In an effort to foster national unity and gratitude, prominent Abuja pastor, Oladele Jegede, along with an assembly of devout women, has urged President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the National Assembly to institute an annual National Thanksgiving Day in Nigeria, modelled on the American tradition.
The proponents of the initiative argue that Nigeria, having survived numerous trials including political turbulence, pandemics and economic downturns, owes a debt of gratitude to divine providence. They believe the nation’s resilience testifies to a special place in the divine plan, a sentiment expressed during the annual women’s gathering titled “Overflowing with Gratitude” held in Lugbe, Abuja.
The convention, which was held in a church auditorium, saw the assembly pray for the nation, its leaders, and offer songs of Thanksgiving. It was a moment of reflection on the nation’s survival against odds, a sentiment echoed by Pastor Jegede. He highlighted Nigeria’s resilience during past elections and the global COVID-19 crisis, reinforcing the country’s place in the world.
Lydia Jegede, a religious leader and wife to Pastor Jegede, reiterated the call to the President and the National Assembly to set aside a day for national Thanksgiving. She suggested that an attitude of gratitude could pave the way for more blessings and prosperity for the country.
The assembly believes that the trials Nigeria has weathered—ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to economic instability and natural disasters—testify to divine favour. Hence, they suggest a day of nationwide praise and thanksgiving would be fitting.
Guest speaker, Pastor Kate Onyenekwe, speaking on the theme “Christ functional family”, urged families to stand firm in Christian teachings and to value appreciation, love and forgiveness. Miscommunication and disloyalty, she stressed, are signs of a dysfunctional family, whereas effective communication and mutual understanding signify a Christ-driven household.
The proposed National Thanksgiving Day reflects a desire to cultivate a culture of gratitude amongst Nigerians and to recognise what they believe is divine intervention in the country’s survival and prosperity.
Supporters hope that this initiative, if implemented, could foster national unity and a sense of shared destiny.