Onaiyekan inaugurates a modern surgical theater donated to the church by Muslim –

The Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, on Wednesday inaugurated a modern surgical theater at Our Lady of Irawote Catholic Hospital, Iseyin, Oyo State.

The installation, named: “Ayisat Aweni Raji Theatre”, was donated by a Muslim, Ahmed Raji, Nigeria’s senior lawyer.

Inaugurating the theatre, Onaiyekan said true religion can only be seen when people live in peace, togetherness and friendship.

According to him, the three dimensions of religion: doctrine, worship and behavior, work successfully when the goal of the people is to glorify God.

He said that the essence of all true religion would be to benefit all despite differences in faith.

He said: “It was the act of someone with good behavior that brought us together today.

“You have to give and do good for everyone, as the donor did despite his religion.

“What is happening today is the kind of news that should spread across the country and not bad news.”

The host and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, said the gift of the facility by a Muslim confirms the inter-religious collaboration that the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has promoted and cherished.

Badejo noted that many Nigerians believed in peaceful co-existence and invested their energy and resources in collaboration and cooperation for the common good of all.

According to him, for more than 50 years, Notre Dame Hospital has provided health care to one and all in the community and surrounding areas, regardless of tribe, religion or social status.

He said: “In accordance with the mission of the Catholic Church, the needy and disadvantaged are never denied care simply because of what they have or do not have.

“It is, we believe, the means of demonstrating our faith that God is the Father of all human beings.

“It is also a powerful way to show that what is wrong with Nigeria is not religion, but evil people who tend to use religion for their own selfish ends.

“Events like this will surely help reduce their toxic influence.

“We are therefore proud to have a like-minded ally in Raji to support our attempt to create a better society in and around Iseyin.”

Badejo also expressed his gratitude to Onaiyekan for honoring the occasion.

He also thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the event.

He said, “I pray that we will witness many similar gestures and activities of interfaith collaboration among us as a way to heal our country.

He said, “Let’s all do to others only what we would like them to do to us, and things will be better for everyone.”

“On that note, I welcome you all and pray that Almighty God bless you.”

In his remarks, Raji said the donation was part of his service to humanity.

He said the hospital had been a blessing to the entire Oke-Ogun region for more than 50 years.

He said that the Catholic Church had been exceptional in its relations with all people despite their religions.

He said: “Notre Dame Hospital has been there for us since childhood.

“So it’s a joy for someone to contribute to its development.

“I named the hospital after my late mother to honor her and for her lifelong labor of love for her children.”

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the theater has modern surgical equipment.

Christine E. Phillips