From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, has called on Nigerians to elect the best among the presidential candidates to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari without considering political party affiliation.
He made the call at the 17th convocation of Benson Idahosa University (BIU) where the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Folu Adeboye, was conferred with an honorary doctoral degree in education.
The event which coincided with the awardee’s 74th birthday was attended by her husband, Enoch Adeboye, who stated that promotion could only come from God, adding that BIU was known positively all over the world.
“For us as a government, we will continue to do our best to make things work for our people. It is known to all of us that we are going through serious problems and challenges. Our nation is bleeding. Let me tell you, the kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent taketh it by force. This is the time to show the stuff that we are made of.
“Nigeria will be great again. Together, praying and working towards what we have prayed for, we will have the Nigeria of our dream, but do not forget that we must pray for the coming elections (in 2023).
“Pray for leaders that will help to manage the God-given natural and human resources that we have in Nigeria. We have not been that lucky, please pray. I do not care whichever party he (the next president of Nigeria) comes from, but what is key is that we need now to tell ourselves the truth, we need men that will fear God and do the right things now. We cannot afford to get it wrong again”, Shaibu said.
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He stressed that for him and others in government, it was time to know that yesterday had gone, and tomorrow would be coming, but what they did today would determine what tomorrow would be, assuring that he and other leaders would continue to do the will of God.
“I am delighted to be part of today’s ceremony and to also witness our Mummy G.O. being celebrated and honoured with a doctorate degree. Congratulations ma, and happy birthday. God bless you for the great works you are doing for humanity. Whenever I also see Daddy Adeboye, I do not have a choice, but to be humble. Sir, you are a reflection of humility that everybody should emulate. I thank God for your life. The Lord will continue to uphold you.
“Dear graduands, you have listened to various pieces of advice from the previous speakers. In BIU, you have been found worthy in character and learning, but you have succeeded in two things: academic pursuits and in being modelled in the way of the Lord, which is very critical.
“The virtues will help you in the larger society. Be good ambassadors of BIU. You must keep the blame burning, and you must represent well,” Shaibu added.
The acting explained that Governor Godwin Obaseki brought in his 32 years of private sector knowledge into governance in Edo, with the state being turned into a hub of all economic activities, but would only be achieved in a peaceful environment, noting however that the Obaseki’s administration was already dealing with the criminals that wanted to disturb the peace of the state and that by the grace of God, Edo would remain peaceful and become the real economic hub of Nigeria.
He described politics as being very difficult, with the temptations being so high and called on residents of the state to continually pray for Obaseki, “a good man,” for wisdom, knowledge and for the sycophants to stay very far, just as he called on people of the state to join the government to make Edo great again.
In her speech, the Chancellor of BIU, Most Rev Margaret Benson-Idahosa, revealed that the university decided to celebrate Mrs Adeboye, popularly known as Mummy G.O., with a special birthday cake and honourary doctoral degree, because she had positively affected humanity and massively winning souls for Jesus Christ.
Most Rev. Benson-Idahosa, who is also the Archbishop of Church of God Mission International (CGMI), disclosed that for 17 unbroken years, BIU had churned out set after set of world changers, equipped with the power of the Holy Ghost to make a difference in the uncertain and dying world, an attestation to the goodness and mercy of God upon the university.
On his part, the President of BIU, Rt. Rev. Feb Benson-Idahosa II, the son of the founder of the university, the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa, stated that in life, challenges would come, either to frustrate or fast-track people, while urging Nigerians not to convert their challenges to frustrations, but opportunities.
Also speaking, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of BIU, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the university was built on a unique vision and urged the graduands and other Nigerians to see the honourary awardee (Mrs Adeboye) as their role model.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of BIU, Prof Sam Guobadia, disclosed that the graduands were groomed academically, socially and spiritually into men and women who were ready to make positive impacts in society.
He announced that the undergraduate convocation was for 386 graduands, while the postgraduate convocation was for 84 students, consisting of two doctorates, 45 Masters and 37 diplomas, who were fully educated in spirit, body and mind.
Guobadia urged friends of BIU, alumni, parents and other stakeholders to partner with the university to build a stronger brand to enable the institution to have a world-class infrastructure.
In her remarks, Mrs Adeboye, described BIU as a great idea to remind people globally of the dedication to God, service to humanity, sacrifice, courage and commitment to the promotion of excellence of the late Idahosa. She commended the management of the university for the honour, promising to justify the confidence reposed in her.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who represented the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, got to the venue after the convocation as a result of a flight delay in Abuja.
Ehanire, who later spoke with reporters, commended BIU for raising thorough-bred professionals, assuring that the Federal Government would continue to partner with the university.