Pioneer Bishop of Lagos West Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, The Rt. Rev Peter Awelewa Adebiyi has opened up on life in retirement.
He also shared with Church Times how he would love to be remembered. Adebiyi retired in 2013 but took ill shortly after his retirement.
In his active days, he was almost the face of the Anglican Church in the media. He spoke authoritatively on issues concerning the Body of Christ.
He also did not shy away from expressing his mind on critical national issues. He was known for his revolutionary thoughts while he was bishop.
His retirement, his health
Since his retirement, however, ill-health has denied him the opportunity of rendering continuous service in God’s vineyard.
His health challenge notwithstanding, Adebiyi said to Church Times that he cherished his days while in active service.
Adebiyi who still maintained his pleasantness despite the seeming challenge said the only drawback he has in life is ill-health. “I was in the US for some months when the sickness started. I have been on it since then. It’s been challenging since then. I really don’t know what happened to me,” he said in a nondescript tone.
He recalled that shortly after his retirement he was invited to many places to minister including the US before he was down with ill-health “I was invited to many places where I preached including the US. That was where the sickness started. I was there for months before I was brought back home. But I have discovered that I could not have done more than what God has given me the opportunity to do.”
On the lessons he has learnt from people, he said, “Since I retired, I have not seen some priests that used to be close to me. But I am not worried because I am not looking for food. God has blessed me. I do not have any problem. My children are taking care of me. The church has also been so good to me. They have really cared for me and given me all that I needed. I get the best medical attention. The current Bishop of the Diocese, Bishop Odedeji has been of great help. He has come to check on me regularly and has done great in taking care of me.
“But for those who have not visited, I have no problem with them. If they want to visit fine, if not no problem. I appreciate those who come, those who don’t come no problem. Whenever the present Bishop of the diocese comes to visit, I normally ask after others.”
He warned against position seeking among priests. “Many priests want to become Bishop. Those who are Bishops want to become Archbishop. If you want to become king and you become one, what else do you want? Until I die, I will be called Bishop Adebiyi. Even after death, I will still be called Bishop. That is very important. But I will like to tell fellow bishops to be careful. They should be generous. And they should be contented,” he admonished.
Adebiyi: Nigeria’s problem challenging
Adebiyi who told Church Times that he watches and listens to news regularly to keep abreast with development in the country said he would have preferred that Nigeria be dismembered, “If I were in government and have the privilege of making decisions, I will suggest that all the regions go their separate ways. The situation in Nigeria is really worrisome.”
Known for his persistent call for restructuring in the past, Adebiyi said getting a solution to Nigeria’s problem is challenging insisting that the simple way to solve the problem is to let the southwest go its way, let the east go its way, and let the north go its way.”
On how he will love to be remembered, he said, “I will like to be remembered for my sermons. I will love to be remembered for my admonition to people and my boldness in speaking both for the people and even the government. About my sermons, it depends on what is being planned concerning them. But I know God has a way of keeping those sermons alive for coming generations. I was able to do a compendium of some of them.”
Your Lordship, may God bless you and heal you from every sickness, I believe strongly that the Lord is your strength and you shall end well in the bossom of the Almighty. Thanks