… Lauds outgoing Nigerian Baptist Convention President, Ayokunle, for years of excellent service
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State declared on Wednesday that Nigeria needs more people like the departing president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle who always speak truth to power.
The governor was speaking at the end of tenure and appreciation service held to honor Rev. Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle and his wife, Pastor Mrs. Toyin Ayokunle at the end of his tenure as President of the Nigeria Baptist Convention at the Baptist International Conference Centre, Lufuwape, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.
These remarks were shared in a press release shared and signed by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa who added that the governor also called on clerics to remain prayerful and for Nigerians to remain vigilant to surmount all security challenges.
The governor also congratulated Dr. Ayokunle for giving the Baptist Convention in Nigeria 10 years of exemplary service and urged the cleric to continue the good work in Oyo State and Nigeria.
He said: “I feel like the Psalmist, David, when he wrote in Psalm 122 verse 1, where he said: ‘I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House of the Lord.”
“So, I am here today to rejoice with Dr. Samson Ayokunle, who invited me to come to the House of the Lord’.”
“This is indeed a great and happy day, especially for Dr. Ayokunle, as he presides over the Nigerian Baptist Convention for the last time as its serving President.”
“I want to thank him for the opportunity to speak here and to also share a goodwill message. I do not take this for granted. Well, I have chosen to build this message around excellence. When a child goes to school and he scores 10 out of 10, the teacher will write excellent and put a pass mark.”
“After serving as the President of the NBC for 10 years, Dr. Ayokunle has rendered excellent service to the Baptist Convention. Excellent is closely related to completeness and this is linked to that number 10.”
“So, I want to congratulate you on the achievements and I do this on behalf of myself, my family, the government and the good people of Oyo State.”
“Just as you have achieved excellence in service here and I can see that you are not tired, we want you to continue to be of service to our country and to our state.”
The governor also shared that he had met the cleric personally several times and had always come away from such meetings impressed with the cleric as he never asked for personal favors but only for what would help the Nigerian Baptist Convention progress.
In his words: “After I became the Governor, we met a couple of times but two of those meetings actually made a very big impact on me. One, he came to me and said we need to raise prayer warriors; himself and some other prayer warriors in the state, because, according to him, the job of governing Oyo State is not for the faint-hearted. We raised those prayer warriors.”
“The second time, he came to me regarding the land in Ogbomoso for the Baptist institution. The previous administration gave them a bill – N486m and I waived that. So, he never came to ask me anything for himself or his family but came to ask on behalf of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.”
“So, I want to, on that note, wish my brother and spiritual father, Reverend Supo Ayokunle, God’s blessings.”
Governor Makinde also said that the qualities exhibited by Reverend Supo while he was the President of the NBC are worthy of emulation, and urged everybody listening to try and live their life like the departing President.
The governor also spoke about policy matters and promised that the current administration in Oyo State will continue to be transparent in its policies. The governor also bemoaned the current state of insecurity in Nigeria and promised that despite the increasing security challenges, his government will leave no unturned in making preparations to keep the people of Oyo State safe.
“Yes, we acknowledge that we are only human. Sometimes, we make mistakes and when we do, we need people like you to speak truth to power. This is indeed a trying period for us as a country, as there is restlessness all over the place. We also have economic difficulties and challenges but as your government and representative, we will not be deterred.” Makinde added.
He, however, charged religious leaders across the country of every denomination to continue to pray for the political leaders, as, according to him, the government alone cannot solve this situation.
“The issue of insecurity is a very big challenge. We need prayers, we need you to continue to pray for the leaders in this country and continue to do your bit because the government alone cannot do it. My charge to you is that when you see something, you must say something and let the people in authority know where there are gaps.”
He again called on all Nigerian leaders and politicians to emulate the conduct of handing over power peaceably, saying: “When we hold our hands and work together just like Reverend Ayokunle, he is having a celebration to end his tenure, we have few things to learn as leaders and politicians because some of us like to take the seat back to our homes. But here, the transition is orderly and peaceful. We hope that the country will be able to achieve the same thing.”
Other dignitaries who were present and also spoke were the former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, with both describing Rev. Dr. Ayokunle as a tireless leader of the Church and a blessing to Nigeria.