Ahead of the Voice of Integrity (V.O.I) 2023 International annual conference & awards, Prof. Godwin Solomon .N, the convener of the leadership platform speaks on Nigeria’s leadership problems and identifies the pitfalls of the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, that his successor, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should avoid in order to make good his promise of a renewed hope for Nigerians.
The amiable preacher further speaks on this year’s 2023 V.O.I conference on “The Emergence of the New Leadership Dynamics” holding from August 16-18, 2023, and the impact of the V.O.I leadership platform in the past 15 years in raising and promoting integrity and accountability in leadership in Nigeria. Excerpts
Please, can we meet you sir?
I am Prof. Godwin Solomon N, general overseer, Grace Prevailing Assembly, Ojodu, Lagos. I received my professorial honor from an American University. I gave my life to Christ 43 years ago; precisely on April 17, 1980. I have been in ministry and church planting for 32 years, but in active preaching for about 39 years now.
Let’s have a look at your rebirth encounter before your call to ministry
Before my rebirth encounter with Christ, I was attending the Deeper Life Bible Church with my aunt with whom I was living then. I had my rebirth encounter with Christ at the Assemblies of God Church that I was later attending with my cousin. On one particular day at the Assemblies of God Church I had an encounter with the Lord; answered the altar call and gave my life to Christ a little over 43 years ago; on April 17, 1980. Before my rebirth encounter, I was a self-righteous person who never knew God.How will you describe your walk with Christ since that April 17, 1980 till now?
I will summarize it in one word, “interesting”, because it has been a journey of opportunities, lots of challenges but with abundant grace of God. As I said earlier, I came to Jesus as a self-righteous man who never knew God until that great encounter of April 17, 1980. But God knows me, raised me and led me to Himself. It has been a journey of mixed experiences. When I look back today, all I can say is to God be the glory!
Share with us the factors sustaining you in the faith these past 43 years
One, I had a genuine encounter with Christ with focus on righteous living. Two, I always thirst to know God more. Most of today’s acclaimed believers didn’t have genuine encounter with Christ. Many of them accepted Christ for prosperity and other needs. They are candy believers, who accepted Christ only for the goodies, and not for righteous living. Of course, we have faced lots of temptations and challenges in this 43 years walk with Christ, but how we received him sustains us.
What is the specific mandate of your calling by God to ministry?
My specific mandate is to let people understand the concept of grace.
Tell us about the Voice of Integrity (V.O.1) annual conference & awards of the ministry
The Voice of Integrity (V.O.I) international is a vision of leadership aimed at breeding and promoting integrity and accountability in leadership through seminars, conferences and training. We started the Voice of Integrity Conference (V.O.I.C) 15 years ago aimed at achieving the purpose of breeding and promoting integrity and accountability in Christian leadership. V.O.I was birthed to engender hope, trust and confidence in Christian leadership. It is meant for pastors and all Christian workers and leaders. It is a Christian leadership platform. The high point of this vision is its annual international conference & awards. This year’s conference will hold from August 16-18, 2023 at Grace Prevailing Assembly, Ojodu Berger, Lagos.
Tell us about the 2023 Voice of Integrity (V.O.I) International Conference & Awards
The theme of the 2023 V.O.I international conference & awards is “The Emergence of the New Leadership Dynamics.” It will cover various areas, including security, with some Christians who are accomplished leaders as guest speakers. They will share their experiences in the new emerging leadership dynamics in their various leadership positions, and how they sustain their Christian faith in the new emerging leadership dynamics. It will also feature awards presentations to some distinguished Christian leaders with the track records of integrity, accountability and proven Christian virtues in their leadership positions across boards. If we don’t appreciate them now that they are alive who will, after they are gone? We are bringing some security experts to tell us how they succeed as leaders and still remain Christians.How can this kind of leadership platform solve Nigeria’s leadership problems?
This is one of the reasons for this yearly V.O.I leadership conference. Annually, we feature some accomplished Nigerian leaders of integrity and reputation to speak on Nigeria’s leadership problems with a view at proffering solutions. For instance, we have hosted some great leaders like Prof. Pat Utomi. Nigeria’s problem is very simple. It is lack of integrity, accountability, honesty and sincerity in leadership.
What are some of the leadership pitfalls of the former President Muhammadu Buhari that his successor, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should avoid?
One, lack of will power. Two, lack of integrity to sustain what he had said, and bring it to pass. Three, inability to stop the insecurity challenges in the country. I think this new administration should be able to leverage on these mistakes.
As a pastor, what will you set as an agenda for the President Tinubu government?
My advice to the president is that he should run a compact administration. In compact administration, it is very easy to know the problems and solve them. I commend the president for the Single Treasury Account (STA) that he retained in the system. With the STA, it will be hard to embezzle the public funds. The president should build a good character to govern the policies of his administration. He should not be in a hurry to make decisions like in the case of the subsidy removal by his government. The subsidy removal was inevitable but the time and process were faulty.
How can the Church in Nigeria assist the president to succeed in office?
The Church in Nigeria can assist the president to succeed in office by refraining from compromise. Over the years, the Church in Nigeria has been compromising her responsibilities of praying for the nation, the political leaders and also putting them in check. The Church in Nigeria must restore her lost integrity by being truthful to the president and his government. Some church leaders have corruptly dined and wined with politicians and the government that they are constrained from speaking the truth to politicians and the government, particularly the true mind of God. By God’s grace, I have rejected many privileges to be compromised by politicians. The Church in Nigeria has to rebuild both her character and integrity capacity.
Finally, please, share with us the role, the impact and the contributions of your lovely wife to the success of your beautiful home and impactful ministry.
To be sincere, my wife, Dr. Gloria Godwin. N’s impacts both in the family and ministry are immeasurable. She has an endearing influence, support and encouragement that keeps me going. I met her as someone who is passionate about God. However, I mentored her in some areas to become stronger. She is a great friend, wife and confidant to me. We are closely knitted because we both embrace eternity more than our earthly desires. We share one mind to serve God. We value each other as the first day we met. As we get older, we see each other as newly-weds. I often tell her that she keeps looking younger instead of aging. Her impact is great and unique. God has been faithful to us. We raised our children in the way of the Lord in the best way we can. It’s one thing to raise your children in the way of the Lord, and they grow up to choose another path to follow. Our children are great examples of good Christians. They are all doing very well in their various careers to the glory of God.