The Cure For Extreme Poverty and Corruption In Nigeria


It gives me great pleasure to be here tonight as we celebrate the 70th birthday of a remarkable man of God. Rev. Dr. Wilson Badejo is a man of many parts who has served God in various capacities – as a faithful husband, a loving father, an accomplished veterinary doctor, a responsible citizen of our great nation, a wise counselor to kings, and a loyal steward of God’s people. This icon of the Church in Nigeria is, without doubt, worth celebrating as he joins the league of septuagenarians. It is all the more heartwarming that Dr. Badejo is celebrating a purposeful life in grand style even as he ages gracefully.

It was Cardinal Wolsey who, as he was dying, said of his service to King Henry VIII: “…if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, He would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”1 Today, we give God the glory for preserving the life of this great servant of His and enabling him to enjoy the rewards of service to God and humanity even on this side of eternity. I consider it an honour to be asked to deliver an address on this joyous occasion. I am not here alone; the one and only Authentic Mrs. B., my darling wife, is here with me.

Dr. Badejo is a dear older friend and mentor with whom I have had a very blessed relationship over the years. We both got married at St Peter’s Church, Faji, Lagos, though he got married much earlier than I, and his father-in-law was the Chairman at my wedding reception some thirty-three years ago. Dr. Badejo also officiated the naming ceremony of our fourth child and second son, Oluwaseyi Bakare, on May 1, 1990.

In 1989, at the inception of The Latter Rain Assembly, when it was inconvenient, unpopular and risky to associate with the work God had committed to our hands, Rev. Dr. Badejo stood by us and commissioned our ministry. Furthermore, the memorable occasions I ministered at the Foursquare Gospel Church in years past were at the instance of Dr. Badejo, first, in his capacity as District Overseer, Agege, and subsequently, as General Overseer of the church during their annual convention.

When Dr. Badejo’s book, God’s Dynamic Power, was launched at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Dr. Badejo gave me the privilege of reviewing the book, while then president Obasanjo was the Chairman of the occasion. Then, in the year 2000, when the prophetic word once again thrust me into the forefront of the battle for the soul of our nation and I was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) as I returned from Ghana during the administration of the same President Obasanjo, Dr. Badejo tried to mediate between me and the then president, graciously brokering a meeting which I declined to attend.

By the way, the former president and I have since exchanged hands of fellowship. My forceful engagements with powerful entities in the church and in the nation have never been attacks on persons but in the defence of principles. From the sanctuary to the streets, and from the pulpit to the podium, the battle has never been against individuals but against anti-God and anti-people structures. However, personalities who build, enable or perpetuate such structures or who, by blatant abuse of public trust, plunge millions into poverty, have, inevitably, found themselves within the prophetic firing range. That leads me to the theme of today’s lecture as we seek a cure – the cure – to extreme poverty and corruption.

By its construct, the theme metaphorically presents the twin evils of poverty and corruption as disease conditions requiring a remedy. Therefore, in approaching the task at hand, we shall commence with diagnosis, progress to the selection of an appropriate therapeutic approach, and conclude with the administration of specific prescriptions in line with the chosen therapeutic method.

Diagnosis: Poverty and Corruption in Perspective

In the medical profession, diagnosis is done with a view to identifying the nature of an illness or condition by tracing the underlying factors responsible for observable symptoms. A clinical diagnosis of poverty and corruption will require us to define these conditions, determine the relationship between them, if any, and unravel the cause, or causes, and effect, or effects, of these conditions.

Defining Extreme Poverty

In simple terms, poverty may be described as “a condition where people’s basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are not being met.”2 In international development circles, it is generally accepted that poverty exists in two broad perspectives: the relative and the absolute.

Relative poverty is based on certain standards considered irreducible minimums by the government in question. The United States, for instance, has what it calls the poverty threshold. Individuals are considered poor “if their annual pretax cash income falls below a dollar amount, or poverty threshold, that the Census Bureau determines using a federal measure of poverty that is recalculated each year.”3 In the United Kingdom, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) “records someone as being in poverty if they live in a household with disposable income below 60% of the national average, before housing costs.” 4 By these relative measures of poverty, a person is poor when his government, through the relevant agencies, says he is poor. It goes without saying that, in a highly politicized world where the survival of governments depends on image and perception, strong independent mechanisms are required for an unbiased assessment of poverty levels. Therefore, to find a uniform base from which poverty may be measured, the international community developed the concept of absolute poverty, which is synonymous with extreme poverty. The United Nations defines absolute poverty as: a condition characterized by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. It depends not only on income but also on access to services.5

The World Bank introduced the dollar-a-day indicator in 1990 as a uniform tool for poverty measurement6. A person was considered extremely poor if he lived on less than $1 a day. This threshold has been revised over time and is now at $1.90 as of 2015.7 Adapting these indicators to the Nigerian case, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), as at 2016, indicated that 112 million Nigerians, representing 67.1% of the population, live below the poverty line.8  Essentially, 6 out of every 10 Nigerians living in Nigeria are severely deprived of basic human needs, including food, decent shelter and safe drinking water.

