By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA—The Retired Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Sunday Mbang has declared that former President Olusegun Obasanjo remains the best President Nigeria has ever had.
Mbang insisted that no President since independence has been able to match Obasanjo’s achievements.
The cleric also lamented that the country would have been better than it is currently, had successive governments implemented Obasanjo’s policies on agriculture.
The retired Methodist Prelate, who was once President of Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, stated this yesterday in a sermon titled; The quality of our gratitude to God, he delivered at the thanksgiving service organised to round off activities to mark the 80th birthday of Obasanjo.
The service was held at the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King in Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
The thanksgiving was also well attended by dignitaries including; President of Liberia, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Joyce Banda, former Secretary of United Nations; Emeka Anyaoku and former Chairman National Interim Government , Chief Ernest Shonekan.
Others at the event were: state governors, Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Victor Ikpeazu (Abia).
Also at the service were: former governors, Otunba Gbenga Daniel (Ogun), Alao Akala (Oyo), Segun Oni (Ekiti)and Olagunsoye Oyinlola (Osun).
Those who also graced the service were; Senator Goodswill Akpabio, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Alake of Egbaland, Oba Aremu Gbadebo, Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdul Rasheed Akanbi, Osile of Oke-Ona, Oba Adedapo Tejuoso, Dr Christopher Kolade, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, Senator Andy Uba, The Guardian Publisher, Mrs Maiden Ibru, former Minister, Sarafa Tunji Ishola and Gbenga Nasir Isiaka, among others.
Mbang, who commended Obasanjo for his achievements in and outside government, said the good deeds of Obasanjo would outlive him, urging leaders across the country to emulate his leadership qualities.
He said majority of government institutions created by Obasanjo while in government are still functioning well, citing the example of the Economic and Financial and Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He submitted that no government after Obasanjo had added to what he created.
He said: ”Obasanjo is the best President Nigeria has ever had whether we like him or not. Everything he did while in government, the successive government did not add to it. EFCC and fight against corruption is an example.
“Obasanjo is a man I love so well, I was in love with him when I discovered he was holding a morning prayer service at the seat of power everyday. The service was not only for members of his family but also for other Christians in Aso Villa at that time.
“This man within three months of getting to office built a chapel in the Aso Villa. I remember that at that time when Obasanjo came into the Villa, there were 12 mosques there and there was no single church but Obasanjo built a chapel for Christians to worship.
“If other administrations that succeeded Obasanjo had followed his agricultural plan, the country would not be where it is today.”
The clergyman also described the former President as a God fearing man who has neither been ashamed nor felt too big to serve God at all times, saying Obasanjo serves as a good example of a leader others should copy.
“There are people who are so self-centred and when they are successful, they believe they are the ones responsible for it and they fail to show gratitude to God. All of you, go and show your gratitudes to God.
Mbang also described Obasanjo as a ”unique and special gift to Nigeria by God.’’
Meantime, the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Supo Ayokunle in his brief remark disclosed that the Christian community in the country could never forget what Obasanjo did for them, saying “he gave us symbol of unity.”
He explained that Obasanjo and the former Head of State, late Murtala Muhammed in 1976 called all the Christians together to form the CAN.
The cleric who also deviated from the topic chided politicians who he described as chameleons.
He said “Politicians change their minds like chameleons, today they are in PDP, tomorrow, they go to APC and before you know it they are back in PDP. They are always fighting war without end. Shame on you all.”
He also came hard on greedy pastors, saying, “Shame on the pastors who collect money from armed robbers. When the money is big, they announce the donation to the congregation but when the money is small, they do not announce to the congregation.”
The clergyman urged Nigerians leaders and all well meaning Nigerians to go back to their various communities and develop them by replicating what the former President had done for his community.
The CAN President commended the celebrant for also initiated the fund raising for the building of the National Ecumenical Centre now called National Christian Centre, stressing; “We (Christians) will continue to celebrate you (Obasanjo)”.
Obasanjo in his brief response, commended the guests, the OOPL Board of Trustees, Clerics, Children as well as his family members, saying “Thank you all and I pray God will honour us all”.