Proprietor of Lagos Business School, Prof. Patrick Utomi, has called on Nigerians to respect the intellectuals in their midst given their contributions to national development.

Utomi made the call at the 80th birthday celebration of the Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Ibadan, Most Rev. Felix Job.

The event, which was organised by friends of the Archbishop, had as theme: “The Church and the Nation.’’

According to Utomi, intellectuals study trends in the world and use their findings to proffer solutions to a country’s problems.

“We need to respect intellectual for Nigeria to grow; China does so, Brazil does the same and it pays them by turning around their ways of life.

“Today, both countries are among the world’s leading economies,” he said.

He advised Christians, particularly Catholics, to be actively involved in politics.

“If Christians are involved, they will be able to kick against decisions that would affect their faith and religious beliefs.

“The future of the country is in the hands of Nigerians, and these include Christians and their pastors,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Amb. Joe Keshi, said that the topic of the lecture was chosen because of the important role the church plays in national development.

He urged Christians to emulate the celebrator who had been faithful to his calling and served God till old age.

“He was the youngest bishop in the world at the time he was ordained.

“He is an exceptional person all of us need to emulate,” he said.

The Chairman of the Committee of Friends, Dr Michael Olusanmi, expressed gratitude to God who made it possible for the celebrator to serve successfully in his calling.

The celebrator, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to God for giving him the grace to serve Him in an exceptional way.

Job also thanked friends and well wishers for their love and support while in the service of God.

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