A sample of the people in this room could challenge that assertion in space and time. It might be safe to assume that more than 6 out of every 10 people in this room live well over $1.90 a day which, going by the current exchange rate, hovers in the region of N700 a day. This gives us insight into the enclave nature and uneven distribution of wealth, while explaining why, for instance, 90% of bank deposits in Nigeria are traceable to 2% of the population9.

Who, then, constitute the approximately 62% extremely poor persons left behind? I believe they are all around us – members of our extended families; the child hawking on the streets of Lagos to support her petty trader mother and her bus conductor father; the tens of millions inhabiting shacks in the suburbs of Lagos and other cities across the country; the subsistence farming populations in the rural areas; unpaid civil servants in majority of the states of the federation; low income families whose children attend the neglected public primary and secondary schools; the rank and file of the police force and other law enforcement agencies who earn a minimum wage that falls far short of a living wage; pensioners earning pittances who have to travel distances and queue up for verification, with some fainting and dying on queues; displaced populations and homeless people from conflict-ridden parts of the country, and so on. Beyond the technical definitions of poverty, I believe we all encounter it sufficiently everyday to describe it in some level of detail. Now, to another all-too- familiar word; a word I suspect may be the most uttered word in Nigeria: corruption.

Defining Corruption

Corruption is one of those terms that, instinctively, everyone has an idea what it means but, somehow, no one agrees on what it really means. The most universally accepted definition of corruption is derived from a body that has, over the years, shaped the global narrative on corruption. According to Transparency International: Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.10

The international organization further elaborates on these differentiations as follows:

Grand corruption consists of acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good. Petty corruption refers to everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid- level public officials in their interactions with ordinary citizens, who often are trying to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments and other agencies.

Political corruption is a manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by political decision makers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status and wealth.11

These definitions, however apt, narrow the concept of corruption to resource allocation and tend to reduce it to a monetary value. However, I believe that a broader understanding of the nature of corruption warrants an interrogation of the origin of the concept as captured in the Bible. It is not enough to identify the features and forms of corruption; it is necessary to uncover what lurks beneath the surface of the aforementioned definitions.

Corruption is introduced to us in the Bible in the sixth chapter of Genesis, verses 1-121:

Unless otherwise stated, all Scriptural references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) of The Holy daughters were born to them, 2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.1Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and

3 And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

9This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah begot three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. [Emphasis added]

It is often believed in Christian circles that the sons of God referred to in the foregoing biblical reference were angels who supposedly comingled sexually with humans. I find this position highly questionable as it violates the principle of Genesis 1:11, which shows that creation produces according to its kind. We see also from Matthew 22:30 that “angels neither marry nor are given in marriage”, and from Hebrews 1:5 that God has not conferred the status of “son” on the angels:

For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You…”

The sons of God referred to in Genesis 6 were men and women who had reconnected with God after the birth of Seth’s son, Enosh. In Genesis 4:26, we read: And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.

To place this in context, we will have to go back to Genesis 3:15, where God identified two opposing spiritual genetic lines: “…And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

From that moment onwards, the destiny of creation hung on this battle of the seeds. The enmity was typified in the Cain and Abel relationship in which Cain became a repository of the seed of the serpent and killed his brother, Abel, the carrier of the righteous seed. Afterwards, we see a preponderance of the line of Cain, which, in essence, meant the proliferation of the line of humans who were without God. However, God appointed for Eve another son, named Seth, who became the repository of the seed of righteousness. Seth’s fathering of Enosh propelled an outbreak of multiplication revival as men began to call on the name of the Lord. This means that men began to return to God from the opposing spiritual genetic line.

