150th Anniversary of Ajayi Crowther, Kogi To Convert Relics to Tourist Sites

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After one hundred and fifty years of his death, the Kogi State Government says it will work towards making relics left behind by Rt Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther, Monuments and International Tourist’s sites.

Kogi State Governor Capt Idris Wada, who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, made the promise at the 150th consecration anniversary of Rt Rev. Samuel Ajayi Crowther organized by the Diocese of Lokoja Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), held at the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, Lokoja.

The Governor’s promise followed an appeal by Rev Emmanuel Egbunu, Archbishop of Lokoja province and the Bishop of Lokoja Diocese, who requested that the early Church built at Gbobe in Bassa Local Government Area where the Late Ajayi Crowther once served be made a place of international tourism.

Capt Idris Wada, who described Late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther as a greatman and a forerunner in spreading the word of God through the Anglican Church, said preserving historical relics he left behind will help keep his good works alive.

Capt Wada praised the courage of the first black bishop, who though was a slave boy, braced all odds, to become a positive reference, and is still remembered a hundred and fifty years after his death.

The Governor described Kogi State as a melting pot of history and tourism, said preserving Late Bishop Crowther’s relics would be of immense benefit to the tourism potentials of the State.

first primary school in Northern Nigeria founded in 1865 under Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther

first primary school in Northern Nigeria founded in 1865 under Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther

Earlier in his sermon, Bishop Emmanuel Egbunu, said no life is ordinary disclosed that like Bishop Ajayi Crowther who was a slave boy, God can lift any one to be a reference.

Bishop Egbunu,  called on the State Government to immortalize the First Black Bishop, by using some of his monuments like the Anglican Church in Gbobe, that is still standing, but left in a dilapidated State.

Bishop Egbunu called on Nigerians to use the opportunity life has presented to touch lives in more positive ways and said it is still surprising that 150 years after Bishop Crowther’s legacies are still relevant and affecting lives.

Bishop Egbunu said for a slave boy to rise to become a Bishop, was no mean tasked, appealed to the Federal and State Government to honour him posthumously as a way of appreciating his works.

Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther was a Yoruba, born in 1809 but was sold into slavery.

The ship in which he was being carried to America was captured by a British cruiser and he was later taken to Sierra Leone, where he was educated.

In 1841, he joined a large British expedition sent out to the Niger. He was consecrated Bishop of Niger territories in 1864. Around 1865, he again travelled up the Niger and after staying in two villages, Gbobe and Lokoja, he settled finally at Lokoja until his death in Lagos in 1891.

It was while he was in Lokoja that he built the house which was said to be a single story mud hut with thatched roof and no windows.

Bishop Crowther suffered persecutions and frustrations but with determination and courage, his work which are his legacies, still speak for him till date.