities.
“It has become clear to us that we must find different ways in building bridges, especially between the faith and ethnic nationalities.
“And one of the critical things that our faith teaches is that, regardless of what the situation may be, we must love even our enemies and pray for them.
“The future for society, in my view, relies on our ability to build bridges and to ensure that those bridges are firm and we can walk across it and interact with each other,” he said.
In his remark, Anderson said that there was a need to build bridges between Africans and African-Americans.
He said that he was inspired to build a Diaspora Palace, hotel and resort in Badagry, Lagos.
“So that when people come back from the Diaspora, wherever they are, they would no longer just come to the Point of No Return, but they would walk through the Door of Return; and that they would be accepted as royalty,” he said.
Anderson observed that several African-Americans desired to be identified as Africans.
He said that he was working with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and the Foreign Affairs and Information ministries to realise that through what he called the `Door of Return initiative.’
On his part, Bassi said that the Door of Return initiative, among other objectives, aimed to advance the exchange of economic cooperation and direct investment between Nigerian and the Diaspora, particularly in the area of tourism and sustainable development.