Okoye Urges Nigeria Leaders to Emulate Mandela
The longed-for socioeconomic advancement of Nigerians will remain a tantalising phantasm unless Nigerian leaders model their lives after the values that Jesus Christ and erstwhile South Africa President, Nelson Mandel lived for.
According to Reverend Williams Okoye, the chaplain of Aso Villa and general overseer of the All Christians Fellowship Mission who was speaking in his Christmas Day sermon on Wednesday in Abuja, the value deficiencies of the Nigerian ruling elite are responsible for the country's underdevelopment.
Okoye observed that Nigerian leaders confuse values with infrastructural development, which itself is impossible without high regard for moral as well as Christian values.
'Our politicians cannot give what they do not have; I think the church needs to do a more serious work because most of these politicians attend churches and they go to Mosque to pray', he said.
'Even in the Mosques, there are moral values. There are ethical teachings instead of engaging in all kind of frivolous teachings we are doing whether in churches or mosques. We must return to character-building teachings from our religious books, so that we can develop men and women of character who will change our Nation.
He referenced China as a country that although is not religious nevertheless adheres to these values, and is consequently developed to the point of having the potency to overtake the United Staes.
'In the 60s, I am told that we were ahead of China and Singapore and other nations. But what has kept us behind is our distorted sense of values and misplaced priorities', he added.
'So the church has to take the bull by the horn, we cannot expect politicians to do that. They do not have it, the church is the conscience of the nation. If we go back to sound biblical teachings and values, we would be able to help politicians who attend our churches to change".
Okoyo also extolled the virtues of Mandela, describing the deluge of tributes for him at his burial as as a result of the values he lived for, particularly his forgiving heart after the apartheid.