By Adeola Badru
Former Nigerian President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has described the late Reverend Samuel Oladele Akande, former Secretary General of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), as a courageous and fearless preacher who never skimped on standing up to any evil in government and in society.
Obasanjo affirmed this yesterday, during the funeral of the deceased, which was attended by the representative of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other dignitaries, held at the Baptist Church of Oritamefa, Ibadan.
The former president said the late Baptist pastor used to preach against cults and secret societies.
Obasanjo recalled how the late Akande, as his pastor at Owu Baptist Church, Abeokuta, from 1966 to 1965 and at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Lagos, from 1966 to 1969, became a friend and pastor he held in high regard.
He reminded the congregation of the deceased’s involvement in Nigerian political life and said that the late Akande was a member of the Election Commission in 1965 and refused to commit.
Obasanjo said: “The late Akande also participated as a candidate in the presidential primaries of the defunct Republican National Convention (NRC) in 1991; it won at the level of the old state of Oyo but lost at the national level ”.
“He will be remembered for his frankness, tenacity, dynamism, caring, anti-corruption, psychological, discourse, courageous commitment to ethical values, righteousness, unwavering Christian witness and determined leadership,” he said.
Obasanjo urged the children of the deceased to feel comforted because their father had left a good name and inheritance.
In his comment, Nigeria’s Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented on the occasion by Pastor Seyi Malomo, said that the late Akande was a
an exemplary preacher whose generosity and open-mindedness should be emulated by all Christians.
Osinbajo said the deceased, during his lifetime, provided proper leadership to the Nigerian Baptist denomination and ensured that the flock remained a spirit-filled family even after his retirement.
Speaking of the deceased, the president of the Nigerian Christian Association (CAN), Dr. Samson Ayokunle, described the late Akande as a man of many facets, a talented, courageous and courageous preacher, “a crafty and tireless pastor.
“An outspoken theologian, a capable and accomplished administrator, a committed and uncompromising leader, and an unwavering Christian gentleman.”
Ayokunle, who is also president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), said the late Akande served Baptist communities in Nigeria from 1952, when he answered the call to ministry, until his retirement from the office of the NBC Secretary General. in 1991..
In his sermon entitled: “Celebrating the extraordinary grace of God”, at the funeral, the president of CAN, North Central, Rev Israel Akanji, presented that the late Akande was the product of the extraordinary grace of God, saying that the grace that the deceased received during his lifetime was not without effect.
According to Akanji, the effect of God’s extraordinary grace on the deceased was the courage of Caleb, the leadership of Moses, the faith of Abraham, the courage / excellent spirit of Daniel, the wisdom of Solomon, the vision of Joseph, among others. .
He called on the congregation to emulate the godly lifestyle of the deceased.
Pa Akande, who died on September 10, 2020, at his Ibadan residence, at the age of 94, was survived by his wife, Comfort Olalonpe, five children and grandchildren.