At 57, Nigeria has no business with poverty —Bishop PopoolaIn the front row, Chairman, Christian Council of Nigeria, Osun State, Bishop Afolabi Popoola (second right); Secretary, CCN, Osun State, Reverend (Dr) Olufemi Abiola (middle); Reverend Olumide Kehinde (right); Deaconess Evelyn Ijabiken (second left), and Bishop R.T. Osonuga (left), and others at the CCN Osun State thanksgiving service marking Nigeria’s 57th independence, at Union Baptist Church, Odi-Olowo, Osogbo, Osun State, last Sunday.

Chairman, Christian Council of Nigeria, Osun State and Bishop of Osun Diocese, Anglican Communion, Right Reverend Afolabi Popoola, has lamented the poverty level in the country, stating that with its rich resources, Nigeria had no business being poor.

He stated this at the thanksgiving service organised by the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) Osun State, last Sunday, to mark Nigeria’s 57th independence, at Union Baptist Church, Odi-Olowo, Osogbo.

“There is no reason for us to be poor. It is a shame for Nigerians to purchase second-hand items, even as far as purchasing second-hand underwear. God did not create Nigeria to be poor. We have enough resources to make us rich. Monies are budgeted for laudable projects yearly and somehow, these funds disappear into the wind, such that in many areas we remain the same over the years.

“Righteousness of leaders is what is referred to as the right thing in God’s sight. When you have a leader, who honours God in his dealings, there will be visible signs of progress in his/her endeavours. We have leaders, who are selfish, and that is why we are very poor as a nation . We need godly leaders, not just at the level of governance, but in religion and other sectors of the polity,” he stated.

He lamented the agitations and calls for secessions, as well as the various strike actions, that had rocked the nation in recent times, which he attributed to people being “hungry and angry.”

He noted, “We thank God we are alive today. God has given us the Ten Commandments as Christians to guide our daily activities. So many vices have been watered down today. This is why stealing has been watered down as misappropriation. Stealing is stealing, and sadly, this takes place in churches too. Stealing takes place when there is lack of contentment and lack of faith in God to meet your needs. Not paying tithes is also stealing because according to the Bible, you are robbing God.

“If employers deny people their wages, they are stealing from them. God is not happy with our leaders. God is not happy that at 57, senior citizens are denied their rights. When the leaders and the led imbibe the culture of selflessness, then the nation will move forward. At 57, we need national repentance and adherence to the word of God. If we restructure, and there is no change in mindset for the better, it won’t make any difference. Much of our religiosity is simply noise-making. We honour God with our lips but we are far away from God. Let us return to God and endeavour to do what is right,” Bishop Popoola stated.

Also present at the service were Bishop E.A. Olowondasa; Bishop A.I. Dawodu; Reverend (Dr) P.O. Kolawole; Mr Omotayo, Evangelist (Mrs) Dame Oni; Revd S.A. Idowu; Venerable Ojelade Williams Sunday and Venerable A.A. Adepoju.

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