A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday, expressed optimism that the insecurity challenges won’t consume Nigeria, saying there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde also backed Obasanjo in declaring that Nigeria would surmount its numerous challenges.
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They spoke separately at the 108th Nigeria Baptist Convention, held at the Baptist International Conference Centre, Lufuwape Town, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The event, which was equally used to conduct valedictory and commendation service for the retiring President of Baptist Convention, Nigeria and the President, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Dr. (Reverend) Samson Ayokunle, was attended by other dignitaries including Senator Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa North) among other dignitaries.
In his address, Obasanjo said he remained an “incurable optimist” about a better Nigeria, despite the escalating security challenges.
“When I was coming here, I didn’t intend to make a speech. And you will see that unlike my two brothers (referring to Governors Abiodun and Makinde) I don’t have anything to read.
“If you have brothers like this, do you have anything to fear? So, I told them to make a speech and I have come to concur. So, I concur.
“But having concurred, if don’t say more than that, you will leave here and say ‘Obasanjo is I concur.’
“Is that good enough? My two brothers talked about the situation we are in [insecurity].
“You know, I’m an incurable optimist about a number of things, but particularly about Nigeria.
“Epon agbo wa n fi ni, koni ja [the situation may be threatening, we won’t be consumed]. There will be light at the end of the tunnel).”
Obasanjo, who is a member of the Baptist Church, commended Ayokunle for serving meritoriously in his capacity as a leader in the Baptist Church.
Abiodun and pulpit
On his part, Abiodun hinted that he may end up as a pastor after serving eight years in office as governor.
Abiodun, who said though he would not ascribe to himself the authority of the clergy because he loves reading, studying and sharing the words of God, declared: “I may end up on the pulpit after I have served as governor for eight years”.
Abiodun noted that the theme of the Convention, ‘Moving Forward: Finishing the race with Joy’, has called the attention of Nigerians, and in fact the entire humanity, on the need to do things with the fear of God in their hearts.
According to him, if Nigerians followed the instructions of God in all they do, living would be much easier and the country would not find itself in the present precarious situation.
He, therefore, charged Nigerians not to lose hope, stressing that “all we need is the fear of God in conducting our affairs”.
Also speaking, Makinde hailed Ayokunle for his tenacity in carrying out the duties of his office and urged him to continue to lead prayers for Nigeria and the leaders.