The Anglican Bishop of Owo, Ondo state, Rt Rev. Stephen Fagbemi, has advised politicians to see their positions as temporary and to be accountable as good stewards.
Fagbemi gave the advice when he spoke at the opening service of the third sessions of the 10th Synod of the Anglican Communion in Abuja themed: “Servant Leadership,” held at St. Mathew’s Church, Gwarinpa Estate, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that several times in the gospels, Jesus spoke of a different kind of leadership, usually ending with a poignant summary, “if anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and the servant of all’’.
“To Jesus, greatness and power were not measured by the number of people serving a leader but the extent that the leader was serving the people under him or her.
“True greatness, true leadership, is achieved not by reducing men to one’s service but in giving oneself in selfless service to them,” he said.
The cleric advised Nigerian politicians not to kill or cause any form of violence all because they wanted to serve the people of the nation.
He added that they should have the manifestation of what it takes to serve, saying that servant leadership was a stewardship.
According to the Bishop, politicians should immediately humble themselves and serve the nation faithfully. It is temporary and you are accountable.
“ As a nation, whenever we realise that we have been given authority on earth we should immediately and tangibly serve others,” he said.
The cleric said that service should clearly remind them that their authority was not something to which they were entitled or have earned.
Fagbemi noted that their service should show others that they were accountable to God who had put them in authority.
According to him, service empowers those we lead to accomplish great things.
“We see the strategic benefits of servant leadership and allow that to become our reason to serve. That’s an extremely dangerous mistake because ultimately that turns serving into manipulation,” he explained.
The bishop said Christians leaders as followers of Jesus, should not forget that the strategy to get people to follow them was not by authority but by servant leadership, which was a biblical mandate they must embrace.
Newsmen report that Synod’ comes from the Greek words ‘syn’ and ‘odos’, meaning ‘to walk together along a path.
A Synod, then, is a partnership: the Archbishop’s hopes and desires in dialogue with the hopes and desires of the clergy and the laity.
“In a way, it is very democratic, as each component of the Church (or ‘house’ as it is called: the laity, the clergy and the Archbishop) has a voice in determining the direction and legislative framework for the Anglican Church of Nigeria’’, he said.