“I don’t want any funeral songs to be sung at my funeral because I won’t die. I will change my life and live in life after this life and I believe that when I shed off this body shell, I would be born into a new life”
– Chief Obafemi Awolowo
By Daniel Kanu
Obviously, the past week was a disturbing, if not a turbulent, one for the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
This was against the backdrop of the death of his third son, Dare, another charismatic preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who took after his footsteps.
Dare died recently in his sleep at his residence in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
There is the saying that when the icy fingers of death grips you, it is the time to bid the world farewell forever. And such it was for Dare.
Expectedly, condolence messages were sent to Daddy Adeboye from different parts of the globe to commiserate with him and the entire Adeboye family on the exit of Dare.
In Africa, no parent prays to bury the children. In fact, in most parts of Africa, including Nigeria, parents do not see the dead body of their children or participate in their burial.
But it is only those that do not know Pastor Adeboye or have listened to his teachings that would think he would break down in grief over the death of Dare. Not Adeboye.
When he finally broke his silence his soothing words were food for thought for the living.
Daddy G.O, as respectfully called by church members, like Saint Augustine, knows that God permits evil in order to derive from it greater good.
Adeboye knows that God giveth and has taken, so there was no need to mourn, especially as Dare lived an exemplary life that was patterned to the heavenly tradition. Dare died in a blaze of glory, according to Pastor Adeboye, and should be celebrated rather than mourned.
Sadly, some little minds or perhaps weird free thinkers, although they have the right to say the wrong thing, mocked Adeboye.
Thus they said since he claims he hears from God that he should have seen Dare’s death and prayed against it happening.
Some others pointed out that since he said he has raised the dead before, he should have used Dare’s dead body as another testimony to shock the world, and by extension leading more souls to the faith.
There are also some that went as far as saying that since Adeboye does not support the realisation of Oodua Republic, that they would not sympathize with him.
These are, however, pointers that for good and evil, man is a free creative spirit and this produces the very queer world we live in, a world in continuous creation for both good and bad thoughts.
What is certain is that death always waits at the door as the hearse is never closed.
For Adeboye, what matters in life is not dying, but in the meaning one brought to life and where one goes to when eternity beckons.
In all, the lesson to be learnt from Pastor Adeboye’s message on Dare is simple: Death is as sure for that which is born, as birth is for that which is dead. Therefore, grief not for what is inevitable.
Adeboye was born on March 2, 1942 in the village of Ifewara, Osun State.
After his primary education at the only missionary school in their village, young Adeboye was admitted into Ilesha Grammar School, Ilesha, Osun State, in 1956.
He obtained not only a Bachelors (BSc.) degree in Mathematics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1967, but also a Masters (MSc.) Degree in Hydrodynamics and a Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) in Applied Mathematics, both from the University of Lagos, in 1969 and 1975 respectively.
As a young man, Pastor Adeboye had one great ambition—to become the youngest Vice Chancellor of any one of the frontline universities in Nigeria. So, he began his career as a lecturer in mathematics at the Universities of Lagos and Ilorin and looked poised to establish himself in a successful career in academics.
Among his many awards are Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR). Adeboye was named one of the “Worlds 50 most powerful people” by Newsweek Magazine, USA.
He is a recipient of many honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Lagos and another from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
He is today the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).