About a week ago, February 14, 2021, specifically, it was the birthday and Thanksgiving service of the Leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele. Traditionally, every year, this anointed and internationally celebrated man of God celebrates his birthday. But he does not celebrate his special day, in the same manner, many people celebrate theirs. Primate Ayodele does not believe he has to rent multi-million naira event halls, contract one of the most expensive musicians in the country to come to play for him and generally lavish money and show off his financial status to celebrate his birthday. For this respected man of God, this is not the way to give thanks to God for adding another year. Instead, he chose a different path, and that is, using his God-given resources to give back to society, starting with members of his church who need one form of assistance or the other. And this year’s Thanksgiving was no different, except that it was the biggest Thanksgiving and Empowerment programme so far held by the Primate. The humongous amount of money spent by the Primate to empower the needy in his church was mind-boggling. Conservatively, many have estimated that the man of God must have spent well over a hundred million naira to execute the empowerment aspect of the service. And for the first time, many saw a man of God using his personal funds, not the church’s funds, to bring unimaginable succour to people. And it was indeed a beautiful sight to behold. There were cheers and excitement just as tears of joy flowed freely from the lucky beneficiaries of Primate Ayodele’s large heart.
There are so many things a lot of people do not know about the man called Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele and his large heart is one of such things. Many, particularly those who know him closely, will tell you he is perhaps the most compassionate man of God they have ever known. And his massive philanthropic activities are a testimony to this. Although, oftentimes, except when it’s time for his annual Thanksgiving and Empowerment programme such as the one that was held a week ago, Primate Ayodele keeps his philanthropic activities very discreet and private. He is a man who detests making noise whenever he is lending a helping hand to the needy. He believes that whatever he does for anyone who is in need should be between him, the person in need and God. Indeed, he is a man who gives without waiting to get anything in return. All h wants is to assist the needy around him by doing the little he can and move on without anyone making any noise about it. But certainly not the Empowerment and Thanksgiving service held last Sunday, February 14. It was too massive to be concealed. It was too unprecedented for anyone to keep quiet about it. That is why many are still talking about it a week after it was held.
The record-breaking event was honoured by several dignitaries across the globe.
Among those who attended were Oladipupo Okeyemi, representative of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; representative of Oshodi-Isolo Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Jude Idimogu; Pro-chancellor of Oduduwa University, Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin; Ojon Of Ejigbo, Oba Morufu Ojoola; Taiwo Hassan, also known as Ogogo; and International Association of World Peace Advocates delegates, including Ambassadors Nabit Kapoor, Blessing Palmber and Emmanuel Nkweke.
Everyone present couldn’t but shower encomiums on Ayodele who was applauded for his special prophetic gift and the many roles he has played in maintaining peace in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
During his congratulatory message, Aregbesola, represented by Hon. Dipo Okeyemi described Primate Ayodele as a friend of the Ministry. The Minister also applauded him for the many empowerment programmes he has done for the widows, needy and youth in the country.
On his part, Idimogu explained to guests that he refers to Primate Ayodele as his “lord in the Lord” due to the spiritual advice and support he has given him and Oshodi-Isolo over the years.
Also, Oba Rahmon Adedoyin praised Primate Ayodele for his humility, spiritual support, while describing him as a friend and brother.
One of the highlights of the event, was when the international association of World Peace Advocates, a body affiliated with the United Nations, decorated the popular man of God as the first “son” of the organization, and hosted the United Nations flag in his church, making it the only place the flag can be found in Nigeria apart from the United Nations Headquarters.
During the presentation, the organisation described Primate Ayodele as a philanthropist and man of God who has never relented from giving even during the COVID-19 surge. He was said to be a man of peace through his prayers, prophecies, and humanitarian activities.
Being the first ambassador of the association, Primate Ayodele will be in charge of praying for the peace of countries, have authority in over 163 nations, and will become an International personality.
The major highlight of the event was the much-awaited empowerment programme that left many reeling in tears of joy as they became overwhelmed at Primate’s incredible show of love and generosity to his church members and his immediate community at large. Many of the beneficiaries were seen hugging each other as they were congratulated by guests who were present at the event. The widows, the sick, the unemployed young graduates, the aged, the artisans, every one of them benefitted from Primate Ayodele’s empowerment programme. Eyeglasses were also provided for those who had eye problems.
In line with his usual practice every year, Primate Ayodele gave out six tricycles, millions of naira to sort out people’s accommodation issues, gave out money to foot medical bills of members with serious health issues, paid for JAMB forms, WAEC forms and school fees.
Apart from the aforementioned, Primate Ayodele solicited for Jobs, Jerusalem and Mecca pilgrimages, Scholarships for his church members, and they were all granted. Primate Ayodele also secured Scholarships worth N6 million for three of his Church members at Oduduwa University and Masters for one in the United States of America.
While introducing representative of the Honourable Minister for Interior at the event, the great seer pleaded and secured jobs for another ten in various agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Correctional Service, Federal Fire Service and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCSC).
Other materials given out included Beds, Freezers, Television Sets and Generators. But the big one, which came as a huge shock and a pleasant surprise to many presents, particularly journalists, was when the names of two journalists were announced as lucky beneficiaries of two Pilot Jeeps. Ten other journalists got two hundred thousand naira each. This is the first time any man of God would appreciate and empower journalists in this manner. And this is also one of the reasons why many are still talking about Thanksgiving several days after.
Primate Ayodele made it known that His love for humanitarian activities knows no bound, explaining that he doesn’t take a tithe from anybody and that all he does is from his sweat. “Ask my members, do your investigation, I don’t take a tithe from anybody. I am not even in charge of the church’s account. That was why I laughed when they said the Government wants to take over churches through CAMA. Nobody can take over my church. Everything I have done here is through my own sweat and the support of some good people. We need to empower people and make them become independent. It is when they are independent that they can also empower other people.”
He appreciated the dignitaries who were around for the event while announcing that his church will be kick-starting road construction in the community very soon.
– WALE LAWAL (08037209290)