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Last Sunday, June 16, 2019, the leadership and member-churches under the umbrella of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Lagos State chapter, hosted Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at an interdenominational thanksgiving service held at Deeper Life Bible Church headquarters, Gbagada, Lagos. Pastor William Kumuyi, general superintendent of the church and his wife, Esther, were in attendance.
The occasion afforded CAN the opportunity to give some pieces of advice to the governor and his team on one hand, on the other hand, Sanwo-olu spoke to the body of Christ on the need to help make his job less cumbersome.
In his short sermon, His Eminence, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, chairman, CAN, Lagos State, spoke on ‘Finishing well’. The cleric noted that life begins with a race. He said that the race begins the very moment a man is born.
The CAN chairman also noted that not everyone who begins well ends well. According to him, “Some people begin well, but end badly. David started well and ended well, because he was a man after God’s heart. But his son, Solomon, started well but ended disastrously.”
He believed that Governor Sanwo-Olu has started well and would end well.
Pointedly advising the governor on how he should run in order to end well, Bamgbola, quoting the scriptures, said, “He who rules over men must be just; ruling in the fear of God.”
Listing the areas Sanwo-Olu must do to end well as a good governor of Lagos State, the cleric said: “The race must be run with God (you must run it with the fear of God and to His pleasure); you must run it humbly in the power of God, as pride goes before destruction, and you must run the race deliberately to win courageously, lawfully and justly; you must run it without worldly distractions, and with focus, and you must run with knowledge of eternity, because all leaders will give account of their stewardship on Judgment Day. Therefore, you must run the race with the aim to make heaven.”
Bamgbola reminded the governor that political office as in every other worldly position is transient and vanity, saying, “If you leave office today, you will discover you are alone.”
He announced that he had spent (as of that Sunday) 19 days out of the 1460 days he has in the four-year tenure.
“People of God, all of us here today, if you want me to run and finish well, not only will you join me in that prayer, you have a role to play; you have a part to play. You have a responsibility to bring forth, you have a duty to do; you have an obligation to render,” he said.
According to him, “We have made pronouncements in the last 19 days, regarding waste management; this is the house of God, everybody, look around and see how beautiful this place is, and see how marvelous this place is, this is the minimum that all of us should take back home and want our houses to look like this. So what I mean is that if we are not going to come here and litter the house of God, we should also ensure that whatever we do and how we do it must be clean. And so, that’s why I have given a zero tolerance for waste management, on waste disposal, on waste dumping. These are the things I need you to do for me to help me finish and finish well.”
The governor further said: “Again, do not drive against traffic if you want me to finish well. We want people to obey the traffic laws, we want people to understand that they are not the only road users, they are not the only one that have the right of way, there are other people. So, if you want me to run and finish well, don’t drive against traffic. You must try and obey the rules that have been set. The Acting Chief Judge has said to me that he is going to help me set up small, small courts that can give judgment and the judgment is that when you commit the offence, you will serve the punishment there. You will come out of your car and probably come and clean the gutter in that place, or carry the refuge in that place.”
Sanwo-Olu told the congregation: “And for me to run and finish well, these are some of the responsibilities you must do for me. We have declared zero tolerance for portholes and by the grace of God. We have started. We are going to publish a number in the next couple of days to which you can be sending your pictures, not that we do not know that the roads are bad. They will be working 24/7 to ensure that when you wake up in the morning, the small portholes you saw the previous night have been fixed very quickly.
“We are going to, very quickly make pronouncements around security. There have been so many issues around security around Lagos and all around the nation, and we are not going to sit back and fold our hands. We are going to work with the security operatives and in the next couple of days, we are going to make firm, definitive proclamation on security. What we need to do, how we are going to go about it to ensure that the issues of cultism, kidnapping will become something that do not come to Lagos. Lagos is home to all of us. Lagos is home to the rich and the poor. It is home to the rich and mighty.
Lagos is home to the man that stays at Ikorodu, so it is to the man that stays in Banana Island. Lagos is home to the man that stays at Badagry and so it is to the man that stays in Alimosho. We will strive to ensure that we will do, within the resources available to us and within the strength that God has given to us, to make your Lagos, our Lagos, my Lagos the best that you can ever imagine in the next one thousand, four hundred and forty one (1,441) days that I have (from Sunday, June 16,209), God helping me.”
Participants were thrilled with ancient hymns and contemporary songs that draw souls closer to their Maker in humble adoration. A choir, put together by CAN within a short space of time for the occasion, did not disappoint.
Songs such as ‘Great is Thy faithfulness’; ‘All hail the power of Jesus’ name’; ‘O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder’; ‘To God be the glory! Great things He has done!’ and ‘Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah’ were rendered heartily to the glory of God.