As the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, hosted the crème de la crème of the Nigerian society to a lavish celebration on the occasion of his 88th birthday in Benin, Edo State, on Sunday, Nigerians have been encouraged not to lose hope in the country, and to shun negative confessions.
President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, in his message titled “Because He Lives”, at an interdenominational service, admonished the citizenry to replace their doubts with hope for a better Nigeria.
The Baptist Convention president noted that though the country is presently bedeviled with all sorts of terrorism, including banditry, because Jesus Christ lives, all shall be well with Nigeria.
According to Rev. Akanji, “In Nigeria, at a time we are facing so much insecurity; in a country that is so much blessed, and yet the people of the country are suffering. What has God not given to us? Good rainfall, good vegetation; we can plant and eat anywhere. We plant throughout the year. Nigeria is blessed; but look at the degree of insecurity. Look at the way human beings are being killed – terrorism, banditry; all kinds of evil going on in this country.
“But I want to tell us that this theme, ‘Because He lives’, must therefore turn all of us from being doubtful to being hopeful in our nation, and be a stronger people. Stop confessing the negativity, and be pronouncing positive things about this nation. Because Jesus lives, He is continuously interceding for us as a nation. This celebration is good news to all Nigerians, to every family, to every individual that because He lives, tomorrow will be better than today.”
Felicitating with the Esama, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, described him as a “well-accomplished and remarkable Edo son”, whose achievements over the years have greatly impacted the state, the country, as well as the African continent, transforming the lives of many, and prayed that God granted him many more years in good health and prosperity.
In a statement, the governor said, Governor Obaseki said “At 88, the great Esama of Benin has continued to lead an illustrious life, distinguishing himself as an elder statesman, business tycoon, and philanthropist extraordinaire”, adding that he remained an icon of Nigeria’s business, social and cultural world, and a shining example of the entrepreneurial excellence of the Edo people.
According to the governor, “His propensity for creating opportunities for others to prosper is legendary. In building his vast business empire, the patriarch of the House of Igbinedion displayed rare business acumen, providing employment for thousands and contributing immensely to the development and progress of our state and nation”.