.Theological education’s critical roles in raising capable leaders By Emmanuel Oyemomi  Going back the memory lane, as far as Nigeria isconcerned, I don’t think we have a solid plan. What we have has been a legacy andthe impact of theological education has brought into the nation. Some greatinstitutions that are renowned for this – Harvard, Oxford, etc. have become thecream of the whole world. History made us know they started as seminaries butthese institutions later metamorphosed into other areas of education. JC Pool, the first Principal of the NigerianBaptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho was offered a license for a chartedUniversity by the then President, Dr Azikiwe which was rejected.   The same Seminary later became the firstdegree awarding institution in Nigeria. As far as this nation and Africa are concerned,writing and education are not our heritage. Treasures not documented andwhatever education is in Nigeria is heritage and an aftermath of TheologicalEducation in Nigeria. All the schools government took over started as missionschools and government was not maintaining the legacy of the mission schools. Whenyou talk of academic integrity and soundness, we find them among the missionschools across the country. They are still functional and focused in providingsound education. Government keyed into education and made it apolitical matter to fight religion. This is through legislation against the schools.History was also doctored out of the curriculum. Several subjects have been removedas well. The nation has lost its bearing in terms ofeducation with consistent strikes by ASUU which affect the future of thestudents.   We are yet to get our bearingin education. Late Chieg Obafemi Awolowo ensured education became a natural priorityto benefit the citizens but the reverse is the case today. It is worrisome thatwe have no value for education as the state of the nation’s educational systemis lamentable. Impact  The impact of theological education is multifaceted, as Theological Education gave birthto several churches. It also gave birth to the proliferation of schools. These arethe immediate impact but in the 1950’s, primary school in those days werevirtually free education. If children were very intelligent, themissionaries gave scholarships to children. As a nation, we have no value foreducation. The people who had primary education to standard 6 in those days canbe compared with a graduate today.   Themissionaries hired such standard 6 graduates and so many lives have beenuplifted. Missionaries hired them for several jobs in public sectororganizations. Help  Theological Education must be given a space toshape leaders. We need to watch the track records of our leaders. Our leaderseven boast that our votes mean nothing to them. We have a crop of leaders who have notrack records and all they do is to manipulate. Theological education has been ostracized. In thelast few years, Theological Education has been waged war against.   It is a threat/war against the source of Peacewhich is GOD. Theological Education can have a great impact on ourleaders which is a study about GOD. It is education that gives a transformationto be godly. In   Theological Education,you are taught how you must have concern for fellow human beings, whenutilized, the impact is huge. Theological Education indicates that God isindivisible, most people with sound theological education act right. Theological education can train people who will useand lead the people. Theological education has produced leaders for the countrywho are functioning in various places. Theological education has helped peopleto be versatile but they are being massacred due to selfishness, nepotism andtribalism in the country. God authenticates Theological education as we willall return to God. - [ ] •Oyemomi, a professor, is Rector, Baptist College of Theology, Lagos.

By Dapo Akinrefon, John Alechenu & Egufe Yafugborhi, LAGOS

Amid tensions, some elders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, intervened in the crisis rocking the party by giving approval for the constitution of the presidential campaign council.

Vanguard gathered that while some PDP leaders are pushing for the party to wield the big stick against those engaged in anti-party activities, other leaders are more favourably disposed to ongoing reconciliatory efforts.

It was learned in Abuja yesterday that the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and other organs of the party, including the National Working Committee, NWC, the Caucus and the Board of Trustees, BoT, have agreed to go ahead with the constitution of the party’s presidential campaign council.

This came on a day former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, urged the PDP National Chair-man, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to honourably resign.

George, however, urged Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State not to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, despite misgivings over the choice of running mate to the PDP presidential candidate.

Party elders wade in, mull options

A top ranking member of the party, who is familiar with the issue but elected to speak in confidence, said: “We held a major consultative meeting on Tuesday and I can assure you that the membership of the council will be announced in the next two weeks.

“Campaigns start next month; we want to be up and running before this happens. We have been reaching out to our members nationwide, including our respected leaders in Rivers State.

“Details of our next steps are being worked out. You know the PDP, being a very large family, has a lot of tendencies and individuals and groups have egos that require massaging. We are doing that.

“There are those pushing for us to wield the big stick but the majority are more favourably disposed to ongoing reconciliatory efforts because we are in opposition; we need everyone more than the ruling party.”

