Nigerians across all divide have been advised to focus more on nation builders and progressive individuals who are more concerned about national regeneration than hearsay and inherited prejudice.
This charge was given by the Global Lead Pastor of the London based Nation Family Church, Pastor Tobi Adegboyega who spoke on nation building in a sermon delivered at the weekend..
The charismatic Pastor whose growing years were spent in Nigeria, challenged Nigerians to juxtapose and compare between hearsay and actual results of leaders who have impacted their society at critical periods.
In an obvious reference to a series that was aired via The Nation Family’s Youtube channel, Pastor Adegboyega said he was concerned about what different men have done to help in building their nations and not what critics had to say about them in order to pull them down for their selfish motives .
“I’ve been speaking about men who built nations in the last few days. These are people who fought for freedom and did the unusual. I don’t judge people based on what has been said about them or what I heard. For me, it is about what I see,” he said.
Citing the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a nation builder in the mould of other statesmen, the preacher known for his selfless commitment to young people referred to the former Governor of Lagos state as a man who has raised resourceful and dynamic leaders who have or are still contributing to nation building in no small measure.
“I see a man who raised people. You can go bring people from Ivy League universities around the world to build a country but let us talk about men who actually took people from nowhere and made them Governors, like in Lagos, other states and even at the national level where one man has produced Governors after Governors.”
“I am not there but people can say different stuff about his person but can we pause to think for ourselves? I have never met Asiwaju Tinubu before but I see the raising of leaders. I see someone who has developed people who were initially nobodies in the scheme of things in Nigeria and have gone on to do amazing things when put in positions of power,” he noted.
Pastor Adegboyega who himself has contributed to to the empowerment I of many Young Nigerians through his church’s empowerment schemes, added that there was a difference between what was obvious and what was heard, noting that, “what heard cannot be substantiated except it is seen.”
He argued “Everyone has an opinion which may not necessarily be the fact but I must run with what I see, and in Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s case, that is nation building.”
The 40-year old Pastor who has been noticed in London and by Scotland Yard for his role in shaping youths against rape, curbing knife and other related violent crimes in London has defined nation building as the ability to give the nation credible and competent leaders.
Responding to the possibility of rumours flying around about him having an ulterior motive for praising Tinubu’s efforts, he said, he was not bothered about opinions.
“There will be rumours about me wanting something for citing Asiwaju Tinubu as an example but I don’t care. I don’t care about any political party either. People usually conclude that anyone speaking their opinion is hungry or looking for something. I am looking for the truth and I am saying that as far as I am concerned, there is no perfect man but in nation building and nation regeneration, there are men who are doing the hard work. I see clearly what Seyi Makinde is doing in Oyo state and it is amazing, so it is not a party thing.”
He further added that what Bola Tinubu gave Lagos has been tested and proven despite the normal hiccups associated with rebuilding a country like Nigeria. According to Pastor Adegboyega individual likeness and opinions do not count when we are talking about nation building.
“I have never met any of the two people I mentioned earlier. In nation building and advancement, we have to work with what we see, not hearsay. Who are the people that can bring out leaders? Should that person be President or not? That is none of my business, anyone can aspire for any post they want but let us learn from what we see so that we are not just working by the things we hear. I hear both good and bad but it doesn’t matter to me.”
Pastor Adegboyega said, “something that makes Asiwaju Tinubu stand out is the fact that he does not need to go outside of his locale to unearth leaders who can bring about leaders of a progressive and prosperous state.
“Someone like that is bound to have people who do not like his person or how he goes about getting things done. What matters at the end of the day is that the nation recovers and gets on the path of growth, whether he is there or not. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has people who will carry on his vision for Nigeria even if he is no longer around here. That already puts him in the distinguished company of other notable African statesmen.”
“President J.J Rawlings passed on recently. We have Madiba who fought till he got the South Africa of his dreams. Martin Luther King lives on even in death. We have Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana. So also was Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Zik of Africa, Sardauna of Sokoto Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Herbert Macaulay and others, all over the world, These people gave their all.”
He brought back memories of when Tinubu and his co-travellers were chased into exile by the Abacha junta, noting the yeoman’s job he did to ensure the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.
“I can tell you that because of the inherited dislike for Asiwaju Tinubu, many people fail to acknowledge him as a dogged fighter back in the dark days of the military. He stood to be counted with the likes of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Dan Suleiman and other frontline NADECO members.
“Even when President Obasanjo withheld allocations from the Lagos state government, Asiwaju Tinubu looked inward and made sure Lagos stayed afloat. He has indeed worked tirelessly to give Nigeria people like Babatunde Raji Fashola, his immediate successor and the present Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.”
Pastor Adegboyega charged Nigerians to pray and act towards making the country fulfill her potential, instead of picking on individuals who cannot single-handedly solve the problems being faced by the country.