Osinbajo, Gowon, Fayemi harp on dedication, service to humanity
• As legal icon, Olanipekun, donates church to Anglican communion
Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, and Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, have appealed to Nigerian leaders to always be dedicated and to render selfless service to humanity while presiding over the affairs of the people in the country.
They said humility, dedication and service to humanity in governance elicits stability and remove frictions between the leaders and the led for economic prosperity.
They spoke in Ikere-Ekiti on Friday, during the dedication and consecration of Saint Peter Anglican Church ultra-modern auditorium donated to Anglican Communion by a legal icon, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN.
Osinbajo commended Olanipekun for dedicating his life to God through the donation, describing the church building as, “the best brief you can give to God.”
According to him, “David was the most favoured in the history of mankind despite not being a saint of any kind.
“If you read your Bible, God described David as a man after his heart. Even while trying to describe Jesus, they referred to him as a son of David. But why was David so favoured? Some said because he sang and danced for God, but that is not the case, it was because he had the thought of building a tabernacle for God.
“So, when this smart and erudite lawyer (Olanipekun) told me a year ago that he was building a house for God, I considered him a wise man. And as you doing this, the mind and heart of God will always attend to your supplications.
“You have filed so many briefs and won many cases, but this edifice you donate for God is the best brief because it is filed for God.”
The former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, said Olanipekun started fighting for the rights of the people since his university days at the University of Lagos in the ’70s, saying that agitation had groomed him ahead for leadership.
Gowon said, “as a student, Olanipekun was attacking my government when I was the military Head of State. He was fighting for the students as a leader, so his contributions to the growth of humanity now that he has become a successful lawyer is not surprising.”
Waxing philosophical in his contributions, Olanipekun said: “With this donation, I will be more humble. I will never serve any other god except the living God. I stand on this pulpit to tell you that I don’t belong to any secret society. The secret of my life is God.”
Olanipekun advised well-meaning Ekiti Indigenes to come home and contribute to the development of the state, saying Governor Fayemi alone can’t fix all the problems.
“Staying in Lagos, Abuja and watching from afar without coming around won’t solve our problems at home. When we die, what shall we be remembered for?” he asked.
Speaking on behalf of the governors at the event, Governor Kayode Fayemi, described the donor as an “epitome of humility, decency, compassion and hard work and competence,” who has done Ekiti proud in his chosen career and conduct.
“The gift he bequeathed to the church today confirmed his humility. He could have used the money for other things but he decided to honour God. I pray that the good Lord will continue to bless him as he serves humanity.”
Giving his homily, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, urged the rich to use their wealth to serve God and humanity, describing Olanipekun’s gesture “as the best and most rewarding legacy.”
The cleric saluted Olanipekun for remembering God and building a house in his honour, which he said was a sign of humility and appreciation to God who had prospered him as a legal practitioner.
“This house having been built and handed over to God, it has been dedicated and consecrated for God and cannot be used for profane and mundane things. This place is for the glory of God. It has become a holy place, the house of God and shouldn’t be abused, so respect this building.
“This dedication makes this place holy. We thank the donor and pray that God will enrich him. Prayer is what the church owes you. This is where you come to pray and seek the face of God for many things. God has different assignments for different people, if you want to join politics, consult God, because not everybody can join politics and excel.
“Of all the houses Chief Olanipekun have built, those he has trained and all he has achieved, this is the best among them, it is of class because it is for God.
“If you want God to lift you up, be humble. Extend respect to every man. We must serve our God and our community like Chief Olanipekun is doing. One thing is clear, money and material are property of the world, nobody can take them to heaven. Make use of your wealth to praise God and serve humanity, let us be realistic about life,” he advised.
Other dignitaries at the event include governors Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), the All Progressives Congress National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and former governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni.
Others include ex-governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; former governor of Osun State, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; ex-deputy governors of Ekiti State, Prof Modupe Adelabu and Kolapo Olusola Eleka; minister of sports, Sunday Dare; senator representing Anambra South, Ifeanyi Ubah; senator representing Ekiti South, Biodun Olujimi; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi and national president of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro.
Also, a former minister of foreign affairs, Odein Ajumogobia; Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti; traditional rulers, lawyers and other personalities graced the event.