By Rowland Olonishuwa
February 14 of every year is celebrated as Lovers Day and is most often celebrated with debauchery but this was not why the day was set aside.
Many myths surround the origin of St Valentine’s Day celebration but one constant agreement in the different versions is the virtue of sacrifice, selfless giving and denial of self. No doubt, these virtues have endured over the centuries as a sure sign of true, selfless and pure love.
In buttressing the magnitude of God’s love for Man, the Scripture says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his beloved Son….”.
This further buttressed the widely held belief that the act of giving, especially selfless giving, is the best sign of love and rightly so.
Giving, especially when you give selflessly and without expecting anything in return, is a demonstration of your love for the receiver.
But giving is a gift. Human wants are insatiable and no matter what you have you would still want more, this is why in this part of the world you hear of people hiding billions of naira in septic tanks, soakaways, water tanks and all sorts. Those without the spirit of giving are never contented with what they have and rarely give and even when they do, they do so with expectations.
But for Primate Elijah Ayodele, Leader of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, giving is not only a gift but a lifestyle.
Hate him or love him, you can’t deny the fact that this is a man who has (and continues to) put smiles on the faces of hundreds of households. For Primate Ayodele, giving is also a ministry and this is why he never hesitates when a need is to be met.
Referring to Primate Ayodele as a modern-day St. Valentine will not be out of place as he is consistently showing the world in his own little way the true love of God.
Born February 14, the renown prophet begins the celebration of his birthday 17 days earlier with gifts to the sick, aged, indigent and widows in the society tagged 17-day appreciation and philanthropic impact.
This year’s celebration kicked off on Sunday, 29th of January and continued till Tuesday, 14th of February, 2023 with the mother of all empowerment. As usual, the prophet kicked off his philanthropic acts in his church.
On Tuesday, February 14, 2023 Primate Ayodele gave out millions in empowerment to indigents in the society without forgetting journalists.
However, in giving out cash and cars to journalists at the event, Primate Ayodele stressed that his empowerment to men of the Fourth Estate of the realm is not to silence them or buy them over.
“This is my own little way of supporting you. If you see anything negative here, please write it and if I call you to beg please tell the whole world. As long as you write what I say I will never come to beg you because you are doing your job,” he stressed.
In all, this philanthropic prophet gave out five cars, five tricycles, five buses and more than N25 million-naira empowerment package to journalists, widows, the needy and students to celebrate his birthday.
However, highlight of this year’s empowerment was the empowering of two blind journalists who the prophet gave the sum of N200,000 each. As one of the blind men showed his appreciation after collecting his cheque, the prophet asked how much it would take to fix the eyes of the blind man and he was told it would cost N350,000.
“Come to the church on Thursday and collect the money,” Primate Ayodele said simply.
There was no dry eyes in the crowd, even the blind man cried profusely as he was led away from the stage.
Apart from these two journalists about 10 other journalists were empowered with the sum of N200,000 each.
Responding on behalf of the empowered journalists, the Prophet’s media aide, Osho Oluwatosin, who got a Rav 4 car gift could not hide his joy as he profusely thanked the Prophet for his kind gestures.
The Prophet did not forget to reward some of his workers and church members for their dedication, honesty and hardwork in the vineyard of God.
News Hub Mag! reports that the event was attended by the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau while the chairman of the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), General Marwa was represented.
Also, popular gospel artiste Yinka Alaseyori was on stand to lead the congregation in praising God. Skit maker Ayo Ajewole AKA Woli Agba was also on hand to make the congregation laugh.
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