Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
Rev Israel Akanji, President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), advised leaders to seek instructions from God and not rely on their knowledge in the way they handle the affairs of society.
Akanji gave the admonition at the First Baptist Church, Ovom , Yenagoa, during the induction service of the President of the Bayelsa Baptist Conference, Rev. Samuel Abili, who is also the Vice Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bayelsa chapter.
The Baptist cleric stated that society would be a better place to live in if leaders listen to God and ensure equity to give everyone a sense of belonging.
He urged leaders both in the church and the society to realise that God is actually the leader as they do not receive authority from themselves but from God.
The NBC leader said, “So also in the society, our leaders are not supposed to just think that everything is in their head or they are experts. It is only God that rules, and rules perfectly.
“Therefore, it is good for our leaders to listen to God, what He is saying to them in the way they handle the affairs of the society. God certainly loves and cares for everyone, gives rain to everyone and makes the sun to shine on everybody. If our leaders should work with such equity, we will have a wonderful society.”
Akanji also urged members of the Baptist Church in Nigeria to continually work together in faith and unity while using their gifts to draw people closer to God.
He expressed confidence in the ability of newly-inducted Abili to pilot the affairs of the Bayelsa Baptist Conference, and called on the various churches and members to support his leadership to succeed.
In his goodwill message, the state chairman of CAN, Reverend Father Joseph Opelema, commended the NBC and the Bayelsa Baptist Conference for the successful induction service.
He congratulated Abili on his induction and described him as a humble, unassuming, devoted Christian leader who was ready to render service, stressing that “I believe that his reign in the Baptist Conference will bring new things to the conference, I have no doubt about that knowing the kind of person he is.”
In his remarks, Gov, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, represented by his Special Adviser on Religious Matters, Rev. Godspower Asingba, said his administration would like to partner with the Bayelsa Baptist conference for the development of the state.
Diri also lauded the NBC and the Bayelsa Baptist conference as well as Abili for organising a fantastic induction service which was attended by people from far and near.
On his part, Abili said he was delighted over his induction and thanked God and the Baptist family for the honour, praying God to give him the grace, humility and patience to lead the Bayelsa Conference to greater heights.
The chairman of the planning committee, Deacon Philip Slaboh, who is the Secretary-General of the All Africa Baptist Men’s Fellowship, said although the assignment was tasking, the committee was however grateful to God and all Baptists for their cooperation and support towards the induction programme.