However, by Genesis 6, these sons of God, swayed by the daughters of the opposing spiritual genetic line, violated a principle which was later highlighted in II Corinthians 6:14:

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

This commingling of seeds was the origin of corruption as revealed in Genesis 6:11. To corrupt an entity suggests the preexistence of a pure form of that entity. The dictionary definition of corruption is “a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct.”12 This implies the introduction of a contaminating factor into the otherwise pure form of an entity; hence, mixture is at the very heart of corruption. Permit me, therefore, to define corruption as man’s willful violation of divinely instituted foundational standards of human interactions through the introduction of iniquitous compromises.

Furthermore, corruption is a global phenomenon as revealed in Genesis 6:11: The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. [Emphasis added]

This explains a 2013 survey of 95 countries that revealed at least 1 in 4 people in all countries surveyed had paid a bribe that year13. It explains findings by Transparency International that over 6 billion people, which is almost the entire human population, live in countries with serious corruption problems.14  Corruption may have different accents but it speaks essentially the same language in both Otuoke and Osaka and in both Abeokuta and Aberdeen.

As we conclude our diagnostic foundation, having defined both poverty and corruption, permit me to ask, before I propose an appropriate cure: what, then, is the relationship between poverty and corruption? Should we tackle poverty first, or corruption?

Poverty and Corruption: Chicken or Egg?

A chicken or egg situation is one in which it is difficult to determine which of two related entities occurred first. Consider a police constable earning a monthly salary of just a little over N50,000 with a family of four to fend for. This constable is approached by a gang of unemployed poverty-stricken youths promising ten percent of the proceeds if he agrees to facilitate access to guns to carry out a robbery operation at a local bureau de change. This promise of sudden wealth in a foreign currency is too strong a lure for this poorly paid policeman, and he succumbs. The successful robbery, which results in loss of lives, portrays Nigeria to the world as a fertile ground for insecurity and an environment that is unfriendly to business. This scares away foreign investors, thus perpetuating and worsening the unemployment condition that fuels poverty, and the cycle continues. The founder of Transparency International, Peter Eigen, captures the relationship thus:

Corruption is a major cause of poverty as well as a barrier to overcoming it. The two scourges feed off each other, locking their populations in a cycle of misery. Corruption must be vigorously addressed if aid is to make a real difference in freeing people from poverty.15

That useful insight notwithstanding, to clearly understand the relationship between corruption and poverty, it is important to think in Scriptures. In the Genesis creation story, we find that, prior to the creation of man, God made provision for every need of man, but man lost his place by seeking to meet a need he never had. He was created in the image and likeness of God, yet he succumbed to temptation supposedly with a view to becoming like God. He, in effect, stole from himself. At that point, lack or shortage was introduced into the equation. We see, therefore, that corruption preceded poverty. The conclusion of our diagnostic process is that greed, not need, is the root of corruption.

How else does one explain the mysterious billions of naira, millions of dollars and thousands of pounds being unearthed in the most bizarre locations including a soak- away pit 16 , an empty apartment 17 , and a cemetery 18 ? I understand, from budget analysts, that the monies traced to the former head of a parastatal could fund major hydro and solar power projects, construct major roads in Northern Nigeria, and still purchase hundreds of units of 11kV transformers19. That these funds were found ‘idle’ in their hideouts indicates that they were diverted, not to meet the need of the diverters, but to serve their greed. I am, at this juncture, reminded of Gandhi’s admonition, that “the world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed.”20

To further buttress the fact that corruption is caused by greed, rather than by need, consider those rare breeds who, even in the midst of the most excruciating poverty, have chosen to win by righteousness and to go without rather than cheat. It is why, for instance, a security guard who reportedly earns a N30,000 monthly salary would return a misplaced $10,000 rather than play a game of finders keepers21 . In essence, our diagnosis of these two conditions, poverty and corruption, shows a case of comorbidity with corruption as the primary condition caused by greed.

Just as greed leads to corruption, corruption in turn causes or perpetuates poverty. Aside the fact that corruption denies citizens access to resources and opportunities, it also encourages laziness. The prevalence of filthy lucre discourages a culture of diligence and professionalism and, instead, encourages quick fixes, which, in the long run, deflate productivity and further breed poverty.

To further understand the interplay of corruption and poverty and their multivariate consequences, consider the following facts:

  • Seven of the top ten countries by standard of human development in 201522, including Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, Netherlands and Canada, were also among the ten least corrupt countries in the world for that year23. Please note that the Human Development Index comprises indicators for life expectancy, education and per capita income;
  • Four of the top ten most peaceful countries in 201624, including Denmark, New

Zealand, Switzerland and Canada, were also among the least corrupt countries that year 25;

  • On the flip side, three of the world’s poorest countries in 201626, including

South Sudan and Afghanistan, were also on the list of top ten most corrupt countries for that year 27;

  • Seven of the top ten most violent countries in the world in 2016 28 , including Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya, were also among the top ten most corrupt countries that year 29.

