The Address Delivered by the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence Rev. Olasupo A. Ayokunle (PhD) on the Diamond Celebration of Nigeria, today 1st October, 2020
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Members of the Federal Executive Council,
Distinguished Members of the Upper & Lower Chambers,
Brethren in the Lord,
Gentlemen of the Press,
Nigeria is sixty (60) today! Sixty years since we attained Independence from the claws of the colonial masters. Sixty years since we have been living together as one united and indivisible entity. Sixty years that our forefathers decided to take their destiny into their own hands. If it has not been the Lord who was on our side, now what may Israel say? (Psalm 124). No doubt, the journey has been both pleasant and intriguing. Pleasant because the inherited city of bricks is gradually becoming a nation of Gold. It has been intriguing because we have TOGETHER encountered difficulties which challenged our collective unity. While some have been gracefully surmounted, others have constituted themselves into a dismal.
I appreciate the founding fathers of this country for the vision and foresight. When the motion for independence was first moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro & Subordinates in 1953 at the Western House, they were subject to ridicule and derision. But with faith in God and themselves, they have been able to found a nation which has become the most populous in Africa, with 250 ethnic groups, over 500 indigenous languages and home to the richest man in Africa. Nigerians have continued to set outstanding records worldwide that have impressed our names on the world map.
I must congratulate His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Nigeria. His Excellency, like his predecessors has been working assiduously to change the narratives of this country from what it used to be to what it ought to be. Nigeria now boasts of twenty-one (21) years of uninterrupted democratic rule even though sustaining our democracy has been a collective struggle. Our country now ranks amongst the top 25 countries on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business and the largest economy in Africa. We need not say that Nigerians have been identified as one of the happiest people on earth.
A white cow is all black if your eyes choose to make it so. The much-loved Gospel Music says Whatever our lot, HE has taught us to say, it is well with our soul.
– CAN PRESIDENT
Fellow Nigerians, looking back through the years, some people are of the poisonous opinion that there is actually nothing worthy to celebrate or be grateful for. The human minds have been so accustomed to see inadequacies rather than blessings. However, the bible says in all things we should give thanks (I Thessalonians 5:18). It is important to say to ourselves today that despite the barrels of problems challenging our unity and confronting our TOGETHERNESS as a nation today, we shall not be like them without hope. Our Challenges or afflictions are but for a short moment and it worketh for us a far more exceeding glory (II Cor 4:17). The Classical Charles Haddon Spurgeon in his book John Ploughman’s talk says what was hard to bear would soon be sweet to remember. A white cow is all black if your eyes choose to make it so. The much-loved Gospel Music says Whatever our lot, HE has taught us to say, it is well with our soul. The cart may creak but it will surely get the loads home. Our unity and TOGETHERNESS as one indivisible entity is non- negotiable. We are Nigerians and we should be proud of our common heritage bequeathed to us by our forefathers. We have created a bond of unity in diversity. We are blessed with good weathers, solid minerals, history, topography, good cultures, ancestries, human capitals amongst other things.
Sixty is symbolic with truth, spirituality, balance, stability, harmony, gratitude, idealism and love. We therefore believe at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that Nigeria is entering into its God ordained year of peace, blessings, abundance and glory. God is sending leaders like Nehemiah that we rebuild our broken walls (Nehemiah 1:1-7). The years the locust beans have eaten will be restored unto us (Joel 2:25). It shall no longer be heard that there is a bloodshed, racial/extrajudicial killing again in Nigeria. Every written code and prophecy of doom have been cancelled henceforth. TOGETHER we shall surmount our problems and challenges. TOGETHER we shall rise above the abyss into our God’s ordained destiny. The hour has come for us to pray more and seek God’s face and intervention.
Let me conclude this address by repeating the popular quotes of Warren W. Wiersbe ‘those who walk with the Lord and keep constant communion with Him will see many reasons for rejoicing and thanksgiving all day long’. Let us lay aside every weight that so easily beset us (Hebrews 12:1), and cherish our TOGETHERNESS for the past 60 years.
Congratulations Your Excellency, and the good people of Nigeria on the 60th Anniversary of being TOGETHER as one united, sovereign and indivisible entity. Happy Birthday Nigeria!
For the King
His Eminence Rev. Olasupo A. Ayokunle (PhD)