interviewBy Fidelis Mac-Leva
Apostle Eunice Gordon Osagiede, is the General Overseer of Spirit and Life Bible Church, President Godhead Prayer Ministry and the initiator of the Women in the New Nigeria for Empowerment and Positive Change, WINN, a non-profit, non-governmental, interfaith organization. In this chat she explains how women, both Muslims and Christians have benefitted from her initiative.
As a female clergy who has championed the cause of restoring peace to the country, what is your take concerning the security situation in the country and how do you think the diverse ethnic groups can unite?
I thank God Almighty that a nation like ours has been designed to be diverse so we can take advantage of that diversity to be a truly strong nation. We should look out for the areas that unite us more to be able to build a new nation. Thank God for the transformation agenda that is the programme for the present administration.
I believe that every faithful and true Nigerian is passionate for a new thing. Our people cried out- the youths, fathers, mothers cried for a change, something different from what we have always seen and experienced in the past. Something new in terms of improving the life of the ordinary and average Nigerian family; that is what the nation is yearning for and everyone is in agreement to the birth of a new nation, where there is unity and focus to improve the general lot of the average Nigerian family. There should be a total re vamp of the family values where everybody should think less of greedy gain and self but think more of Nigeria than self. We can approach this through maternal affection. The strength of women in the new Nigeria is that of maternal affection. I believe that care and concern is the reason why WINN has joined hands with government to agree that we are one in fighting the battle for a new nation and fighting corruption.
At this time of insecurity what do you think the Nigerian women should be doing to bring about peace within our families and the society?
I want to say that as a mother we have to be on the alert and make sure that your little family unit is mirroring and influencing the larger society, positively. I expect women in Nigeria this time around to be more alert about our family units; find out about where your children are and ensure that every child that you have is not out of order. Make sure that our children are under proper guidance and care because it is our children who are not under proper discipline that constitute those we term as robbers, kidnappers and the suicide bombers. I can assure you that whether you are a Christian or Muslim woman or mother, you don't need to sit down and watch your child indoctrinated and become a criminal, an enemy of his own life and nation and a clog in the wheel of progress. We believe that the positive turn around or transformation of any nation begins with the family unit.
What are your major achievements in area of women and youths empowerment?
I am very humbled that God has used and still using our little efforts to put smiles on the faces of our brothers and sisters, and youths in respective of their religion affiliations. We have Muslim sisters who have been trained and empowered under our programme in WINN. We equally have Christians from every denomination coming to benefit from our free skill acquisitions and empowerment. We teach the women on how to make soaps, detergents, creams, shoes, beads and catering service. We also conducted eye tests and gave 200 free eye glasses in Kuje Area Council in response to their Glaucoma sight challenges. We have done empowerment programme in the places Kubwa, Lugbe, Zuba, Abaji, Karshi, Gwagwalada, Paiko, Ajata, Nyanya Karu Jikwoyi, Madalla, Suleja in Niger State, Masaka and Kado, Jos, Plataeu. The most recent one is the transformation that WINN brought to Laffia and Akpaku communities in Nasarawa State.
It will also interest WINN's observers to know that this skill acquisition and empowerment has been carried out in the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria. On the question of funding I can humbly submit that God and volunteers like me along with others, WINN's vanguards whom God has blessed through the undiluted word of God are the vessels and instruments God is using to glorify his name. As I speak we have not received any grant or support from any individual, government agencies or foreign aids. I believe that as stake holders we need to start off some how first and have proof of evidence before asking for grant, aids and support.
Charity they say begins at home, how have you impacted on the lives of the people of your immediate state of origin?
My national assignment has nothing to do with my state of origin. What is of utmost concern to me is the stability, peace and progress of my dear country Nigeria. That is not to say I have not extended the same compassion and patriotism given to other states to my state, Edo. We have done empowerment programmes in various and major council areas in Edo State. Our first point of call was at the Oba's Palace, our royal father Omo no ba 'N' Edo Ukuakpolopkolo Oba Eradiawa who has supported this vision with the sum of N200, 000. After the Oba palace, our skill acquisition and empowerment programme was done at Uluku, Usen/Iguobazuwa, Okha II, Ehor, Ekehuan, Ugo NNY/Youth Oghede and Ediaken Palace with all the Edo Environs inclusive in grass root transformation agenda by WINN.
As we begin a new year, do you have a word for our leaders and decision makers on how to quickly get out of this situation we find ourselves in the country today?
For leaders and those at the helms of affairs I want everyone to know that we are now in a new dispensation. As much as possible you need to know that if you are in a position to take and make decisions in our country it is no longer the business as usual; things have really changed. I believe those who are serving us in offices may not be very alert to know that things are changing. We need to know that the Almighty's hand is now truly upon our nation and for that reason everybody should take heed unto themselves, this is not the time to take advantage of the average Nigerians, this is not the time to serve public office with the old mindset of "what is there for me" to steal from Nigeria.
This is the time to truly know that whatever public office God has placed you in, now is the time to be accountable and to make the best of it for the nation starting from the community and your ward. Every Nigerian should know that their rights and the approach to getting their needs met is not by fighting or by being a public nuisance to cause disaffection or destructions, but that through dialogue solutions will be proffered. So those at the helms of affairs should respond accordingly and encourage and support the government of the day by making sure that all their responsibilities are discharged excellently.