At 82, he is retired but neither tired nor senile. As a courageous cleric, patriot and nationalist of the best hue, Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, retired bishop of Akure Diocese of the Anglican Communion, enjoys a longstanding reputation for using deep knowledge of theology as an instrument of advocacy for public and private morality.
Like genuine nationalists in the garb of clerics in other climes, who have used their position in the Lord’s vineyard to pursue the good of society, Gbonigi has dedicated his entire life to promoting the reformation and regeneration of his nation’s doddering polity, assured that a society that operates and lives by the ethos of justice and fear of God is the only place on earth where the downtrodden can be uplifted and peace reign.
To enthrone a society where universal happiness shall reign, the spiritual giant has constantly engaged those in authority, sometimes needling them with his caustic criticisms of the sorry state of affairs, and pouring invectives on marauders and upstarts who found themselves on the corridors of power, especially during the years of military rule.
In an interview that lasted over two hours in his country home in Akure, Ondo State, Gbonigi looked through his spiritual binoculars while appraising the parlous state of the nation, saying justice and fear of God are two intangible but critical ingredients that are lacking in the hearts and acts of men and women who currently take charge of affairs of this country.
Fragment of a Litany
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