As the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh prepares his retirement from active service in March 2020, series of events have been lined up to celebrate this great Church leader, who has impacted the Anglican Communion worldwide and Nigeria. One of such events is the book presentation in his honour, as well as the launch of Nicholas Okoh Foundation, a non-governmental organization.
The Book titled, “Not by Might, Nor by Power” is a collection of selected messages of the Primate to the world and according to the Rt. Rev. Duke Akamisoko, Bishop of Kubwa Anglican Diocese and chairman of the local organizing committee for the book presentation and foundation launch, it is a book that will be a reference material for preachers of the gospel and an inspiration to Anglicans and Christians at large.
Describing the two volume book, the book reviewer, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Ajulo, retired Bishop of Okene Anglican Diocese said that the lamentation of the Primate throughout the book is that there is a disturbing and yawning gap between what Christians profess and how they live. According to the reviewer, the Primate acknowledges in the book that the failure of the Church is there, but that there is hope though not by power nor by might but by the Spirit of the Lord. It is a book written to challenge and help Christians live as they ought to in these last days, Bishop Ajulo said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN OFR who described the Primate as a spiritually-inclined person; further described the Anglican Church as a good government, calling on the leaders of Nigeria to come and see how the Anglican Church is run and learn from it for the country to make progress. He and all the other special guests of honour showered encomiums on the Primate, pledging support for the Primate and the foundation.
At a press conference organized ahead of the event, Bishop Akamisoko who described the Nicholas Okoh Foundation as an NGO committed to promoting a holistic development of man, said the foundation is a complete package to serve God and humanity. He highlighted the functions of the foundation to include promotion of good leadership and ethical governance in the Church, organizations and country through the creation of an enabling environment for leaders from different strata of the society to come together and share ideas; award of scholarships and grants to indigent students, promotion of youth empowerment programmes through skills acquisition and vocational training; creation of platforms for impartation of life skills, mentorship and leadership apprenticeship; establishment of food banks for orphanages and old people’s homes, internally displaced persons and camps and other victims of emergencies, distress and natural disaster; and lastly, propagation of the gospel of Christ through the sponsoring of missionaries and promotion of mission work in rural communities.
Present at the event were many notable dignitaries, including the chairman of the occasion, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN; the Chief Presenter, HE Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers state ably represented by John Kennedy Opara; Former Head of State of Nigeria, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; and Former President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Also present were representatives of the governors of Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, Lagos, Ebonyi, and Anambra states. The former Primate, the Most Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola who was present at the event was the father of the day.
Aims and Objectives of the Foundation includes;
- Promote good leadership and foster responsive and ethical governance.
- Liaise with national and international government agencies, religious organisations, public and private bodies for the exchange of information and study relevant social, moral religious and economic subjects.
- Establish scholarships, readerships awards or such other grants and establish cooperation with universities, institutes and research centres.
- Promotes youth empowerment programmes, skills acquisition schemes and vocational training.
- Promotes poverty alleviation schemes through seminars, training and similar fora.
- Create a platform for impartation of life skills, mentorship programmes and leadership apprenticeship.
- Create food bank for orphanages, old people’s homes, internally displaced persons camps and other victims of emergencies, distress, natural disasters and so on.
- Sponsor missionaries and promote missionary work in rural communities and
- Undertake any other humanitarian work that the foundation may from time to time, deem necessary.
Highpoints of the event include special song renditions by the GAFCON Choir, Video presentation of a short documentary on the Primate, donations in support of the book and foundation, and vote of thanks by the Primate Nicholas Okoh who made it known that after retirement, he wants to continue his work as a Pastor by reaching out to the needy and lost souls.
By Ngozi Adighibe and Korede Akintunde