Ven Olusegun Akinola @ 40: An archetypal chip off the old block

Ven Olusegun Akinola @ 40: An archetypal chip off the old block

By Nosike Ogbuenyi

Within the labyrinth of Abuja Diocese of Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Venerable Olusegun Emmanuel Akinola, the Vicar in charge of the Anglican Church of the Resurrection, Duboyi (ACORD), Abuja stands out. A divine minister who exudes genteel mien, his seminal sermons in the pulpit make him a golden fish without a hiding place.

Nothing in the ambience of Ven Olusegun suggests his noble background as the scion of the legendary Most Rev Peter Jasper Akinola, emeritus Archbishop Metropolitan, Abuja and Primate of the Church of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

The alter ego of the emeritus Primate clocked 40 last Wednesday 8 November, 2023. The date coincided with the events of Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) a major annual programme of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion staged at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. For that reason, the epochal anniversary was not commemorated until Saturday 11th November, 2023 after the curtain was drawn on DIVCCON. It was signposted by a modest ceremony organised by members of the ACORD Church in Duboyi, Abuja which Ven Olusegun superintends as the Vicar.

Although 40 is a symbolic age, the event was devoid of panache and confetti as requested by the celebrant. The modesty is in sync with the junior Akinola’s core principle of devotion and humble disposition. Despite his privileged background, Ven Akinola goes about his pastoral calling without the air of nobility and flamboyance.

He is more concerned with the welfare of the less privileged and the societal scum. He regularly admonishes the ACORD brethren to ensure that the food bank of the church doesn’t dry up. It is often said that no one goes to Ven Olusegun hungry and comes out without one form of succuor or the other. He is a vintage kind and compassionate man of God.

The unction with which Ven Akinola shepherds his congregation portrays the visage of a man with a very promising future in his spiritual calling. He preaches the gospel of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise 0f salvation with verve, limpidity and honesty. He is certainly following the footsteps of his exemplary father, the Primate Akinola in the vineyard of God, raising the bar in leadership, evangelism, discipleship and mentorship.

Former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, four years ago spoke glowingly about Ven Akinola especially with regard to following the enviable footsteps of his father, Primate Akinola. Chidoka in a Facebook post in 2019 stated that as Primate, Most Rev Akinola was unpretentious and ever courageous, speaking truth to power at all time. He described the septuagenarian as a man of deep convictions whose leadership of the Anglican Church and the global conservative wing of the church is a story yet to be told. After pouring encomiums on the elder Akinola, Mr Chidoka who is also a former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC) described his son, Ven Akinola as a chip of the old block, who despite his pedigree and access to all the world could offer opted to follow his father’s footsteps.

“Priesthood is a calling but not many answer the call. I am impressed that Primate Akinola did not only preach and shepherd people but he groomed a successor whose humility, willingness to learn and quiet activity is a testimony to his father’s training and personal example.

“Today we make every effort to groom children who won’t suffer like us, who are shielded from our grinding efforts, who are exposed to the fruits of hard labor but denied the joy of the planting season.

“As I watch Canon Segun serving at the cathedral where his father held sway as Primate of All Nigeria with joy and effortless humility holding aloft the banner of service and the burden of keeping alight a torch passed down, I pray his example will not be lost on the next generation of Akinola.

“On my part I am challenged to live in such a way that my son will find my vocation and example worthy to follow. My prayer is that our leaders would have offspring willing to serve Nigeria at various levels and not find abode in their parents’ houses in London, Vienna or New York,” Mr Chidoka further stated in the post. 

Venerable Olusegun Akinola had his priestly ordination training at Archbishop Vining College of Theology, Akure where he obtained a Diploma in Theology in 2004. From there, he proceeded to the Theological College of Northern Nigeria (TCNN), Bukuru, Jos where he bagged a Bachelor of Theology Degree in 2006.

He holds a Masters Degree in Art and Religion from Trinity School for Ministry (TSM), Ambridge, PA, USA and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo which he obtained in 2018. 

With a burning passion for preaching the word of God and imparting theological knowledge, it is a delight to watch Ven Olusegun Akinola in the pulpit. Solidly behind the young venerable in his calling is his beloved wife, Olubunmi who also leads the women wing of the Anglican Church of the Resurrection, Duboyi. Ven Akinola’s teachings and positive impacts in the church will surely continue to resonate with passion and cerebral clarity.  As he breasts his 40th birthday tape, Ven Akinola is poised for greater exploits in the vineyard of God.

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