You cannot serve God if you cannot render service to humanity – Obasanjo tells FALA recipients


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday hosted recipients of the 2020 Future African Leaders Awards (FALA), an interventionist initiative of the Pastor Dr. Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International, of the Loveworld Incorporated, a.k.a. Chris Embassy, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Welcoming the FALA recipients to the OOPL, he congratulated them for the recognition of their outstanding activities. The former Nigerian President emphasized that human creation is an investment by God, adding that the purpose of existence is for service to God and service to humanity. According to Dr. Obasanjo, “if what you are doing is not service to humanity and service to God, you are not fulfilling the purpose of coming to this world.

“You cannot serve God if you cannot serve humanity. If you want to serve God, you must be a server of humanity.”

Dr. Obasanjo said that the misfortune of some people is the inability to develop what God has given them. He cited that Biblical relics of servants who their masters gave talents, noting that One had two talents and another five. They turned it into higher values and got the same commendation. But the one who had one did not use his talent and did not have value for what he had; and he got no commendation. “That is the misfortune of most of us in life. Opportunities are there, innate abilities are there but we did not appreciate and develop them. We did not even know why we are here,” Dr. Obasanjo declared.

The former President speaking further on why God created humans, noted: “the problem with most of us is that we are in doubt, we are unsure, we are unfocused, we panic, we gamble whether this one will win and that one will lose.”  He told the FALA recipients that there are preparations for future leadership, adding that the preparation part of it is what they have been doing as future leaders.

“For you to succeed, you must have mental preparation, physical preparation, they are investments made in you. That you are born is investment by God; how you were born is an investment by your parents and by God.

“Then you are nurtured, you are brought up through education, religion, community training,” he highlighted.

The former Nigerian President, however, advocated the need for continuous investment in the self. According to him, “but you continue to invest in yourself.”

Former President Obasanjo emphasised that the fear of God is important in leadership and management.  “If don’t have the fear of God, you will fail,” he said.

In the second session of the interaction with former President Obasanjo at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday, after lunch break, the former Nigerian President decried the leadership crisis in Africa. He lamented that Africans are suffering creative poverty by their leaders.   

He declared: “God has given us all that we need not to be poor. The fact that countries in Africa are poor is not the doing of God; it is the doing of our leaders.”

The former President noted that bureaucracy draws the government backward in policy implementation. He added that the situation is worsened by corruption in the continent.

“Now, there is something in government they call bureaucracy, it is there. It is also part of the reasons why in many countries, things do not move as they should, apart from corruption. There is corruption.

“A letter will go from assistant secretary to deputy secretary; from deputy secretary to senior secretary, senior secretary to secretary; from secretary or director to permanent secretary. “They call it bureaucracy.

“There is also corruption. In corruption I am not talking only in terms of money; nepotism is a form of corruption, favouritism is a form of corruption, selfishness is a form of corruption,” he highlighted.

Dr. Obasanjo, however, acknowledged that government cannot do everything expected of it, adding that people should look for alternatives where government has failed or unwilling to be of help or harmful.

According to the former President, “when government can help, take advantage of it, when government can be harmful, look away from it and look for other ways of doing things.”

Dr. Obasanjo, however, counseled the FALA recipients not to do everything themselves but seek help from donors in implementing their intervention project.

“Identify problems, don’t do it yourself alone. I believe you can mobilise others. There are people who are willing and ready, they may not personally go but they can give you money to go.

“Most of our governments are cutting more than they can chew,” Obasanjo said.