By Adeola Badru
Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the late Rev. Samuel Oladele Akande, a former General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention(NBC), as a courageous and fearless preacher who never spared confronting any ill in government and in the society.
Obasanjo stated this yesterday, during the funeral service of the deceased, attended by the representative of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other dignitaries, held at the Oritamefa Baptist Church, Ibadan.
The former President said the late Baptist pastor used to preach against cults and secret societies.
Obasanjo recalled how the late Akande, as his home pastor at Owu Baptist Church, Abeokuta, from 1966 to1965 and Ebenezer Baptist Church, Lagos, between 1966 and 1969, became a friend and pastor he held in high esteem.
He reminded the congregation of the involvement of the deceased in the political life of Nigeria, saying that late Akande was a member of the Electoral Commission in 1965 who refused to be compromised.
Obasanjo said: “Late Akande also contested as a candidate in the presidential primaries of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), in 1991; won at the old Oyo state level but lost at the national level.”
“He will be remembered for his forthrightness, doggedness, dynamism, welfarism, anti-corruption, psychological, discourse, courage commitment to ethical values, uprightness, unwavering Christian testimony, and purposeful leadership,” he stated.
Obasanjo urged the deceased’s children to be comforted that their father left a good name and heritage.
In his remark, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented at the occasion by Pastor Seyi Malomo, said late Akande was an
an exemplary preacher whose selflessness and broad-mindedness should be emulated by all Christians.
Osinbajo said the deceased, during his lifetime, provided the right leadership to the Nigerian Baptist denomination and ensured the fold remains as one spirit-filled family even after his retirement.
While speaking of the deceased, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN), Dr. Samson Ayokunle, described late Akande as a man of many parts, who was a gifted, courageous and fearless preacher, “an astute and tireless pastor.
“A forthright theologian, an able, accomplished administrator, a committed and uncompromising leader, and unwavering Christian gentleman.”
Ayokunle who doubles as President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), said late Akande served the Baptist communities in Nigeria from 1952, when he answered the call into the ministry, to his retirement from the office of the General Secretary of the NBC in 1991.
In his sermon titled: “Celebrating God’s Extraordinary Grace,” at the funeral service, the CAN chairman, North Central, Rev Israel Akanji, submitted that late Akande was a product of God’s extraordinary grace, saying the grace the deceased received during his lifetime was not without effect.
According to Akanji, the effect of God’s extraordinary grace upon the deceased was the courage of Caleb, the leadership of Moses, the faith of Abraham, boldness/excellent spirit of Daniel, the wisdom of Solomon, the vision of Joseph, among others.
He called on the congregation to emulate the Godly lifestyle of the deceased.
Pa Akande who died on September 10, 2020, at his Ibadan residence, at the age of 94 years, was survived by his wife, Comfort Olalonpe, five children, and grandchildren.