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Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

A man of God and public expectations

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By Peter Idowu

A popular quote by Lao Tzu said “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”The quote goes a long way to say that some among men are just destroyers of what hardworking leaders have laboured over the years to build. I read with considerable amazement one Ovie Edomi fiery dart titled, ‘NCPC’s Reckless Emperor’.

In that write-up, Ovie, who claims to be a reporter with a magazine, allowed sentiments to becloud his sense of reasoning as he failed to see any redeeming feature in the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC), John Kennedy Opara, for his relentless quest to give NCPC a face-lift and leave it better than he met it.

Under Opara’s leadership, the NCPC has experienced one of its successful era since its establishment and many Nigerians agree that they have had to travel for pilgrimage hitch free.

Recently, Opara reconstituted a seven-man Anti-corruption and Transparency Monitoring Unit (ACTU) to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency in the Commission.

Though, Ovie seems to be working to satisfy his sponsors, he and his sponsors have failed to realize the new transformation going on at the commission. Indeed most people are not comfortable with change instead they will want business as usual as long as it benefits them.

I really want to bring to the fore that the person going round making allegations on the NCPC, Rev. Robinson Oritsuwa, the founder of Deliverance Gospel Mission, Warri, is a known person whose exit from the NCPC was celebrated as Federal Commissioner representing South- South zone.

This Reverend was a member of the board of Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission as a Federal Commissioner representing the South- South Geo political zone of Nigeria. It is a known fact that the appointment into the Board of the commission are done for a period of five years and Rev. Robinson Oritsuwa like others were appointed from 2008 – 2013 and at the expiration of his tenure, the appointments were renewed and that of South-South position was replaced and Rev. Oritsuwa lost out in the Board appointment.

The question this “man of God” should be asking himself is why his appointment was not renewed unlike other Commissioners who enjoyed another term of five years. Sometimes, people feel what they do is hidden, but you cannot continue to hide for a life time. So many persons or stories making waves at his exit were attributed to his ego.

He should ask himself why his appointment was not renewed. In the words of August Wilson, Oritsuwa should “confront the dark parts of himself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. His willingness to wrestle with his demons will cause his angels to sing.”

In one of his submissions, he accused Opara of organizing prayers for the late President, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua when he was ill and the incumbent President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. The question here is, what is wrong with organizing prayers for the President of Nigeria? Was he ever present at any of the prayers and he noticed that it was not prayer session? Why was he not protesting when he was a Commissioner?

It is equally too bad to believe that Rev. Oritsuwa who calls himself a man of God could celebrate the misfortune of a very innocent dutiful staff of the Commission who was attacked in Israel while performing his official responsibility. I just wonder whether this man has any respect for humanity. Whatever goes around comes around.

Rev. Oritsuwa should not allow frustration to becloud his sense of reasoning. He knows too well that NCPC which he served for five years as a Board member remains a reference point among other MDAs in Nigeria.

At the Commissioning of the Pilgrims Reception Centre this year in Abuja, the Senate President, Senator David Mark buttressed this fact. He urged other Chief Executives of MDAs to emulate the transparent example of Mr. John Kennedy Opara in budget implementation.

Rev. Oritsuwa should learn to appreciate things and appreciate people as well, by allowing his conscience to guide him. Truth is bitter and it should be said whether it favours us or not. He should know better as a man of God.

Peter Idowu, is a Public Affairs Analyst who wrote in from Sapele, Delta state

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