Desmond Mgboh, Kano
On this Saturday, the atmosphere in Kano was an alluring picture of a haze fanned by a gentle breeze. The Christian community in the city had woken up with excitement as they looked forward to the consecration of Dr Ralph Olufemi Olowo, chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Kano State Chapter. He was to become Bishop of Strong Tower Evangelical Assembly Inc.
As the sun walked gently across the skyline, Middle Road in Sabon-Gari, the street where the church is situated, came alive with well wishers. Some of the guests had arrived earlier in the day so as to beat the sanitation exercise, which barred movements of vehicles and persons until 10 am.
Among the early callers were clergymen. Among them, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, National Deputy Chairman, PFN, Bishop Ransom Bello, immediate past chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Bishop Bolu Martins, Overseer, Treasure Life Assembly. Also in attendance was the CAN chairman in the state, Reverend Samuel Adeolu Adeyemo.
The consecration worship kicked off at about 10.00am with Bishop Oke as the Chief Consecrator. He was supported by Bishops Bakare, Adejumo, Ransom Bello and Kure Oyonnude. The proceedings was fairly lively, enlivened by the interluding praise and worship songs that inspired the souls of the congregation while the homily and lessons read were spiritually educative and inspiring
Special lessons were taken from 1Timothy 3:1-7,1Samuel 16:1-3. In the end, a Bible and pastoral staff was presented to the new Bishop, who in turn proceeded to address and bless his church. Olowo was born on August 24, 1966, to the family of Chief Amos Olanipekun Olowoyeye and Florence Ibilola Olowoyeye.
Olowo said he met the Lord in July 1985, but was not committed to the ways of the Lord until the following year following an incident, which led to the death of his mother. He prayed to the Lord and asked for 10 more years for his mother, adding that miraculously, while the elders of the church were running around having sent for one of his uncles, his mother jerked back to life. She eventually returned to the Lord 10 years later just as he had asked of the Lord. This miracle drew him closer to the Lord, which he had remained until this day.
On the consecration, the new Bishop explained that his new position is a call to rededicate himself in the service of the Lord, hinting that his elevation to a Bishop in the House of God would ginger him in the pursuit of love, peace and good relationship among others:
“I was born and brought up in the North. I have always been a Northerner in my blood. I believe that the new assignment would give me an opening to expand the frontiers of what I have been doing in ensuring that the city that we live in is impacted by the grace that we carry.
“My message is that Nigeria is one and we should look beyond religion, beyond tribe and beyond occasions. We should see ourselves as one entity in showcasing love and care for one another in any part of the country we find yourself.”
Bishop Oke charged the Federal Government to scale up its efforts in combating the various forms of security challenges in the country. He asked government to check the growing cases of armed banditry in some parts of the country while appealing to them to ensure that they do not spread their tentacles to new areas different from where they are at present.
He maintained that Kano, reputed as a city of peace, must continue to remain in peace given its political, social and economic impetus in Nigeria. He urged government to redouble its military efforts with a view to ending the problems of insecurity that is threatening the entire country:
“The insurgency in the North East, let us employ the federal might to crush them so that there will be peace all over Nigeria. I commend government in what they are doing so far but let them step it and flush out the perpetrators of this act. The bandits disturbing the rest of the country let them ensure that it did not