By Felix Khanoba
Bishop David Abioye of the Living Faith Church says the ability to serve people with ease has made him a fulfilled man.
Abioye, who is the senior pastor of the Abuja church (Goshen city) with over 30,000 worshippers, stated this at a public lecture to mark his 60th birthday on Wednesday in Abuja.
He thanked the presiding Bishop of the Church, David Oyedepo, for offering the platform to touch the lives of the people in a positive way, even as he expressed delight in serving people.
His words: “My fulfilment is rooted in my privilege to serve people. I am not an achiever as some may describe me but I am fulfilled because I have the privilege to meet with people, to offer service to them and to render help when it was required, that is what I considered to be a fulfilment I have today.
“Leadership is not about position, you can lead from under, you can lead from the middle and you can lead from the top. Leadership is about taking a step ahead, at any level. A step to move what others consider to be small to accomplish in life. I didn’t aspire to lead, I am just inspired to lead in the sense of rendering.”
On the challenges confronting the country, the celebrant identified the problem of zero leadership as the major cause.
“The major plaque of Nigeria as it affects other nations of Africa, is not poor leadership but no leadership. Because leadership – like a renowned author on the subject will say, determine the rise and the fall. If you have a rising leader the followers will rise and a falling leader, everything and everybody will go down the drain.
“We have so much material resources even in our backyard but the problem will be poor leadership. Most western countries don’t have the resources as we do have but they harness human resources.
“Like I will say, if you don’t have the head you cannot go ahead, it takes the head to go ahead, so the nation will go ahead if the head or heads as a group are functional,” he said.
Abioye said Bishop Oyedepo will physically attend the communion service to mark the birthday later on Wednesday and also take part in the main celebrations on Thursday.
Speaking at the lecture, which attracted dignitaries from far and near, the guest lecturer, Pastor David Ibiyeomie of the Salvation Ministry, harped on the need for Nigerians to emulate the servant-leader quality of Bishop Abioye.
Ibiyeomie, who spoke on the topic: “Building Leadership That Last – The Biblical Pattern with Emphasis on Servanthood as Essential Image of Leadership”, said Abioye has distinguished himself in humility and leadership in the 40 years he has so far spent in the Living Faith family.
“If you want to know more about stewardship get close to him,” Ibiyeomie said.
The renowned public speaker and tele-evangelist cited various chapters from the Bible, to testify to the exploits of Bishop Abioye in the Lord’s vineyard, saying leaders in the country should learn his ways by having the interest of others in the tablets of their hearts.
“He has done well, any leader looking for people to exploit will not make an exploit,” Ibiyeomie said.
Some of the dignitaries who attended the birthday’s lecture and spoke gloriously of Bishop Abioye include former Cross Rivers State Governor, Liyel Imoke, former Presidential candidate, Fela Durotoye, Barr. Alex Iziyon (SAN), Pastor Emmanuel Kure, Pastor Joshua Telena, Pastor John Dara and Rev. Israel Akanji.
The list also includes Corps Marshall of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi-represented by Jonas Agwu, Pastor Biodun Fatioyinbo, retired Assistant Inspector Generals of Police, among other dignitaries.
Gospel musician, Amaka Okwuoha, popularly known as Chioma Jesus also performed at the event.