Another party leader, who spoke on grounds of anonymity, said: “The PDP has dealt with bigger challenges; this one too has come and it will go. Governor Wike, whose name is being mentioned anytime our current challenges are cited, is a party man, he has said it himself.

“He has other party leaders who respect him and look up to him to protect their political interests. Whatsoever those interests may be, he feels an obligation to protect those who stuck out their necks for him during his bid for the ticket.

“It is the pursuit of this that has delayed us till now but we must make progress; we have an election to win and there will be positions of responsibilities to be given out. It is the patience component that is the issue at the moment.”

Substantial progress is being made — Atiku’s camp

When contacted, Mazi Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said: “Substantial progress is being made with regards to resolving outstanding issues. My principal has assured the party and all members that everyone will be carried along. That commitment has not changed.”

We’ll resolve crisis soon—PDP leader

Also speaking, a top PDP leader told Vanguard that leaders are making moves to resolve the crisis.

The PDP leader, who spoke in confidence, said: “We are making efforts to resolve the crisis.

All I know is that Wike will not leave the party. As regards inviting APC leaders to commission projects in his state, he has said it before that he would invite leaders across party lines to commission projects in Rivers. I can assure you that the crisis within the party will be resolved soon.”

Ayu should resign honourably —Bode George

Commenting on the crisis rocking the party, George, who addressed newsmen in Lagos, insisted that Ayu should honour his words by stepping down as  national chairman of the party.

He, however, urged Governor Wike not to join APC, despite  misgivings over the choice of Atiku’s running mate, saying “you don’t win all the time.”

Heis words: “In democracy, we must talk and exchange ideas. We must agree and disagree without actually being disagreeable. Any organisation with human beings will always have issues but the ability to manage that crisis will be the determining factor.

“I want to appeal to all sides to sheathe their swords. Nigerians are waiting for us and we must convince them that we can manage the resources of the country in an equitable manner.

“They should all cease fire. Statements of arrogance and innuendos that can destroy the party should stop forthwith.

“Zoning has sustained our democracy for this long because it’s the concept that established our party.

“My plea is that all should cool temper because if we don’t get it right this time around, this nation will never forgive us. Nigerians are waiting for the PDP.”

On 2023 general election, George said it was not yet uhuru.

While expressing worry over the security situation in the country, he said: “My fear is that if the insecurity continues, who will be bold enough to campaign or cast votes during election?

“These are serious issues we must consider. Are we thinking about it? It’s scary. How will people go out to vote on the day of election?”

Wike, one man balancing force —Mimiko

Meanwhile, former Ondo State governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday, commended Governor Wike’s boldness to lawfully speak truth to power, saying he has averted bids by desperate politicians to force Nigeria into a one-party state.

Mimiko said this while performing the flag-off of Rivers State project for dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Noting that through bold legal challenges, Wike has deepened national consciousness by combating the defective federal system towards actualising true federalism.

Mimiko said: “Beyond the self-evident physical transformation, you (Wike) have stood as a bulwark against those sworn to emasculating the main opposition party, all in their bid to force a one-party state down the throats of Nigerians.

“You were at one point virtually a one man countervailing force, defending and protecting our dear PDP. You have also, through bold legal challenges, deepened the national consciousness on the defects in the running of our defective federal system.”

Hoping Wike remains committed to the struggle to entrench true federalism for just development across ethnic divides and religious persuasions in Nigeria, the former governor said: “Our party, the PDP, a party for which you have laboured so much, seems saddled with the historical duty of forging this unity, a unity premised on truth, equity and justice, a unity upon which rescuing Nigeria from unsatisfactory performance of the past seven years will be built.

“It is a mission that must be accomplished, a mission for which you are specially positioned and favoured to play a major role, a mission that must be subscribed to by all lovers of our country.”

Speaking on the project, Wike said: “As a man who respects leaders, I have to honour them by making sure this road is awarded and completed within six months.

“This is the last project here in Port Harcourt I’m going to embark upon before I leave office. All promises I have made in Port Harcourt, I have fulfilled. Let somebody come and tell me which one I have not fulfilled. “Because you voted for us, we too will work for you by providing basic infrastructure. That is what politics is all about. It is about talking and doing, not giving of excuses.

“No right-thinking person in this state would want to mingle or identify with such people that would make promises without fulfilling them.

“Our campaign has always been operation show your report card. We are showing our report card. Tell anybody who comes to you to show his report card.”

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