THANK YOU BISHOP OYEDEPO FOR THE EAGLES
In a week when the Super Eagles were being disbanded and sentenced to two years imprisonment for disgracing Nigeria in the World Cup, you were releasing your own Eagles into our nation's skyline and urging them to fly high into the sky to rule the world.
Bishop, I have prayed for you before. I am praying for you again and thanking God for what He has used you to achieve. How you have impacted and still impacting on the lives of our nation and the world at large. Thank you, Bishop David Oyedepo. Thank you very much.
Last week, I was a proud father. My twin boys graduated from your university, one with a First Class degree and the other with a Second Class Upper in Information Technology and Computer Studies. May the Lord be praised, because this is His doing. All praises, glory and honour go to Him, the High and Lofty One.
For five years, I gave my children out to you to be educated and I went to sleep. I had no cause to fear or worry, because I knew they were in safe hands. They were in capable hands. In this great World Cup battle, once you have Oyedepo as the goalkeeper of your team, you can rest assure that no evil Jabulani ball would fly into his post. No evil wind, no evil cult would enter the net to destroy your children.
Ah, five years, and it's just like yesterday. Five years of solid investments in our children's education. Five years of labouring and sweating to pay school fees. Five years of children coming and going, from home to school and school to home. Five years of uninterrupted studies. Five years of quality education. Five years of transformation. Five years at Covenant University and my children have come out transformed into total men, into prayer warriors, into children of light imbued with wisdom, creativity and determination to succeed in life. The five years have not been in vain. Somebody help me shout the biggest Hallelujah. I pray that all other universities in Nigeria would be like Covenant University.
In the book of Samuel, it is said that obedience is better than sacrifice. Thank you for these obedient and respectful children from your barracks of discipline and godliness. Thank you for the years of sacrifice to the cause of their educational upbringing. My heart is filled with so much joy and gratitude. And I speak on behalf of all other parents who don't have the platform to thank you.
In a country where education is now in tatters and in the doldrums, I say thank God and thank you Bishop Oyedepo. You are a light in our present darkness. You are the David, the shepherd, the builder, the unifier, the writer, God's own beloved, 'a man after God's own heart.' (I Samuel 13:4)
What else can I say? I was at Covenant University the other Friday to witness the release of the latest set of Eagles graduating from the university. As usual, I was looking forward to one of those soul-lifting speeches from the throne of Grace. And you didn't disappoint. You told your bright, young, new Eagles all arrayed in the green colours of Nigeria, that: 'Knowledge is the new currency of the world.' You said we Africans need to keep improving upon our learning habits if we want to survive in this competitive world of today. The black man must 'regain his brain' if he wants to lead the world,' you said.
Today, the devil has become the scapegoat and easiest alibi for every human failure. We blame the devil for everything. And you are saying that the black man must stop blaming the devil for every of his affliction. The black man must take his destiny into his own hands and rescue himself from the pangs of failure by using his brains, by acquiring knowledge which is the new currency of success.
You told your Eagles to learn from history and to have a sense of history. 'People that are not conscious of their history, hardly make history,' you said. 'Without a sense of history, no one makes history.'
Next, you delved into leadership. You defined leadership in terms of accomplishment. Being an achiever. Taking the lead in meeting specific needs. You belong to the school that thinks that leaders are not born but made. You took your listeners to the boxing ring where champions are made through slugging it out with the fists of fury.
'Heavyweight championship cannot be inherited,' you said. 'Leadership is an accomplishment. It is an outstanding accomplishment that makes a leader.'
Success, you said, requires hard work. You urged your Eagles to get ready to work, to get ready to lead, to get ready to solve problems. 'It is by solving local problems that makes global sense,' you said.
You told your Eagles to emulate Joseph the dreamer, saying: 'Life without a dream is doomed. Dreamers rule the world. Dreamers shake the destiny of the nation. What you cannot imagine, you cannot make happen.'
From the education that your children had imbibed, you assured them that they are 'too loaded to be a common man.' To succeed in the outside world, they must have vision and must be committed to the vision. Then, they must identify a coach. Above all, they must be committed to God.
You pointed to the achievements of Obama and said: 'The same dream that took Obama to the White House' would see them through their respective goals and missions in life.
The keynote speaker was Prof. Olushola Oyewole, a scholar of world standing. He called on your new Eagles to 'rise above your roots' and clear the Augean stable called Nigeria that has suffered 50 years of waste and decay.
'God is calling you to build a new nation,' he said. 'This university has prepared you to make the difference. You are the chosen generation, a peculiar people. There are battles to be fought to build this nation. Those who will win are men and women who will be above election manipulation, contract inflating, tribalism and all other ills of our land.
'You are coming to a changing world, full of challenges. I want to see your degree as a brand. The Covenant brand. A brand that challenges you to rise above the challenges of our time. Yes, you can.
'You are coming at a time when party zoning arrangement is giving way to divine arrangement. Men are no longer in control. Rise to give this nation one scarce commodity: Good leadership, selfless, smart, incorruptible leadership.
'Rise up, Nigeria is waiting for you. Create your own niche. Go out to create new jobs. Invent new things. Expand our roads. Go into politics to show our nation true leadership.
'Expand our hospitals. Our airports are waiting for you. Our bad roads are waiting for you. Expand our two-lane roads to eight-lane roads. Bring back our lost nation. Bring back our lost values. Your music should not be like the music of today's youth.
'Your Chancellor, Bishop Oyedepo has said that knowledge is the currency of the modern age. Not the amount of dollars you have, but the amount of knowledge that matters.
'Dear Eagles of 2010, do not be local champions. Rise up to be world citizens. Build new horizons and explore new horizons.
'Don't be ordinary Eagles. Be Great Eagles. Dream new dreams. Have great vision. Pray and think hard. Fear God. Serve God. Live for God.
'Let your certificate be a new work for God. Rise up like Jabez. (Jabel prayed to God to bless him and keep him from evil, and God granted him his wish.) I pray that your lives would be renewed for the challenges ahead.'
I was at this great event inside the magnificent and awesome Faith Tabernacle at Ota, which is said to be the largest auditorium in Africa, taking down notes as a newsman and knowing that the papers won't give it the coverage it deserves. Come on guys, let's start reporting the good news. Join me in this journalism of evangelism and you will be blessed abundantly in Jesus' precious name.