The Methodist Church of Nigeria awarded the knight of John Wesley (KJW), Knight of Charles Wesley (KCW), as well as Order, and Member of the Order of the Wesleys titles to the wife of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde and 107 others.
Among prominent personalities award were a former Head of Service in Ogun State, Princess Iyabode Orebowale Odulate, who is the current Commissioner in charge of Ogun and Lagos State in the Federal Civil Service Commission; the Chairman of Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resort, Dotun Sanusi; President of Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Ibadan Diocese, Dr. Motunrayo Oladele Ajao.
The grand ceremony brought together prominent personalities from all walks of life.
The distinguished honour was bestowed upon these individuals to acknowledge their selfless service to the church, their significant contributions to the nation’s economy, and their excellence in various fields of human endeavours. The service was presided over by the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev’d Oliver Ali Aba. A Prelate Emeritus of the denomination, Most Rev’d Sunday Ola-Makinde, was also in attendance.
In a chat with journalists on the sidelines of the service during which te honours were bestowed on the awardees held at the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Wesley Cathedral in Elekuro, Ibadan, Governor Seyi Makinde emphasised the importance of character building in combating the rising crime rates across the country.
Represented by his Executive Assistant on Administration, Rev’d Idowu Ogedengbe, Makinde called on religious leaders to join forces with the government to rectify the ills of society.
Highlighting the significance of the knightship, the governor stated: “We need to encourage more voices within the church community to speak, to call people to order, to enhance and reach the standard for righteousness among the people because it is only righteousness that exalts the nation.”
Princess Iyabode Orebowale Odulate, one of the recipients of the highly esteemed award, urged the youth to be more dedicated to their faith and to avoid engaging in vices. She expressed her belief that Nigerian youths are not as wayward as being portrayed on social media, emphasising their industriousness and dedication to making a positive impact in society.
With over 250 awards to her name, Princess Odulate considered the Knight award particularly exceptional, as it came from the church. She saw it as a call for even greater dedication in serving God and promoting evangelism.
The award is a crowning glory, because I have had over 250 awards in my life, but this has to do with the church, and once you serve God, you’re serving humanity, and the more you serve the more work you have to do, so I know my God will give me the strength to forge forward in the service of evangelism and humanity.
“My message to the younger ones is that they should start early, you cannot get to this place by saying you have money or anything, we started from the choir side of the church, from there we were been groomed by the elderly people of the church and I became presidents of so many societies not even in the Methodist church alone,” Odulate stated.
In his sermon, Right Revd Dennis Mark reminded the recipients that the award should be viewed as a call to duty and reiterated the importance of the reward for good works. However, he noted that the award should not be seen as a substitute for atonement of sins, which, according to him, came as a result of the finished works on the Cross of Calvary by Jesus Christ.
The President of Methodist Men’s Fellowship, Ibadan Diocese, Dr. Motunrayo Ajao, after receiving the award, said: “This award, the knighthood by the Methodist Church Nigeria, means a lot of things to me. It means more work, more service to humanity and to God. My advice to the fellow awardees is that to move forward, because they were awarded based on one work or the other they’ve done, they should not relent, they should improve on what they’ve been doing.
“The role of the church has not changed and it shall be so till eternity; the role of the church is to take care of the community, take care of the people, to show love, and when you look at our theme this year, it’s talking about the people helping others, not thinking that you’re alone, you cannot be alone, you’re not an island, you have to do things with others, you need to help humanity, spread the gospel by doing the right thing at the right time, let the people enjoy you wherever you may be, in your church, let them know you for assisting people, give assistance to others, love others, that’s what Jesus Christ told us, to love each others.” OYO NEWS