By Dayo Emmanuel
A former Deputy Director at the Department OF Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mrs. Pat Maseli has recounted fond memories of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa noting that he made tremendous impact on her life when she was growing up.
Maselli who is now lives in the US gave the account during a session with journalists recently in Lagos.
She said, she perhaps would not have attained to the height she attained today if not for the fatherly role of Archbishop Idahosa in her growing up years.
Recalling her early days with the late revered cleric, Maselli said, “I was so young then when Archbishop took me as his daughter. He had just got married and had not had any child. I was the one who was like a daughter to him. I stayed with him and his wife in those early years and was always going to places with him.” She recalled.
Maseli, who retired November 2018 after 35 years of meritorious service to the nation said, “I am from Ibrede in Delta State, but my parents lived and worked in Benin City for most part of my early years, and as such my primary, secondary and tertiary education were acquired in Benin City.
I had a beautiful childhood, especially coming from a background where both parents were educationists,” she said.
Relaying how she met the late Idahosa, Maseli said, “I met him in 1970 and I gave my life to Christ in Church of God Mission in Benin City. I was one of his children in the Lord. I went with him as a young girl right from primary school to crusades all over Nigeria singing until 1979 when I left for the University.”
Talking more about her encounter with the Archbishop, the ex-Deputy Director at DPR said, “Before I gave my life to Christ we were Anglicans.
I knew the Archbishop when he had his Vespa Motorcycle and in the company of his wife, Archbishop Bishop Margaret Idahosa used to bring my brother and I to church every Sunday with the bike.”
She recalled that “In those days there were no fancy chairs in Pentecostal churches. We assisted in gluing newspapers on wooden planks in preparation for Sunday services before other members arrived. It was fun to us as children. We were part of those that participated in building the Miracle Center in Benin City,” she recalled.
Read also: “Many people did not understand Benson Idahosa when he was alive”https://churchtimesnigeria.net/%E2%80%9Cmany-people-did-not-understand-benson-idahosa-when-he-was-alive%E2%80%9D/
She also recollected how Idahosa encouraged her to make Benin City the venue of her wedding. “I was already working in Lagos by the time I was to get married in Lagos. Archbishop said he must be the one to join us and that we should move the wedding to Benin. So we all had to travel to Benin for the ceremony. He officiated at my wedding in Benin City,” she said.
She said the demise of Idahosa came to her as a great shock. “His death came to me as a big shock because the night before he died, I had a revelation of him at a big crusade in a stadium, just like the ones I participated in those early years of his ministry. He then requested for a particular song from the congregation. Nobody could sing it.
“I indicated I could sing it, and I did the song: ‘There is a sweet Spirit in this place and I know it is the presence of the Lord…’ The anointing that accompanied the song was powerful. He then blessed me in that dream with cassettes, cash and prayed for me.
“It was quite vivid. But I woke up Thursday morning, only to hear later he went to be with the Lord in the afternoon of that same Thursday 12th March 1998.
I believe that the blessings he impacted on me through prayers that night is the result I see in my life today. I thank God for his life especially for bringing revival to Nigeria through his Ministry,” she said.
Maseli said she has since began consulting after her retirement. “What I do mostly now is consulting and taking care of my grandchildren. Living a relaxed life, exploring the world and places which hitherto I couldn’t see and also getting more involved with the service of the Lord.”