The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh, on Wednesday, lamented the inability of the nationâ€™s leaders to arrest the worsening spate of insecurity, unemployment and corruption.
The cleric bemoaned the nationâ€™s ills while delivering a sermon at the funeral of the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Chief Hannah Idowu Dideolu, at Our Saviourâ€™s Anglican Church, Ikenne, Ogun State.
Some of the prominent Nigerians present at the church service are Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; his wife, Bola; Head of the defunct Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan; a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; and his wife, Victoria.
Others are the son-in-law to the deceased and Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; his wife, Dolapo; Senate President Bukola Saraki, 16 serving governors, ex-governors, 36 bishops and ministers, among others.
The Anglican primate, who said the Boko Haram insurgency had depleted the resources and the nationâ€™s pride, added that the prevalence of social vices and mass unemployment had worsened the health conditions of Nigerians.
These, he believed, had led to many of them going down with various terminal diseases.
He explained that there was the need for the current crop of leaders to halt this dangerous trend, which had done the nation no good.
Okoh said, â€œTerror has taken over our power, money, our strength, our resources and degraded our infrastructure. It has also taken our peace.
â€œGovernment must do something about it. Corruption in all ramifications, including indiscipline, has ruined the society. So, if you graduate and you are unemployed at 27, you will find it difficult to get a job. We have a generation that is pinning away.
â€œWhat can we classify as the burdens of the society currently? They are kidnapping, armed robbery, baby factory and corruption, among others. Indiscipline has ruined many nations. Unemployment and cultism have ruined the nation.
â€œIll-health, such as diabetes and cancer, is ravaging the land; it affects everybody, civil servants, businessmen, among others. None is at rest here. Is there actually anybody who can exclude himself from these yokes?
â€œIt affects bishops, politicians, academics; none is exempted here.â€
While extolling the virtues of the deceased, Okoh described her as someone who was dedicated and served God till the end.
He noted that not many men of Chief Obafemi Awolowoâ€™s status could describe their wives in glowing terms the way the late sage did.
The cleric added, â€œShe stood by him throughout his political travails. She was a courageous woman, having lost three of her children; she was not overwhelmed by grief.
â€œMama is now at rest from her labours due to her trust in Christ. She has fought a good fight and has finished the race and now sheâ€™s having a final rest.â€
Okoh urged spinsters and young married women to see the late matriarch as a role model in shaping their family lives.
At exactly 9.56am, the remains of the late matriarch were brought into the church premises in a colourful horse-drawn carriage in company with her children, grandchildren and other family members.
As soon as the carriage halted at the main entrance of the church, her gold-plated casket was lifted from the cart into the church by no fewer than six pall-bearers dressed in blue Aso-Oke.
Guests began to arrive at the church in droves as early as from 7am.
Security men had a hectic time controlling both vehicular and human traffic. Almost all those entering the church premises were frisked at the gate by security operatives with metal detectors.
Guests needed to be accredited before entering the church, leaving many lamenting their inability to gain entrance.
The remains of the Yeye Oodua were laid to rest at about 1:55pm beside her late husband inside the Awolowo Mausoleum, after prayers were offered by clerics and family members.
Saraki, who said he came to represent President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate, urged the children and family members of the deceased to ensure they keep the legacy of Awolowo.
Buhari, however, later arrived at Ikenne at about 2.10pm in a chopper and headed for the Ikenne home of the Awolowos in a convoy of vehicles.
The governors present at the ceremony were the host governor, Ibikunle Amosun(Ogun); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna); Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Ben Ayade (Cross River); Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Abubakar Yari (Zamfara); Simon Lalong (Plateau); and Kashim Shettima (Borno), among others.
Also at the ceremony were the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; a former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande; a former Ogun State Governor,Chief Olusegun Osoba; his successor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former Ekiti State Governor, Segun Oni; former petroleum minister, Chief Don Etiebet, and the Serving Overseer, the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, among others.
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun; her counterpart in the Ministry of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; and Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also attended the burial.
Others at the event were business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Yinka Odumakin, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, Senator Gbenga Kaka and Senator Anthony Adefuye.
Culled from punchng.com