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Let’s celebrate with Pastor OBJ!

Two of my friends are OBJs-one a former president and the other a Pastor. Their birthdays are four days apart.  They are both dear to me. They are both from humble family backgrounds. They are both strong-willed and strong-minded. They are both passionate about Nigeria. And they are both mentors to me in their own different ways. This one is for the Pastor, Reverend OBJ (Okechukwu Bonny Jack) Ikeri.

I must start off by saying that even if he was a cool, easy-going gentleman-not given too much “enjoyment” like some of us back at the day in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka-nothing really suggested (to me) that Okey would someday become a priest. Okey was simply Ok. Full stop! He was your regular Geography student, minding his business and studying hard for his honors, which he got and went in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece in a very lucrative profession-Logistics.

An astute logistics expert with more than two decades of extensive practical experience spanning across Aviation, Oil and Gas, he is a certified international logistics specialist with several professional courses and workshops in the USA, UK, Israel and South Africa under his belt. He is a member of the African Center for supply chain and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Supply Chain Management. He was the founding President of the Association of Foreign Airlines Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN) and also a member of Board of Trustees of AFARN. Today, he sits atop the management of Aerologistics, an aviation handling/travel company as Chief Executive Officer.

Rev. Okey is a man of great faith devoted to the workings of the Holy Spirit. He once told me that he wanted to succeed as a businessman, and “God is a faithful One”. As Apostle Paul told Timothy “Godliness with content is great gain” So, even with his busy schedules he found time to work for God through his local parish in VGC - Anglican Church on the Peninsula (ANCOPEN) where he was elected as the pioneer Peoples Warden of the Church. And that was the beginning of his journey into priesthood. 

Rev. Okey was sort of a 'quiet laborer' who, strangely, had encountered Jesus Christ before entering UNN (how did I miss that, ehn?) and was so prayerful that any time he prayed  sick people were getting healed by the power of God. As a People Warden, his passion for intercession increased and when he was convinced he could do greater exploits as a Priest, he sought the face of God and wise counsel from his friend and mentor and off to school he went, first to the Lagos Anglican Bible College for a Diploma course in Biblical studies and later to the Seminary for theological training. By divine permission he was ordained a Deacon by His Grace, the Most Rev. Dr. E. A. Ademowo, Bishop of Lagos diocese on the 7th of July 2013, and priested on the 5th of July 2014 at the Cathedral of Christ, Marina, Lagos.

Why am I going on and on about his professional career and his journey to priesthood? This OBJ is a perfect exemplification of the abundance of divine epiphany. He is as accomplished as a man of God as he is accomplished as a professional and business executive, if not more. In all of these, OBJ remains true to himself and his God…humble, spirit-filled and genially disposed to the needy and helpless. 

Married to Chizoba and blessed with a son, Divine and numerous God children, Rev. OBJ is my friend, brother, Spiritual guide and mentor. Please join me to sing him a good song on his birthday. As he doesn’t drink “things that enter the eyes”, I will disvirgin (yes, I’m adding the word to the dictionary. Nonsense!) a bottle of Hennessy XO in his honor. Happy Birthday, man of God! Please cease not to pray for me and also for Nigeria in distress. 
Let’s celebrate with Pastor OBJ! Let’s celebrate with Pastor OBJ! Reviewed by Emeka Oparah on Tuesday, March 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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