Renowned educationist, Pastor Folu Adeboye, who turned 74 on July 13, has been described as a role model, who should be emulated by the younger generations to impact humanity and attain greater heights in their fields.
Mrs Adeboye, popularly referred to as Mummy G.O., who taught for many years in schools across Nigeria, is the wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, a former Mathematics lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
To appreciate Mrs Adeboye’s services to humanity, the Benson Idahosa University (BIU), on July 16, this year, honoured her with a doctoral degree in Education.
The general overseer of RCCG, stated that promotion could only come from God, with BIU to be known all over the world. He used the opportunity to tell the story of his humble educational beginning at the then University of Ife (UNIFE), now Obafemi Owolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, for his bachelor’s degree, along with his then unnamed bosom friend, whom he said was buried on July 15, this year.
Pastor Adeboye stated that at OAU, at the end of June 1967, he graduated with B.Sc. in Mathematics, along with his friend, who was his best man during his wedding. When the friend was also marrying, he was equally his best man, stressing that during the convocation, the then Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, was honoured with a doctoral degree, in a colourful ceremony.
He declared that one day, he would also be honoured with doctoral degree at the same university, which his friend dismissed and laughed at.
The general overseer said his friend told him that if it was through studying and hard work, he would also be celebrated with honorary doctoral degree, but that since the honour was not for every “Tom, Dick and Harry,” he should forget about it.
He said his only guest at the convocation was Folu that he later married. His friend’s guest was also the lady that he married. After their graduation, he said the four of them moved to a nearby low-class “buka” (restaurant) to eat four wraps of “amala” with eight pieces of meat and each person drank a bottle of Coca-Cola, without any celebration.
Pastor Adeboye noted that many years later, he was invited to OAU, Ile-Ife and honoured with doctoral degree, stressing that his then girlfriend (Folu), who agreed to marry the “Tom, Dick and Harry,” was eventually honoured by BIU, also with doctoral degree, all to the glory of God.
Mrs. Adeboye, who described her husband as her mentor, stated that BIU was a great idea to remind people globally of the dedication to God, service to humanity, sacrifice, courage and commitment to the promotion of excellence by the founder, the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa.
She hailed the authorities of the university for the honour, promising to justify the confidence reposed in her.
The Chancellor of BIU, Bishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa, said the higher institution decided to celebrate Mrs. Adeboye with special birthday cake on the occasion and honorary doctoral degree because she had positively impacted humanity and won souls for Jesus Christ.
Mrs. Benson-Idahosa, who is also the Presiding Bishop of Church of God Mission International (CGMI), said for 17 years, BIU had churned out world-changers, equipped with the power of the Holy Ghost to make a difference in the uncertain and dying world, an attestation to the goodness and mercy of God upon the citadel of learning.
The President of BIU, Rt. Rev. Feb Benson-Idahosa II, the son of the founder of the varsity, stated that in life, challenges would come, either to frustrate or fast-track people.
He urged Nigerians not to convert their challenges to frustrations, but opportunities.
The Pro-Chancellor/Chairman, Governing Council of BIU, Prof. Pat Utomi, insisted that the higher institution was built on a unique vision, urging the graduands and other Nigerians to see the honorary awardee (Mrs. Adeboye) as their role model.
Vice-Chancellor of BIU, Prof. Sam Guobadia noted that the graduands were groomed academically, socially and spiritually into men and women who were ready to make positive impacts in the society.
He said the undergraduate’s convocation was for 386 graduands and the postgraduates’ 84, consisting of two doctorates, 45 Masters and 37 diplomas.
Acting Governor of Edo State Philip Shaibu, who was the special guest of honour on the occasion, urged Nigerians to elect next year, the best among the presidential candidates as the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), without considering political party affiliation.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who represented the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, hailed BIU for raising thorough-bred professionals and assured that the Federal Government would continue to partner the higher institution.