By Olakunle Olafioye
All over the world, the name Babatunde Elijah Ayodele is more popular with precision prophecy. This perhaps explains the bated anxiety that often precedes the release of his annual prophetic compendium, Warnings to the Nations. But certain events in the last few years have indeed proven that the other part of the man of God in charge of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Lagos, which those close to him claim has always gone unnoticed, appears to be gradually coming to the open.
On Saturday, February 13, 2021, the day preceding the popular seer’s annual thanksgiving, the Interfaith Chaplaincy of Nigeria and World Wide, decorated Primate Ayodele with the title of ‘Commander of Faith’ in recognition of his contributions to Nigeria and the entire world through his prophetic ministry and his humanitarian strides.
Twenty-four hours later, Primate Ayodele’s philanthropic disposition earned him another global accolade following his decoration by the International Association of World Peace Advocates, an affiliate of the United Nations. To underscore the significance of the honour, the flag of the United Nations was hoisted at his church, INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Okota, Lagos, making his church the second host of the global body’s flag after the United Nations’ headquarters.
The decoration of Primate Ayodele by the two organizations within the space of 24 hours were just two of some of the recent of such honours that have come the way of the man of God in recognition of his contributions to the cause of humanity, global peace and national development through his philanthropy and his prophetic ministry. Primate Ayodele was in 2019 decorated as United Nations peace ambassador.
But hardly had the garland of honour rested around his neck on February 14, 2021 when the popular seer went on giving spree with what many at the event described as his second nature – empowering the people. No fewer than 200 people benefitted from Primate Ayodele’s empowerment programme on the day when brand new cars, brand new tricycles, sewing machines, generators, electrical and home appliances, scholarships, financial gifts and medical assistance, among others were generously given to the people. More than 100 students benefitted from the empowerment scheme which include the payment of their Senior Secondary School Examination fees, the payment of their Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examination fees, payments of school fees for students in tertiary institutions in Nigeria, scholarships to five students in one of the nation’s leadimg private universities and scholarship for another student to pursue his Master’s degree in a university in the United States.
Besides the empowerment largesse for students, Primate Ayodele also extended his benevolence to some Nigerians with health challenges, but who are financially constrained to seek medical help. Not less than 45 people with various health issues including a patient with kidney problem were supported with various amounts of money during the programme.
The man of God, however, seized the opportunity of the presence of the Lagos State governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu, who was represented at the event, to solicit the state government’s supports on behalf of one of the beneficiaries with a rare medical condition.
Three lucky journalists benefited from the cleric’s car gifts, two of whom went home with their brand new Sport Utility Vehicles while the third lucky journalist is expected to take possession of his car as soon as it is cleared from the port. Apart from the lucky three, 10 other journalists also went home with cash gift of N200,000 each.
The event, which was attended by dignitaries from within and outside the country also saw the man of God leveraging on his growing goodwill to secure assurances of employment and traveling opportunities, scholarships, and pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Mecca, from some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion, on behalf of some of the people at the event.
Revealing the motive behind his philanthropic gesture, Primate Ayodele said he is always moved to support those who do not have each, time God provides for him. “When God provides for me, I am always motivated to remember those who do not have. Today, I will be empowering many people including some journalists with cash gifts and cars. This is the third time I will be empowering journalists,” he said.
Dignitaries at the event include the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola represented by Hon. Dipo Okeyemi. Others are a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, representing Oshodi-Isolo, Jude Idimogu; Pro-chancellor of Oduduwa University, Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin, the Ojon Of Ejigbo, Oba Morufu Ojoola; Nollywood Yoruba actor, Taiwo Hassan Ogogo; International Association of World Peace Advocates (IAWPA) delegates including Amb Nabit Kapour, Amb Blessing Palmberg, Amb Emmanuel Nkweke, among several others.