“Pa Mbang was a rebel in cassock”
The occasion drew some eminent personalities from the national scene, such as National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev’d Dr. Daniel Okoh, former CAN President and immediate Archbishop of Catholic Church, Abuja Metropolitan Diocese, FCT, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Deputy National President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Archbishop John Praise Daniel and PFN National Publicity Secretary, Bishop Emmah Issong.
Others were CAN Akwa Ibom State Chairman, Bishop Chris Nyong, Primate Emmanuel Udofia, Noble Lady Grace Isaiah Issong, Archbishop Idem Ikon, Archbishop Udeme Simon, Rt. Rev’d Prince Asukwo Antai, Archbishop Sunday Uko, Archbishop Augustine Akpan Ikat, Archbishop Israel Benson, Bishop Joe Idem. The list of clergymen and women is endless, as the large auditorium of Insight Bible Church was filled. Several choirs, including the Government Voices, made solemn renditions of hymns and classical tunes which were loved by Pa Mbang.
Besides CAN and Fathers of Faith’s Service of Songs, Mbang’s children also held many public events to celebrate their father. In one of the events held at Prelate Sunday Mbang’s Chapel, Shelter Afrique, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, which was attended by scores of clergymen and some government officials, including the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Dr. Akon Eyakenyi, the Senior Pastor of Victory Life Bible Church, Abeokuta, Apostle Lawrence Achudume, who gave the homily, described Pa Mbang as a rebel in cassock but with a cause.
He reflected on the long relationship that he had with Pa Mbang since the 90s when Pa Mbang was the CAN President of Nigeria. Apostle Lawrence Achudume recounted how Pa Mbang’s outspokenness on national issues, especially his strong advocacy against the suppressive military regime, motivated him then as the President of Christian Union and NFES.
Elucidating on the sterling qualities of Pa Mbang, he said the departed father was a selfless leader who was determined to see a new Nigeria without greed and injustice. Apostle Achudume made a passionate plea to Nigerians, especially politicians, to embrace nation-building ethos like honesty, the pursuit of justice and fairness to humanity in which the life of Mbang illustrates.
He charged that for Nigeria to attain the dream of its founding fathers, the country’s leaders must re-dedicate themselves to uprightness, a virtue upheld by Pa Mbang till his exit, and urged political leaders to shun all forms of corrupt practices and take seriously their oath of office.
Achudume revealed that late Mbang was a strong advocate for the development of Nigeria, noting that he used his radical approach to Christianity to drive home the need for the liberation of the citizens from hardship.
His words: “Mbang used his radical approach to Christianity to advocate freedom for the oppressed and social development for the citizens.”Achudume, however, observed that the desired change Mbang advocated for has not yet been witnessed in Nigeria, and stated that the nation needs more of the likes of Mbang to champion the cause of the masses.
The cleric added that himself and Pa Mbang maintained a father-son relationship, recalling how he used to tap from Dr. Mbang’s wealth of experience and wisdom each time he visited him from Abeokuta.
Achudume described the late Dr. Mbang as a rebel in the cassock who was very contented, humble and lived a very simple life till he breathed his last.
He said “Mbang was a rebel in the cassock, with a cause and didn’t seek for fame or wealth but for the freedom and liberation of humanity. His strong desire was to see a one Nigeria”.
He added that the blunt stance of the late Prelate emeritus on national issues, and his forthrightness brought him into contact with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as they both became very Good friends.
Achudume appreciated the children of the deceased for organizing a series of programmes in honour of their father. He urged them to continue to uphold his sterling legacies.