In this report, STEPHEN OLUFEMI ONI examines another historic empowerment programme by the Oluwole Foundation, where no fewer than 55 members of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Muritala Mohammed Way, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, went home with various working tools and cash donations to boost their businesses, with a view to making them self-reliant, while a good number of students at both secondary school and tertiary institutions benefited from the scholarship scheme
It was pomp and circumstance at the Special Church Service held at the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church along Muritala Mohammed Way, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on June 26, 2022, where no fewer than 55 congregants were gifted with various working tools and cash donations by the Oluwole Foundation to boost their businesses with a view to making them self-reliant.
Besides, a good number of students at both secondary school and tertiary institution levels also benefited from the Foundation’s annual scholarship scheme, which was the 10th edition.
Though the stately event has come and gone, it had, no doubt, left behind sweet memories which would linger for long in the minds of the church congregants, especially the lucky ones who had benefited from this year’s empowerment programme. Oluwole Foundation, which has become a household name within Kwara State and outside, is the brainchild of Apostle Oluwole Awotuyi, also an illustrious member of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church and a philanthropist of note.
Awotuyi, a renowned pharmacist, is the Chief Executive Officer of Tuyil Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, located in the capital city of Ilorin. Empowerment programme
Aside from the empowerment programme, the church service also featured, among other things, a spirit-driven powerful sermon, release of prophecies, special prayers and praise worships as the congregants sang and danced ecstatically in rhythm of the melodious and spirit-filled songs in acknowledgement of God’s mercy, grace and divine protection over them and their loved ones since the edition of 2021.
Interestingly, N20 million was committed to the 2022 edition of the empowerment programme by the Foundation like others before this, while items distributed to the beneficiaries, aside from the scholarship awards to students and cash donations to some other members to boost their businesses, included tricycles popularly known as ‘Keke Napep’, motorcycles, industrial machines, laptops and deep freezers.
Speaking at the event, the Founder of the Foundation, Apostle Oluwole Awotuyi, said, as someone who knows what poverty really is, he was moved by the level of poverty among some members of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church and the society at large, prompting him to establish the Foundation in order to give back to the society, particularly the downtrodden, with a view to making them break even and self-reliant. Poverty
He said: “With the growing rate of poverty, not only within the church but also the society, occasioned by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic as well as the devastating global economic downturn, I decided to set up the Foundation to contribute my own little quota towards stemming the appalling situation and bringing out as many as we can out of poverty
. “The growing and disturbing trend if not checked, no doubt, portends serious danger to the future of some Christian faithful, the youths, both male and female, and the larger community and society.
“As a religious adherent, I know that the Bible teaches and directs us to take care of our neighbours who are in need. This could start from the church as many brilliant but indigent students abound in the church and the society at large.
Therefore, this informed my interest in making available some resources out of which God has endowed me with to offer scholarships to this set of students that are gifted but are having financial challenges so that they too can advance and excel in life and also empower needy members towards boosting their businesses.
“The need to reduce afflictions and poverty among our Church members as a microscopic part of the larger society, prompted the setting up of a committee to administer the Foundation and to also identify the running, focus and would-be beneficiaries of the Foundation’s empowerment programmes.
I am happy that the committee members have been discharging their responsibilities faithfully.” Diversion Apostle Awotuyi, who frowned at the attitude of some past beneficiaries who diverted the empowerment items meant to improve their lots as well as boost their small scale businesses, said the Foundation has put some measures in place to put an end to this negative act.
On the good side, however, the Creator of the Foundation was ecstatic that the Foundation has been able to raise the economic standards of a good number of members of the church, including some people outside the church, above the poverty line, while some of the beneficiaries have also impacted positively on some other people, adding that the Foundation is poised and resolutely committed to improving the lots of members of the church and the society at large which is its core responsibility to humanity, saying it is individual’s contribution to humanity that determines the survival and growth of the society.
Apostle Awotuyi used the occasion to call on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to contribute their own quota towards reducing poverty among the citizenry, saying the government alone cannot fulfil the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
In his homily, the Chairman of the Oluwole Foundation, Pastor Moses Popoola, told the excited congregants that God did not create any human to be poor or a beggar, but to be productively active and creative in all areas of human endeavours, saying that informed the establishment of the Foundation by Apostle Oluwole Awotuyi.
To succeed in life, Pastor Popoola stressed the need for the people to be of faith, noting that “with faith, if one stands, one will not fall and one will get to where God has destined for one, and no devil or demon can stop one, but one can stop oneself if one doesn’t do the will of God.” Pastor Popoola, who decried the self-serving attitude of political lead-ers in the country, accused them of being self-centred and only loving themselves to the detriment of the suffering masses who gave them the mandate.
Good leaders He said: “Nigerians are so religious but we don’t know God, we need good leaders who will have the fear of God and also love the people unlike what we are experiencing now in the country. “Our political leaders are self-centred, we need leaders who will act according to God’s will, leaders who are not ethnic jingoists and religious bigots.”
Speaking on the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the cleric, who opined that the idea is not good because of the sensitivity and volatility of religion in the country, however, urged political parties and leaders to ensure that they produce quality leaders who would live above board, put the interest of the masses above theirs and have the fear of God.
The Chairman of Oluwole Foundation admonished the beneficiaries to judiciously use the items for the purposes meant, while calling on well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies in the society to also remember the less privileged ones by empowering them to make them break even too. .
Delight One of the beneficiaries, Senior Apostle Yinka Popoola, applauded the Foundation for the love, assistance and support to members of the church and the society at large, promising on behalf of other beneficiaries to make judicious use of the materials.
He, however, enjoined other wellheeled members of the society as well as corporate bodies to take a cue from the worthy deeds of Oluwole Foundation.