Ex-Vice President Osinbajo Stresses Gospel Principles as Key to National Prosperity

Funmi Ogundare  

Former Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, weekend, stressed the need for Christians in government to give voice to the principles of the gospel that will make the country great.

Osinbajo made this call at the inaugural Daniel Taiwo Odukoya Lecture, in Lagos, titled, ‘Strengthening the Christian Voice in Government and Public Office’.

He explained that the principles of the gospel such as hard work and diligence, integrity, trustworthiness, respect for credit, respect for obligation that have made other nations great as far as their destiny is concerned, depends on how the church behaves.

“The topic assumes that if we strengthened the Christian voice in government or public office in our country, it will result in a beneficial and transformative change in our nation,” he stated.

Speaking virtually, he argued that the gospel of Jesus Christ was a crucial transformative force in the social and economic development of Europe and America, but expressed concern that despite the substantial number of Christians in higher offices in Nigeria; at the federal and state levels of government, as well as the entire government’s executive, judiciary and legislature, the country has not witnessed a transformational change.

According to him, “Today what we hear from many of our pulpits is a gospel that is told to our faces of the attainment of wealth or prosperity, or physical and material wellbeing here on earth. What we hear daily is that you can become healthy and wealthy.

“The purpose of our faith is not personal wealth or wellbeing. Christ came to save sinners and we are required according to scripture to seek His kingdom first and all other things are added. Secondly, the emphasis on giving to get, never seems to worry about the source of the money that is being given. Is it stolen money?

“Is it proceeds of bribes or corrupt activity? Many of those who give their lives to Christ today, do so because they heard a sermon that promises an escape from the physical misery and difficulties of our present condition.

“But in the context of building a nation or building a business, the emphasis on just miraculous wealth or miraculous success often conflicts with the reality that it is hard work? It is diligence. It is building businesses or professional excellence, day by day and building block by block. That is the way to success and prosperity.”

Osinbajo regretted that miraculous wealth has become the norm in Nigeria and asked, “How often do we hear our pulpits condemning bribery and corruption, and stealing of public resources? How often do those who receive money from politicians and from other sources ask the source of the money?

“So, the question is not how many Christians are in government, business or in the professions. The question is, what are they equipped with? What are the relevant principles of the gospel that they know and apply in their daily and professional or public lives?

“What standards has the church set for them? Does the church embrace a man who before entering public office was a pauper? And a few years into entering public office is giving tithes and offerings that only the wealthiest business persons can give? Does the church embrace unexplained affluence?”

The Guest speaker, Pastor Ben Akabueze stressed the need for Christians to continue the legacy of Jesus Christ by championing policies that protect and uplift the most vulnerable members of society.

“The bible frequently addresses issues of economic justice, urging fair treatment of workers, responsible use of resources, and equitable distribution of wealth.

“In modern governance, Christians can advocate for economic policies that promote fairness, reduce inequality and ensure that the benefits of economic growth are shared widely.”

Christianity’s commitment to social justice and equity, he said, is integral to Jesus Christ’s teachings and mission, adding that the commitment is particularly relevant in the sphere of government and public office, where decisions and policies have profound impact on society.

“Throughout the Bible, there is a recurring theme of advocacy for the poor, the marginalised and oppressed. Jesus’s ministry focused on reaching out to those on the fringes of society, challenging systemic injustice, and calling for a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities in public office,” he stated.

Earlier in her remarks, Toluwani Odukoya, Associate Senior Pastor, Fountain of Life Church, described her late father Pastor Daniel Taiwo Odukoya as a visionary, an intellectual, and an avid reader saying that his passion for knowledge was not confined to the word of God alone, but extended to a vast array of books, reflecting his insatiable curiosity and commitment to learning.

Her words: “Those who visited him at home could attest to his extensive library, a testament to his dedication to personal growth and intellectual development.

“As his first child, I can vividly recall the presence of a library in our home from as far back as I can remember. This library was not just a collection of books but a symbol of my father’s belief in the power of knowledge. He was a man who loved to read and, more importantly, to share that knowledge to uplift and empower others.”

She expressed hope that the annual Daniel Taiwo Odukoya Lectures, will carry forward the legacy of empowerment and enlightenment adding that, “These lectures are designed to enhance your understanding of leadership, especially from the perspective of a child of God.”

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