The Lagos governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwoolu, Former Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, and the incumbent primate of the church, Most Revd Henry Ndukuba among many others have commended the Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Rt Rev Olusola Odedeji for the purposeful leadership he brought to bear in his diocese in the last 10 years.
The commendation came at the 10th-anniversary celebration of Bishop Odedeji’s episcopacy on Saturday, May 6.
At the event which took place at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos, Sanwoolu described Odedeji as a worthy companion in the development of Lagos State.
Sanwooolu was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Religion, Rev Bukola Adeleke.
He said, “The Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion has been a part of us as a government. We acknowledge the worthy role faith-based organisations have been playing in the development of the state. Your diocese particularly has been at the forefront of promoting peace in Lagos. It’s only when there is peace in the society that we can talk about development.”
Odedeji’s leadership fruitful
The Lagos governor said the last decade in the diocese has yielded great dividends under the leadership of Bishop Odedeji.
He noted that the diocese has played critical roles in the education, health, and welfare of the people of Lagos.
“We recognise these investments in the state and we are thankful that the Bishop has made himself available to serve.”, the governor said.
Sanwoolu also described the wife of the Bishop, Dr. Lydia Odedeji as a supportive wife adding that she has played a very strategic role in making the last ten years in the diocese a fruitful one.
Ajibodu to Odedeji: Maintain your focus
The Bishop of Ile-Oluji, Rt Rev Abel Ajibodu who preached the main sermon at the church service urged Bishop Odedeji to maintain his focus in the administration of the diocese.
While noting that Odedeji has invested heavily in the spiritual emancipation of the diocese of Lagos West, he said, “One cannot make all these investments and not be rewarded by God.”
Ajibodu noted that for any leader to succeed, such a leader must maintain common ground with his subjects and avoid a know-it-all attitude.
He said Bishop Odedeji has distinguished himself in that regard. “You don’t present yourself as somebody who knows it all. You have also made people working with you feel accepted,” he said.
Ajibodu who was once dean of the AVMCC before he was elected bishop recalled the impressive lifestyle of Bishop Odedeji when he worked with him in the diocese. He assured that his labour of love would not be in vain.
Odedeji, a dependable leader
The Primate of the Anglican Church, The Most Rev Henry Ndukuba in his goodwill message in a documentary relayed at the event described Bishop Odedeji as a dependable servant of God whose ministry has been a great blessing to the Anglican Communion.
The former Primate of the Church, Most Rev Nicholas Okoh was more assertive in his commendation. He recalled how he was elected ten years ago saying, “The fear was that he was a young man and that he might mess things up. But we trusted God.
“What is clear, is there have not been crises in the diocese in the last ten years. His work has been excellent. He has great humility. He does not take anyone for granted. He is diligent and blessed with a wife who is dependable and who cooperates with him.”
Okoh observed that “Bishop Odedeji is an example of what God can do with a young man. He has been able to establish links with the north, southeast, and west. He is not a tribal bigot. This makes him a bright candidate for any position in the Church of Nigeria”
An industrialist Chief Segun Osunkeye says of Odedeji that he is “a man of God whose work has made the diocese one of the largest in the Church of Nigeria.”
A former High Court Judge, Hon Babasola Ogunade said Odedeji improved on what his predecessor left behind. The event which lasted for about three hours attracted many dignitaries, captains of industry, and clergymen from across Nigeria.