At Nairametrics, we mourn a great man and someone who has done so much for corporate Nigeria. Whilst a lot of our leaders may not have known the man or his antecedents it is important for people to know that this was a man who inspired a lot of the moguls we know today.
We did a bit of research on him and came across an interview that was conducted when he just turned 70. We took particular interest to what he had to say about life and death.
I believe that people see you as a very successful person. What can you say about yourself? Do you think you have realized God’s purpose for your life? To what extent do you think you have lived up to expectations?
It is a very difficult question but a very important question. It will be very arrogant of me to say that yes I have done everything God expected of one. But I have a conviction similar to what Paul had. I can say, if Jesus is sitting in that chair now and I can see him face to face, ‘You know Lord I have really tried my very best. I know I haven’t done everything I should have done but you know I am handy and just waiting for you to call me home so as to take my home in those mansions above but I will prefer not to die now.
By now I mean now, because if I die, it might create a kind of problem for those who are not as strong as I am they will say look at this man of God, after all everyone knew that he is going to be 70 and he just dropped dead. It might scandalize them, even though they might know that where I am going is much better than where I am right now. And God is a very gracious God. I am sure he will not do a thing like that.
But having said that, from the unsolicited testimonies that come to me, I have a conviction that my life has impacted on many lives quite positively. In other words, they can say yes, that man for all his weaknesses in life has had a positive influence on my life and our lives
You know what I think, my reputation is positive rather than negative. In other words, people are likely to say, oh yes, this man has been with Jesus. Let me give you an example. When I want into the political arena, in obedience to God’s command, God didn’t say seek this or that office. It was during the interaction with the people who were there before me that we produced, if you like, a specific action plan and then the right office that I could seek. They say look before you can’t just be in the party and not seek any office, some one of your background or whatever. Suggestions were made. They said run for Governor. I said forget it, how can I at this level? I turned that down. Then they said Senate, I said well okay but not really. Until someone came-I never met him before but he comes from my side of the country-and said he would like us to meet. So, we met and he said yes, I think you can vie for the presidency.
I went in with the conviction that if I got in, I would be rendering service. I didn’t go in with any idea of what I would get out of the office, the importance it would bring to me.
As a result of my being there, you might not find a single Christian leader today who will tell his flock, please avoid involvement in partisan politics. You will not. I think you can conclude that God has used the area to accomplish that purpose. Because there is something unhelpful if not totally intellectually disingenuous for you to say good men should stay out of politcs so that the less good should deliver good governance to you. That doesn’t make sense.
Finally one more point, purely political point. At the time I went into politics, there was a very strong argument against proceeding with the Abubakar transition. Some strong political views were expressed to the effect that the national question should be addressed before proceeding with the transition. But I expressed a view, which was carried front page in some national newspapers. I raised the point that if the national question must be addressed first by the soldiers because we believed them to be good problem solvers, why do we want them to go at all if they are such a great problem solver. Let them stay on forever. No one had an answer to that.
So I think to the best of my knowledge the purpose for which God sent me into the political arena may well have already been achieved.