Pastor of The Everlasting Arms Parish (TEAP), Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Garki, Abuja, Chinedu Ezekwesili, has said his dream, at 70, is to see a Nigeria restructured for optimum and effective operation to benefit all citizens.

Ezekwesili, the husband of former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, spoke at a symposium themed, ‘Purposeful Men’ organised to mark his 70th birthday in Abuja on Friday.

The cleric dreams to be alive to see Nigeria become the nation God designed it to be and to see the glory of God over the nation.

“Nigeria is like a troubled house, I wish we can uproot and start afresh. A house with a faulty foundation can only be fixed by uprooting the foundation and creating a new structure. Nigeria, the way it is, cannot survive. There is need to restructure this nation. Unless we come together and decide to move forward, we cannot move forward,” he said.

According to him, it will take leaders, not rulers, to take Nigeria to the right destination.

Praying for Nigeria never to experience war again, the cleric urged the younger generation to seek peace and not war, which would only bring hunger, pain, suffering, underdevelopment, death among other unpleasant situations.

Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, said the story of Oby Ezekwesili could not be told without the giant shoulders of the celebrator, the model of a supportive husband.

“The real man, with his spirit, soul and body well-ordered, is the quintessence of character, competence and capacity, triune qualities, which the Ezekwesilis have been known to champion. The real man possesses such unassailable virtues as love expressed in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He operates in wisdom, knowledge and understanding, and has the capacity to make a difference in a chaotic world,” he said.

Bakare said the celebrator had, over the years, stood by his wife, Oby, from her days as a member of the Concerned Professionals, when she stood up to the oppressive military regime at the risk of her life, to her time as an agent of disruptive change in government – first as “Madam Due Process” and then as two-time minister.

He said the celebrator also stood solidly behind his wife when she was Vice President of World Bank to the era she rallied the world round the #BringBackOurGirls movement, to the period she stepped into the terrain to contest highest public office in Nigeria, to building the capacity of the next generation of political leaders.

“It takes a man of such strength of purpose and extraordinary character to be husband to such a powerful and purpose-driven woman, as my dear sister, Oby,” Bakare said.

Former Minister of Information, Frank Nweke Jr, described Ezekwesili as a good man, a patriot, a philosopher that inspires mentors, teaches everyone and a real father with uncommon wisdom.

The former minister described the cleric as extremely generous, as he often speaks truth to power.

Nweke said Mr Ezekwesili “has a dedicated team that prays daily for Nigeria” because he believes in the country and wants it to turn around for good.

Wife of the celebrator described him as a super purposeful man to be emulated by the younger generation. She said every second of her husband was always meaningful and purposeful.

The founder of #FixPolitics Initiative asserted that lack of understanding of purpose leads to abuse, whether in the family or public life.

She added, “When you see abuse of opportunity to be a leader, it is lack of understanding of purpose. When you see abuse of family relationship, it is because there is no understanding of purpose. The topic is, you get us as a society to think of purpose. What is the purpose of Nigeria? Many societies asked that question, and it enabled them to have the right conversation. There are many questions to be asked and when we begin to find answers, we begin to find our way out of the precipice,” she stated.

On behalf of the family, she appreciated the participants at the symposium and those who contributed to the success of the event.

Highpoint of the event was special tributes by the celebrator’s sons, as well as special song rendition by Joan Ogohi and saxophone performances by Temilayo Aboderin among others.

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