The implication of these is that corruption is closely associated with poverty, failing educational institutions, low standard of living, failing public health systems and, most of all, violence. The cause and effect relationship between corruption and violence is alluded to in the biblical introduction of the term in Genesis 6:11:

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. [Emphasis added]

It is logical reasoning that a people impoverished by corruption will lash out violently against one another and against the establishment. Also noteworthy is the fact that Switzerland is positively and highly placed on all the indicators earlier listed. We will make appropriate deductions from this fact towards the end of this lecture.

In Search of a Therapeutic Approach to Poverty and Corruption

We have established the comorbid relationship between corruption and poverty with corruption as the primary condition that fosters an enabling environment for poverty to thrive. The best therapeutic approach would necessitate a focus on the foundation, which is corruption, and then seeking means to build upon an accurate foundation to combat poverty. This appears to have been the approach of the current administration at its onset. It was, however, met with criticisms by those who perceived it, rightly or wrongly, as a neglect of development and an excessive focus on anti-corruption. We will, as I begin to conclude, identify the major gap in its application.

Human attempts at combating corruption have often ignored the fact that man is three dimensional, being a spirit, possessing a soul and living in a body. Anti- corruption strategies have often been restricted to the physiological, which deals with the physical, and the psychological, which deals with the soul.

The physiological remedies to combating corruption have been hinged on the philosophy that physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter are the triggers of corruption. The argument is, if these needs are met, even by a dictatorial government, then corruption is mitigated. On the other hand, if access to these needs is withdrawn as a punishment for corruption, through capital punishment that eliminates the physical life, for instance, then corruption is deterred. This is the philosophy guiding the anti-corruption strategy of China30 and Asian Tigers like Singapore31. Despite its successes, the limitations of these strategies emerge over time as citizens begin to demand greater freedoms.

The psychological approach targets such needs of the soul as liberty and a sense of personal identity, which in turn fuel the republican inclination to self-government. The guiding philosophy in this case is that, through democracy and good governance, these needs can be guaranteed in addition to physiological needs, thereby creating stakeholders who see corruption as an attack on their freedoms and are therefore averse to it. Psychological level anti-corruption strategies further include re- orientation and advocacy programmes that seek to shift paradigms. An example of this is the “Change Begins With Me”32campaign. As punishment for deviant behavior, access to psychological needs can be withdrawn by means of isolation and ostracism. Media propagated public trials, restriction of freedoms through imprisonment, prohibition from public office – these are some of the tactics of this approach. This, to a large extent, guides anti-corruption strategies in the West. While this has its advantages, cases of repeat offence clearly show its limitations.

There is, however, a foundational level anti-corruption philosophy that can significantly curtail the spread of corruption in society. It is the spiritual approach, which seeks the rebirth of the individual. To understand how this operates and how it dovetails into the quest for poverty eradication, we will need to revisit the journey of man from creation.

As has been stated, when God created man, He provided everything man would need in the garden, but the fall of man brought an end to this era of effortless access to abundance and introduced the era of toiling. God said to Adam in Genesis 3:17b-19:

17b“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

The introduction of sin into the cosmos brought about shortage, as all sinned and fell “short of the glory of God”33. Following the judgment of the flood, the era of toiling gave way to that of “seed, time and harvest” in which access became tied to effort. As Genesis 8:22 states:

“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat,
Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”
Here, diligence in sowing and nurturing became the ground rule and poverty became the result of failure to apply diligent effort. Proverbs 10:4 states:
He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

This era spanned the period of Noah to the time of Christ who became sin and took upon Himself the curse of sin34. Whereas in the time of Noah one man found grace with God and was immune from the corruption that was in the world, with the resurrection of Christ and the release of His Spirit came an era of multiplication as grace “appeared to all men”.35 This grace that was released dealt with corruption at the root and released riches in excess of need 36 . Whereas this grace that has been released does not abolish the need for diligent effort37 , nor does it preclude work38 , it did unseal for man divinely facilitated access39 to the package that accompanies salvation, which includes riches40 . It did this by restoring to man the nature of sons of God 41 through the incorruptible seed of the word of God42 .

