Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday extolled the virtues of a former General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), the late Revd. S. T. Ola Akande.
They both described the late cleric as a courageous and fearless preacher.
Obasanjo was among other dignitaries who attended the funeral service of the late cleric, held at the Oritamefa Baptism Church, Ibadan, while Osinbajo was represented at the service.
The former president noted that the late Akande would be remembered for always preaching against societal ills as well as cultism and membership of secret societies.
He recalled how Akande, as his home pastor at Owu Baptist Church, Abeokuta, from 1962 to1965 and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Lagos, between 1966 and 1969, became a friend and pastor, whom he held in high esteem.
Obasanjo reminded the congregation about the foray of into Nigerian politics, recalling that Akande was once a member of the Electoral Commission but that he refused to be compromised.
“The late Akande also participated in the presidential primaries of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1991 and won in the old Oyo State but lost at the national level.
“He will be remembered for his forthrightness, doggedness, dynamism, welfarism, anti-corruption discourse, courage, commitment to ethical values, uprightness, unwavering Christian testimony and purposeful leadership,” he said.
The former president urged the children of the deceased to be comforted by the fact that their father left a good name and heritage.
Also, the vice-president, who was represented by Pastor Seyi Malomo, said that the late Akande was an exemplary preacher whose selflessness and broad-mindedness should be emulated by all Christians.
He said that the deceased, during his life time, provided the right leadership to Baptist Church and ensured that the church remained as one Holy Spirit-filled family, even after his retirement.
Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), described the late cleric as a man of many parts, stressing that he was a gifted, courageous and fearless preacher as well as an astute and tireless pastor.
“He was a forthright theologian, an able and accomplished administrator, committed and uncompromising leader as well as an unwavering Christian gentleman,” he said.
Ayokunle, who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, said that the late Akande served the Baptist community from 1952, when he answered the call into the ministry, up till the time he retired as the General Secretary of the Convention in 1991.
In his sermon, entitled: “Celebrating God’s Extraordinary Grace”, the CAN Chairman, North-Central, Rev. Israel Akanji, described the late cleric as a product of God’s extraordinary grace.
Akanji said that the effects of God’s extraordinary grace upon the deceased were the courage of Caleb, the leadership of Moses, the faith of Abraham, the boldness/excellent spirit of Daniel, the wisdom of Solomon and the vision of Joseph, among others.
He, however, called on the congregation to emulate the Godly lifestyle of the deceased.
Revd. S.T. Ola Akande, who died on Sept. 10 at his Ibadan residence at the age of 94, is survived by his wife, Mrs Comfort Akande, five children and grandchildren.