Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos of the Anglican Communion, The Most Revd Michael Fape has identified selfishness as the main problem of the political class in Nigeria.
He made the observation while delivering a lecture at the 33rd convocation ceremony of the West Africa Theological Seminary, Ipaja, Lagos.
The event took place on Saturday, September 9 the Ipaja, Lagos campus of the school.
Fape said, “The big problem that is confronting our Nation today that has put us in a fix is mainly attributed to the selfishness of our political leaders. There is no greater challenge a nation can face than when its citizens are mostly self-centred. The country can’t make progress when virtually all men of rank and file only pursue personal interest at the expense of the general well-being of the national life.”
Nigeria’s dire situation
The Anglican Archbishop who spoke on the theme, “Pastoral Leadership and Development of a National Ethos.” said further that the situation in Nigeria calls for a deep reflection.
According to him, the dire situation Nigeria finds itself in makes it imperative for the country to have “church leaders with sound morality who have made holiness and Godly character their watchword.”
He challenged WATS to live up to its billing by producing and raising leaders at various levels that would be counted among those to rescue Nigeria.
Fape who is also the Bishop of Remo Diocese of the Anglican Church stated that “When discussing pastoral leadership and development of a national ethos, the reality of this can only be seen when such leaders are in interaction with the society, and not when they are in a recluse”.
He reasoned that until pastors operate in an environment that is diametrically opposed to holiness and godliness, it will be difficult to conclude that they possess the virtues and character that could have a positive bearing on the emergence of a national ethos.
How to know a true leader
A true Church leader according to him is known when such a leader is confronted with a dilemma that would make him display his godly attribute.
“That dilemma can be defined in this context as a state of uncertainty in which evil presents itself on every side such that it becomes difficult to determine what course to pursue or what solution to apply.
“When in a dilemma, people look for ways out. Some resign to fate, some take to crooked ways, others end their lives abruptly by committing suicide while some resort to seeking divine intervention by exhibiting the godly virtues in them as it could be seen in the scriptures in the life of Joseph in Genesis 39, Esther in Esther 4:1 – 16 and the three Hebrews in Daniel chapter 3” he said.
WATS, a faith-based school
In his speech, the school’s founder, Professor Gary Maxey reiterated that “WATS was established to train men and women for holy living, for carrying the Gospel to the unreached and for catalysing national spiritual awakening.”
Maxey, an American with Nigerian citizenship, emphasized that WATS is a Non-denominational Seminary that needs the continued support of people to effectively run as a faith-based institution in Nigeria.
The Provost of WATS, Professor Dauda Gava stated that “WATS was founded in 1989 with the goal of training Pastors, Missionaries, and Church leaders to be both sound theologians and strong administrators who would be salt and light in their nations.”
He disclosed that 98 students that have been found worthy in character and learning and had satisfied the requirements of the school were presented for graduation at the event.
The graduating students bagged a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, and a Master of Divinity.
Some other students graduated with a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies; a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies; a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and a Master of Arts in Christian Education.
A few others graduated with Post – Graduate Diploma in Theology as well as Doctor of Ministry.
The Convocation ceremony came to a peak with the presentation of Certificates, Awards, and prizes to outstanding graduates of the institution. The graduates were then inducted into the WATS Alumni.
The Chairman of the school’s Governing Council, Dr. Emmanuel Oluwayemi thanked all present for finding time to attend the epoch event.
WATS is affiliated to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka – Nigeria. It is also accredited by the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA).
The 33rd convocation was a milestone for the Institution. It started with a beautiful procession into the School’s Auditorium led by the Mace Bearer and closely followed by the graduates, Lecturers, and a host of others.