Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, is the latest world leader to share his near-death experience regarding the Covid-19 attack.
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The former Nigerian leader has disclosed that God spared his life to witness the New Year despite the virus’ assault on humanity in 2020.
Obasanjo, an Octogenarian, falls into the category of persons that the World Health Organisation and physicians classify as being more vulnerable to the pandemic.
About three years ago, the ex-President revealed that he had been managing diabetes since he was age 50, explaining that proper diet, regular exercise, and grace of God explained why he is still being counted among the living.
The Nation recalled that in August last year, Obasanjo had to submit himself for COVID – 19 test as the pandemic kept taking the lives of high profile personalities around the world, including Nigeria, and his result came out negative to the virus.
The samples of the test were collected by Dr. Olukunle Oluwasemowo of the Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Lagos, one of the accredited laboratories approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to conduct Covid-19 test on people that are asymptomatic or symptomatic.
But, speaking at the second annual thanksgiving service of the Ogun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Obasanjo said having survived the immediate past year was not because he was more righteous or cleverer than any of those that were swept away by the pandemic in Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world except that God purposely spared his life to serve Him and humanity more.
The Asiwaju Onigbagbo of the Christian community in the state noted that thanking God for the year 2020 should not be his affairs only, explaining that others who found themselves on the side of the living today should also consider it a duty to be grateful to God for His mercy and compassion.
The elder statesman said further that it is a duty to give thanks to God in all circumstances, be it in a period of prosperity or otherwise, warning that one would be termed an “ungrateful lot if one fails to perform the duty of Thanksgiving.”
He said: “It is our duty to give thanks to God. You will be the most ungrateful person if you do not perform the duty of giving thanks to God.
“In all circumstances, give thanks. Therefore if you fail to give thanks, you are failing a very significant duty of yours as a Christian.
“I thank all of you for being here to join us in giving thanks to God .
“Last year 2020, was a very challenging year not only for us in Nigeria, not only for us in Africa but for the whole world.
“The fact that you are alive call for giving thanks to God. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, that those whom you know but as a result of Covid-19 are no more here with us not because you are better than they are, more righteous or knowledgeable than they are, it’s just by the grace of God.
“And if God gives you that grace, to still remain on earth, maybe for a purpose and I believe part of the purpose is for you to continue to serve humanity and to serve God. You cannot be a server of God if you cannot give thanks to him.
“The purpose of being here is to perform our duty as Christians, by giving thanks to God.”
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In his sermon, the National Vice President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Reuben Olu – Oke enjoined Nigerians to emulate the former president, whom he said is always thankful to God.
Earlier in his welcome address, the state CAN Chairman, Bishop ‘Tunde Akin-Akinsanya urged Nigerians to always bear it in mind that the grace of God and His mercy have continued to the country safe from the turbulence posed by the pandemic.
“Indeed, the year 2020 can rightly be called the year of lockdowns, nose masks and sanitizers. Millions of lives were lost all over the world. Nations and families were traumatized and the people faced unprecedented moments of despair”.
“In spite of all that we went through in the past year, here we are today! Even though the coronavirus pandemic is yet to abate, the fact that we were able to survive last year with all its devastating turbulence means that we can survive whatever comes our way by God’s help. He alone deserves all the glory,” he said.