By Ladi Ayodeji
Lagos State APC Governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was the special Guest of Honour at the GRACE Programme of the Household of God, Church, Oregun, on Sunday December 16, 2018.
His presence created a huge buzz inside the ultramodern auditorium as he quietly walked down the aisle with just two aides. He was met by the host and visioner of the GRACE programme, flamboyant Rev. Chris Okotie, who never fails to impress as a style icon, platform orator, singer/performer and Bible expositor.
On the special night, Okotie totally ignored his political ambitions and concentrated on the proceedings which included donations to four charities and giving the late Reginald Akpofure, first Nigerian Principal of the iconic Kings College, the posthumous Karis award 2018. The most exciting highlight of GRACE is usually the Queen Esther costume pageant, given to the contestant whose costume best portrayed a female Bible character. This year’s contest was won by Ruth Michael, who beat 15 others to the coveted crown.
With all of these on the cards, Sanwo-Olu looked an undercard, but the slim, charismatic politician stunned the audience when he mounted the podium. Not only did he prove to be a consummate political tactician, his brief, on-point remarks covered all highlights of the GRACE night, from the glamourous auditorium, breathtaking Christmas trees, high profile guests in attendance and the various dimensions of Rev. Okotie’s ministry and giftings Sanwo-Olu mentioned them all in accessible, yet impeccable English.
The fact that he sat through the programme showed how patient he is. Sanwo-Olu urged the people of Lagos State to speak truth to power and challenge their leaders to always deliver on good governance. His pleasant personality attracted scores of admirers who sought and got his attention for few minutes of whispering discussions and backslappings. While he did his best to avoid campaigning openly, he cleverly sold himself to the audience without offending protocols.
As always, Rev. Okotie was the star of every GRACE event. He rendered two riveting songs that could hit No. 1 on the dance music charts anywhere in the world because of his proficient vocals and enchanting lyrics. He topped off the show with a powerful, but short message that revealed the Reverend’s perspicacity into complex Biblical revelations.
Okotie’s call for “Household Ladies” to come forward and dance, spurned an explosive Holy Ghost party that lasted for about an hour. The compassion of Rev. Okotie toward the less privileged was clearly evident in the donations to four charities-Spinal Cord Injuries Association, Sunshine Foundation, Little Saints Orphanage, and Pacelli School. For the Blind and Partially Sighted, and the KARIS Awardee.
Each of the charities went home with N2Million naira, including the KARIS recipient, represented by his relatives. The members of the Kings College Old Students Association put up a remarkable performance of the school’s anthem to honour their late Principal and 2018 KARIS recipient, Dr. Reginald Akpofure, OFR. It was a nostalgic but patriotic cameo appearance that won rapturous ovation.
GRACE 2018 was a night to remember for all those who attended, and Sanwo-Olu himself said this much.