The Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday said Nigerians of the Christian faith have the power to influence government policies to ameliorate the suffering of the Nigerian people.
He stated this in Lagos while delivering a lecture organised to mark the 73rd birthday of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Enoch Adeboye.
The annual lecture series was sponsored by Triumphant Elders Consultative Forum of the Church.
In the lecture titled, “Harmonising Virtues to Gain Heaven and Earthly Prosperity,” Mr. Osinbajo said that Christian leaders have a duty to stand for the poor in the country.
“We have been placed in positions of greater significance. If we choose to, we have the power to influence government; to say to the government, why do we not have free health care for the poor?” he said.
“To say to government, why do we not have free education, to say to government why are you not providing for the elderly who are poor and for the disable who are poor?’’
The vice presidential candidate, who was also a pastor before delving into politics, said believers should live their lives for others as Christ exemplified, by dying for all to bring prosperity for all.
According to him, Christian leaders who sacrifice their personal ambitions for the good of others were sure to get earthly and heavenly prosperity.
Mr. Osinbajo stressed that true prosperity and significance could only come from a life of selfless and committed service to humanity.
He said, “Serving others is sacrifice of personal ambitions for the good of others. The sacrifice of personal ambitions is crucial and a way of greatness.’’
He recounted that Mr. Adeboye became highly influential because he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and abandoned all personal ambitions.
He said there was need to have integrity and that without it, there was no way believers could show leadership and attain significance.
“One of the big problems that we have in our nation today is an absence of integrity. It underlines every single failure of government,’’ he said.
The APC running mate asked Christian faithful not only to show love to their enemies but also take care of the vulnerable.
Mr. Adeboye in his response at the event praised the organisers and the guest speaker for honouring him with the lecture.
The cleric said, “I just want to thank the Triumphant Elders for organising this occasion, and I want to thank the guest speaker for bringing so much treasure into all of us.
“Whatever I am today is because of only one secret; somewhere along the line I met the Lord Jesus Christ and I surrendered my life unto him and He has done the rest.
“My advice to anyone that might be here who wants to become an influence in the society is give your life to Jesus Christ; that is the only secret.
“Jesus is the way out of problems, He is the way into joy and victory, He is the way forward, and He is the way upward. If you lift up Jesus Christ, He will promote you, and when Jesus is the one promoting you He promote you everlastingly.”
The convener, Tunji Onileaja, a pastor, had in his welcome address explained that the elders came up with the idea of an annual public lecture for Mr. Adeboye by divine inspiration.
“The Triumphant Elders (those above 70-years old), supported by some younger senior pastors by divine vision, joined to celebrate God in the life of our modern hero of the gospel,’’ he said.
Mr. Onileaja said rather than celebrating himself to mark his birthday, Mr. Adeboye had been celebrating God through the special Holy Ghost Services aimed at expanding God’s kingdom.