By this rebirth process, which restores man to the genetic line of the sons of God and gives him a new nature, corruption has been dealt its death knell. Therefore, the cure to corruption and, by extension, its twin evil, poverty, even in its most extreme condition, is the manifestation of the sons of God. As Romans 8:19-22 (KJV) states:

19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Policy Implications and Recommendations

By this therapeutic approach, which points in the direction of the manifestation of sons of God, extreme poverty and corruption are chiefly human resource problems and require human resource solutions. The creed is, fix the man and you fix his world. The manifestation of sons of God implies the identification, selection or election, and appointment of accurate human resource in strategic positions on the seven molders of influence in any given society. These molders of influence or mountains of culture include education, government, economy, family, religion, media, and arts and entertainment.

One accurate person occupying a commanding position in each sector within these mountains of culture, supported by like-minded lieutenants, is all we need to combat corruption and extreme poverty. As typified by King David, accuracy entails integrity of the heart and skillfulness of the hands43. Therefore, the major challenge to the dispensation of good and incorruptible governance by any administration, including the current Nigerian government, is a human resource challenge. Have we elected or appointed men and women of integrity and skill, square pegs in square holes, to administer good governance at all levels and in every sector? Our response to this question will determine the fate of our anti-corruption drive and the success of our economic recovery and growth plan. Magu or no Magu, this principle should inform the resolution of questions surrounding the appointment of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

At this juncture, in view of current foreboding occurrences in our nation, the time has come for us to ask certain hard questions. Who is afraid of the anti-corruption war? Who is afraid of an effective anti-corruption czar? Who are those so afraid of the anti- corruption antecedents of a healthy and vibrant Muhammadu Buhari that they wish the president dead? Who are those so afraid of a corruption-free Nigeria that they seek the destabilization of the polity and the scuttling of our democracy even to the extent of creating innuendos of military takeover? As Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, brought to our remembrance in a recent piece 44, we know these enemies of the Nigerian state. From insights offered by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, the young revolutionary who explained the rationale behind the first military coup in Nigeria, we know:

“Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as Ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.” 45 [Emphasis added]

Those words, first spoken 51 years ago in 1966, and still true today, attest to the consuming power of corruption. If nothing fundamentally changes, these words may yet ring true 50 years from today. This brings me back to the church. In the quest for accurate human resources, the church ought to be the go-to institution. However, until recently, the church, denying its mandate, has been hesitant to engage society. Even more painful is the plethora of corruption scandals associated with men and women who have emerged from the church to engage society in various sectors including banking and governance. Perhaps this failure was the result of unpreparedness. Like the first Adam who did not go through process, that initial crop of societal leaders from the church may have been inadequately processed. In the order of the last Adam, who spent thirty years being prepared for a three-and-a-half-year commission, the church must now deliberately create iterative platforms for the identification, selection, accurate discipleship and deployment of the right human resource to these mountains of influence. This is what I call the second coming of the Church.

This is not to claim that the church has a monopoly of righteousness as we have seen men and women outside the church demonstrate levels of integrity unmatched even by some of our clerical leaders. This should not intrigue us because the grace that produces this result has appeared to all men 46. Such was the case of Cyrus who was called and graced by God, even though he did not know God47.  However, God desires that such men be discipled and taught the dynamics of that grace. In that vein, God raised a Joseph and made him father to Pharaoh 48, with a mandate to manage the economy, combat poverty, facilitate the wealth redistribution imperative, and teach the senators of Egypt wisdom. This is the responsibility of the church. If we do not do this speedily in our clime, A je kun iya ni o je 49 may become the theme song of our Senate, where, presently, masquerades adorn themselves with ceremonial academic gowns, and where perverts, pretending to be patriots, write against corruption with their left hands while shaking corruption with their right.


It is noteworthy, as earlier mentioned, that Switzerland is highly placed on several lists of positive development indicators, and also has a strong anti-corruption stance. The foundation of the current progress of that country was laid by the efforts of men of God like John Calvin who shaped Geneva, contributed to codifying its laws 50, and influenced a great deal of Europe, including the puritan migrants who eventually founded America. Also, America’s industrial greatness was preceded by the revivalism of men like Charles Finney. In addition, Western civilization, as it is known today, was spurred by the reformation of Martin Luther. Let me therefore conclude by using this occasion of the celebration of a great man of God, Dr. Wilson Badejo, to challenge the leaders of the church in Nigeria and, indeed, Africa, to accept the awesome responsibility of shepherding society; a responsibility that is inextricably linked to the call to shepherd God’s people.

