By Job Osazuwa
The Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim recently inducted Elder David D.L. Bob-Manuel as the new Baba Aladura of the church.
As the 76-year-old man was handed the symbol of authority, members of the church, family members and guests, could not conceal their joy as well as love for their son. The moment he entered the auditorium, in procession with elders of the church, the congregation let out songs of praises to God. They excitedly left their pews to take photographs of the man, who now occupies the number one seat of the Holy Order. It took firm efforts of the ushers to maintain decorum.
Bob-Manuel, who was chosen by members of the Advisory Board of the church, was installed on September 7, following the death of his predecessor, Elder Lazarus Anuba Onyeleonu on May 13. The deceased occupied the position for six years.
The event, which took place at the church’s national headquarters in Surulere, Lagos, was attended by thousands of members who came from within and outside the state.
The prelate, who is also, addressed as Moses Orimolade 1X, beamed with smiles and acknowledged cheers from members and guests as he danced to the altar. Having taken the oath of office, the elders stretched their sceptres towards him and prayed for him.
He knelt before the altar and prayed for the peace and progress of Nigeria. Quoting from Psalms 100 from the Bible, he said it was necessary to always praise God for His faithfulness, adding that it was only God who could give unconditional love to man. He charged the congregants and other members not to relent in their efforts in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. He also admonished them to serve God in meekness.
“For you to change the society and make heaven too, you must emulate Jesus Christ. Let your lifestyle attract your neighbours to God. Christianity is not by mere saying, but practising what Jesus stood for,” the prelate said.
One striking thing that you could not take away from members of the church was their love for dancing. The men, women – both young and old were intermittently caught in the web of spiritual gyration, which lasted for several minutes.
At a dinner organised for the Baba Aladura, at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, clergymen, politicians and businessmen graced the occasion. The hall, decorated with and ashes was filled with guests, who were gaily dressed.
The Secretary General of the church, Napo Emuchay said the choice of Bob-Manuel marked a new era in the history of Cherubim and Seraphim worldwide, and revealed that God had been the source of the church’s strength since its establishment by Moses Orimolade Tunolase in 1925.
He said the agitations from different regions across Nigeria were worrisome and, therefore, called for fervent prayers to God to douse the tension and heal the land. He assured the audience that the church would continue to pray for the country.
Bob-Manuel, who hails from Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, said he was humbled by the honour bestowed on him by the guests, and pointed out that it was God’s mercy and grace that had sustained him till this moment.
The man of God stated that it was high time different denominations of the church came together to engender peace and harmony across the globe. He expressed the confidence that the challenges of insurgency, militancy, armed robbery and kidnapping would soon become history in Nigeria.
He said the social and economic indices in the country had not been encouraging in recent times, and, therefore, urged government at all levels to redouble their efforts in tackling the menace. He suggested the need for the federal and state governments to partner with the private sector and other development agencies in finding a lasting solution to the problem to curb the social ills in the society.
The former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by his former Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Louis Odion, congratulated the new church leader for the new assignment and wished him well on the journey.
The former Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, who is a member of the church, said he was confident that it was God who chose Bob-Manuel to take the Holy Order to new heights. While tasking members of the church to give the prelate the needed support, he urged the man of God to always forgive anyone that might offend him. He also charged the new clergyman to unite the church.