(Eagle News) – The ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) Central Office in Quezon City for a courtesy call on INC Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, on Friday, August 9, 2019.
The visit of Her Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Adekunbi Abibat Sonaike-Ayodeji to the INC Executive Minister was also the first visit of a representative of Nigeria to the INC Central Office.
“The ambassador, Her Excellency Adekunbi Abibat Sonaike-Ayodeji, heard about the wonderful things the Church has been doing throughout the continent of Africa, including the hundreds of thousands who have benefitted there from the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s programs to fight poverty. These include the eco-farms, which have provided not only food but an honest and stable livelihood for so many,” noted INC Minister, Bro. Joel San Pedro, Secretary of the Overseas Missions Office.
“They were able to discuss different ways that the Iglesia Ni Cristo can also help in caring for the citizens of Nigeria.” San Pedro said of the meeting between the Nigerian ambassador and the INC Executive Minister.
The ambassador was accompanied by the Nigerian Embassy Chancellor, Hannatu Evelyn Dankaro-Irmiya, during the courtesy call.
“It was a friendly meeting,” INC minister San Pedro said. “The Ambassador is looking forward to the further growth of the Iglesia Ni Cristo in her country,”
There are a number of INC worship services in Nigeria, which is part of the Church’s ecclesiastical district of Northern Africa that comprises over 30 congregations. Nearly the same number of congregations can also be found in the other ecclesiastical district of the Church in the continent of Africa, the ecclesiastical district of Southern Africa.
The Church has also established a School for Ministers’ extension in Ladybrand, South Africa, which is next to the INC eco-farming community there.
“Since the establishment of the INC School for Ministers extension in South Africa a few years ago, the number of ministerial students coming from countries in Africa continues to grow,” San Pedro said.
Among those who greeted Ambassador Sonaike-Ayodeji on her arrival at the Central Office was one of the INC ministerial students from Nigeria.
As she left the INC Central office, Ambassador Sonaike-Ayodeji was also warmly welcomed by a crowd of INC ministers and INC Central Office volunteer workers who waved small flags of Nigeria and the INC.
Ambassador Sonaike-Ayodeji was assigned as Nigeria’s top diplomat to the Philippines on August 18, 2017.
She joined the Nigerian Foreign Service in 1983 and has served in several Missions abroad such as in the Embassy of Nigeria, Lome, Togo (1991-1994), Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, New York, United States of America (2001-2006).
By virtue of her active role in the United Nations, she served as the Chairperson, African Group on Commission of the Status of Women (2005-2007), Embassy of Nigeria, Beirut, Lebanon (2009-2012) and the Nigeria High Commission, Accra, Ghana (2015-July 2017).