By Sam Eyoboka
WHILE other well placed Nigerians are mouthing their dissatisfaction about dwindling budgetary allocations to the Nigerian education sector, the quintessential General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye is quietly and steadily promoting scholarship thro-ugh the sponsorship of research in the nation’s universities.
Despite the controversy currently trailing the rechristening of his alma mater, that has led to the closure of the University of Lagos, Pastor Adeboye will today hand over a cheque worth N50 mill-ion to the vice chan-cellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Professor Idowu Bamitale Omole.
The donation represents an endowment of a pro-fessorial chair for mathe-matics in that tertiary institution at the fifth edition of Excel 2012 Conference—a baby of the Apapa Family of the church.
Endowment gifts offer an extraordinary opportun-ity for benefactors to support research into the big questions of our time and beyond.
This brings to four the number of chairs he has endowed as part of his contribution to excellence in tertiary education in Nigeria.
Adeboye had doled out similar amounts to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, the University of Ibadan, Ibadan and the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
Pastor Adeboye, 70, has a PhD in applied mathe-matics from the Univer-sity of Lagos, and work-ed as a lecturer in math-ematics at the universi-ties of Lagos and Ilorin before he was divinely elected to become the General Overseer of RCCG in 1981 after the death of the founder the previous year.
Like biblical Peter, a fisherman who was called to be a fisher of men, Pastor Adeboye could be said to have been called, at a time when being a pastor was not attractive to professionals, to be a teacher of men with a mandate to lead them to Heaven; take as many people with him; have a member of RCCG in every family of all nations through holiness and planting of churches within five minutes walking distance in every city and town of developing countries and within five minutes driving distance in every city and town of developed countries.
Today at the Tafewa Balewa Square in Lagos, where Nigeria’s independence celebration took place on October 1, 1960 with the Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, delivering his independence speech, Adeboye besides preaching a mess-age specially targeted at the youths, will hand over the cheque to the vice chancellor to boost the study of mathematics in OAU, Ile Ife.
He is also expected to dedicate a Youth Academy spons-ored by the Apapa Family in line with the church’s social corporate responsibility. To underscore the emphasis the church places on youths as change catalysts, it had perfected plans to establish Excel Academy—a mentoring and leadership training institution for youths.
According to Pastor Morgan an investment on the nation’s youths would positively infl-uence their thinking, their orientation and actions will change for the betterment of our country, “that is why we are focusing on the youths.”
According to the organizers of the programme there will be food enough for about 100,000 persons at the venue of the spiritual fiesta while music ministration would be by youthful musicians like Tim Godfrey, Eben and JO Blue.