President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with all Methodists in Nigeria and the Diaspora on the passing of the Prelate Emeritus, Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr Sunday Mbang.
This is contained in a statement issued by the president’s Spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Buhari also extended his heartfelt condolences to the Mbang family, the government and people of Akwa Ibom and the entire body of Christ in Nigeria and worldwide.
He noted that the late Mbang “was indeed a spiritual colossus beyond the shores of his fatherland.”
The president acknowledged the deceased as the longest leader of the church, the first Methodist President of Christian Association of Nigeria and the first Black President of World Methodist Council, among other pioneering positions.
He also noted that Mbang displayed “exemplary courage, forthrightness, wisdom, intellectualism and selflessness” in his over six decades of service to God and humanity.
“Having retired as prelate in 2006, Mbang, until his transition at 86, remained an invaluable voice of reason and source of encouragement to many within and outside government, especially in his home state, Akwa Ibom,” he said.
Buhari enjoined all those mourning the eminent statesman and church icon to take solace in the knowledge that he lived a life worthy of emulation by all.
He prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed servant of God.
Dr Mbang died in his sleep on Tuesday, May 16 at the age of 86 after an impactful earthly ministry of 44 years.
Conference Secretary of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Rt. Rev. Babatunde Taiwo announced Mbang’s death on Wednesday.
The late Prelate Emeritus enrolled at Trinity College, Umuahia in 1962.
Mbang was the longest-serving Head of Methodist Church, Nigeria, and was until his death the Emeritus President of World Methodist Council, Trustee of Methodist Church, Nigeria and Nigeria Inter Religious Council.
He was the first Patriarch Champlain and Bishop of Methodist Church, Tinubu, Lagos and only person to be both Patriarch and Prelate.
Mbang was also the first Black President of World Methodist Council.
He was among the founders of Fathers of Faith, who prayed and endorsed Gov. Udom Emmanuel’s successor, Mr Umo Eno, now Akwa Ibom governor-elect.
Burial details would be announced after due consultation between the family and the Church, Taiwo stated.