Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, said the myriad of challenges confronting Nigeria would not consume the country.
Obasanjo, at the 108th edition of Nigeria Baptist Convention held at Baptist International Conference Centre, Lufuwape town, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, expressed optimism that Nigeria would come out of its challenges strong.
At the event, valedictory and commendation service was held for retiring President of Baptist Convention and President, Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Samson Ayokunle.
Obasanjo, in his address, 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. You will see that unlike my two brothers (referring to Governors Dapo Abiodun, Ogun and Seyi Makinde, Oyo) I don’t have anything to read.
“If you have brothers like these, do you have anything to fear? So, I told them to make speech and I have come to concur. So, I concur.
“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 ma nfi ni, koni ja (the situation may be threatening, we won’t be consumed).”
Obasanjo, who is a member of the Baptist Church, commended Ayokunle for serving meritoriously in his capacity as a leader in the Baptist Church.
Governors Abiodun and Makinde backed Obasanjo in declaring that Nigeria would overcome its numerous challenges.
Abiodun said he might end up as a pastor after serving eight years in office as governor because he loves reading, studying and sharing the word of God.
He said the theme of the convention, “Moving Forward: Finishing the race with Joy”, called the attention of Nigerians and other human beings to the need to do things with fear of God in their hearts.
Makinde said Nigeria needed personalities like Ayokunle who are keen on speaking truth to power always
While congratulating the CAN president on his 10 years of excellent service to the Baptist Convention in Nigeria, the governor urged him to continue to be of service to Oyo State and the country at large.
Makinde bemoaned insecurity in the country, promising that his administration would not relent in ensuring safety of life and property in Oyo State.
“We acknowledge that we are only human. Sometimes, we make mistakes and when we do, we need people like Ayokunle 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 other challenges, but as your government and representative, we will not be deterred,” Makinde said.
The event was attended by other dignitaries, including Senator Ishaku Abbo (Adamawa North).