Our mandate is to lead by example, raising nation builders, men and women, boys and girls, sons of God, who will deal corruption a deathblow and rebuild the old ruins, thereby transitioning the state of the nations from poverty to abundance. The United Nations cannot do this. It is our responsibility as the Holy Nation 51, and our prayer focus for this hour is aptly captured by David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, in Psalm 144:11-15 (KJV):

11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:
12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:
13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:
14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.
15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Congratulations, once again, to Rev. Dr. Wilson Badejo.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Pastor ‘Tunde Bakare
Serving Overseer,
The Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, Nigeria.



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  2. Business Dictionary Online, v. “poverty,” accessed May 23, 2017,
  3. “What are poverty thresholds and poverty guidelines?” Institute for Research on Accessed May 2, 2017.
  4. “Third of UK population ‘fell below the poverty ‘” BBC News. May 20, 2015. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  5. “World Summit for Social ” United Nations. April 19, 1995. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  6. Ferreira, “The international poverty line has just been raised to $1.90 a day, but global poverty is basically unchanged. How is that even possible?” The World Bank. April 10, 2015. Accessed May 23, 2017. basically-unchanged-how-even
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ahiuma-Young, “Poverty: 112m Nigerians live below poverty line.” Vanguard. October 18, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  9. Ujah, “2% of Nigerians own 90% bank deposits – NDIC.” Vanguard. June 2, 2016. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  10. “What is corruption?” Transparency Accessed May 22, 2017. corruption/#define
  11. Ibid.
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  14. “Corruption Perceptions Index ” Transparency International. Accessed May 23, 2017
  15. “Corruption Perceptions Index ” Transparency International. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  16. Ugwuanyi, “Armsgate: EFCC arrests wife of former Airforce chief, Lara Amosu.” Daily Post. February 12, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  17. “EFCC again uncovers $38m, N23m and £27,000 in ” Vanguard. April 12, 2017. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  18. “FG: Looters Burying Stolen Funds in Forests, ” ThisDay Live. April 17, 2017. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  19. “INFOGRAPH: What Andrew Yakubu’s 04billion loot can do for Nigeria.” Premium Times. February 11, 2017. Accessed May 23, 2017. 04billion-loot-can-nigeria.html
  20. Balch, “The relevance of Gandhi in the capitalism debate.” The Guardian. January 28, 2013. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  21. Ayorinde, “Elumelu: A guard in UBA found and returned a customer’s $10,000.” The News. July 3, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2017. customers-10000
  22. “Table 1: Human Development Index and its ” United Nations Development Programme. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  23. See
  24. “Global Peace Index ” Vision of Humanity. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  25. “Corruption Perceptions Index ” Transparency International. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  26. Gregson, Jonathan. “The Poorest Countries in the ” Global Finance. February 13, 2017. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  27. See
  28. See
  29. See
  30. Beech, Hannah. “This Is How Much Money You Can Take in Bribes Before the Chinese Authorities Execute ” Time. April 19, 2016. Accessed May 23, 2017. the-chinese-authorities-execute-you
  31. “Corruption: Death penalty not the answer – ” The Citizen Online. September 29, 2015. Accessed May 23, 2017.
  32. Buhari, Muhammadu, and ‘Jola “Read President’s full ‘Change Begins With Me’ speech.” Pulse. September 8, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2017. id5471284.html
  33. Romans 3, verse 23
  34. Galatians 3, verse 13
  35. Titus 2, verse 11
  36. Ephesians 2, verses 4-7
  37. II Peter 1, verse 10
  38. II Thessalonians 3, verse 10
  39. Ephesians 3, verse 12
  40. Revelation 5, verses 1-12
  41. John 1, verse 12
  42. I Peter 1, verse 23
  43. Psalm 78, verse 72
  44. Adesina, “They learnt nothing and forgot nothing by Femi Adesina.” Punch. May 20, 2017. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Titus 2, verse 11
  47. Isaiah 45, verses 4 and 5
  48. Genesis 45, verse 8
  49. Abati, “Dino Melaye: The Making Of A Brand By Reuben Abati.” Sahara Reporters. April 4, 2017. Assessed May 23, 2017.
  50. Reid, Stanford “John Calvin: One of the Fathers of Modern Democracy.” Christianity Today. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  51. I Peter 2, verse 9

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