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All is set around Prophet Bayode Fapohunda, the General Overseer of Christ Mercy Abundant Peace Ministry, Abaranje Road, Ikotun, Lagos to host a grand thanksgiving service to celebrate the 70th birthday of the man who God has used to pilot the affairs of their life.

The celebration comes up at 1.00pm prompt on Sunday 10th March, 2024 at the Church premises, 10, James Opeyemi Street, Ola Farm Bus Stop, Abaranje,Road, Ikotun Lagos.

According to the celebrant, the purpose of the celebration is to appreciate God for his 70 years in the land of the living.

Born 3rd March 1954, Prophet Fapohunda was formerly a Customs man before heading out of Nigeria where he trained as an educationist, transport administrator, and later became a renowned cleric.

The celebration will be attended by family, church members, fellow ministers from far and wide, members of Rev. Solomon Adegbolagun led Centre for Righteous Living, ministers and members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and even Chaplains to which the celebrant belongs, and a host of friends and well-wishers.

Pastor Fapohunda, born in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, but lived in Ijan Ekiti where he grew up and attended St. Paul’s Anglican Primary School, later attended Ife City College, Ile Ife.

He began his service life as he took up job with the Nigerian Customs Service in 1976, before he later moved to Study at Management Education Institute, Madras, India.

He also studied as an Associate Members at Institute of Transport Administration, London. He is a member of Institute of Transport Administration, London.

He is also a member of Chaplains Fellowship of Nigeria, Centre For Righteous Living, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and a number of other charitable organizations.

Sharing the story of his 70 years, the ex-Customs man attributed this to the special grace of God noting that there were many of his birthday mates that are no more.

“Many died in infants, some died while growing up, others also died as adults, to live up to see 70 years is by the special grace of God and that is why we have decided to use it to appreciate God,” he explained.

“That is why we want the people of God, our family and friends to join us in the celebration. We expect our close family members, friends and well-wishers to join us as we celebrate.”

As a well-travelled, educated, experienced and exposed business man, manager of men and resources and an a cleric, Prophet Fapohunda shared the story of his life from his Ado and Ijan Ekiti, his coming to Lagos, his brief employment with the Nigerian Customs in 1976 and his journey abroad for higher education.

“I spent almost nine years with the Nigerian Customs before applying for Study leave of three years. That took me to India where I attended Management Education Institute between 1989 and 1992 where I bagged BSc in Management in Transport Administration. I spent another year to qualify for Master in Air, Land and Railway Transport.

“When I came back to Nigeria, instead of me to resume I had to enroll for another course and I wrote for an extension, I did not wait for reply before I moved to London Institute of Transport Administration where I became an Associate and Chartered Member.

“When I came back to Nigeria, I reported to Customs and they asked me to go and do my National Youth Service. I went to NYSC as a foreign student graduate. I was offered to do my National Service in 1984. I served and completed my service in Abeokuta, Ogun State in 1985.

“At the end of the service I went to Customs and I was told to move to Abuja for another clarification. Before then I had processed my papers to travel to Germany and India for business with an Indian and a German friend. I travelled and came back in three weeks.

“When I came back, I went back to Customs in Lagos I was told to go to Abuja. When I reported in Abuja, they decided to post some of us to some states in the North. I did not take the posting and I tendered my letter of resignation, and I decided to face my business.”

The man Fapohunda, a well-travelled business man before retiring in to the vineyard of God had a good time in business, meeting the top and the wealthy, traversing from one end of the world to another, jetting in and out of Nigeria with ease.

“I then became a business man and a contractor in the sales and distribution of clothing materials, trading in India, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. I became an international trader trading in shoes and clothes. I was a George Merchant selling to one of Chief Abiola’s wives then. God lifted me up well in that business. I was the one that designed Nino cloth and was selling it throughout Nigeria then.

“I did all these ones for about five years.  It was when Idiagbon’s government made laws against contraband clothes when my goods were seized, and that crippled the business. This led to my disappointment, and my Indian Partner had to go back to his country.

“It was from that situation that I had an encounter with the ministry of Baba Prophet Obadare, and myself and my family became members of his church in Ketu. We later became disciples and workers there in the 90s. We were in CAC Odubanjo Centre before we came to the Ikotun Branch at CAC Ile Ayo at Segun Irefin Street, near Synagogue Church, where I became a Pastor. In 1999 I was ordained a Pastor in Ibadan. I was a member of CAC Supreme Council in Alasepe, Ikire, Osun State. I was ordained under Baba Pastor Udofia’s leadership. It was there I was promoted to the level of an Assistant General Superintendent.”

It was after some years, he left the Church to found his own Church, Christ Mercy Abundant Peace Ministry, Abaranje Road, Ikotun, Lagos, where the birthday thanksgiving service will be held.

He also remembers the supportive role of his amiable wife, Pastor Mrs. Helen Fapohunda plays in his life. She is a School proprietress, Church minister and business woman.

As a senior citizen of Nigeria who has also had a fair share of the First Republic, Prophet Fapohunda advised Nigeria to return to the post-Independence era Nigeria where each of the regions were developing at their own pace. He believes such would encourage a healthy rivalry and mutual growth among the constituent regions.

“In the post-Independence Nigeria we saw each of the regions growing at their own rate, and the regions could compete among one another, and I believe there would be less pressure on the centre. The regions should be in charge of their different resources.”

He also advised Nigerians to be diligent in all that they are doing with little dependence on the government. He was also quick to call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to hear the cry of the poor across the length and breadth of Nigeria.  

Prophet Fapohunda also enjoined Nigeria’s religious leaders to have a positive impact on those that rule Nigeria, saying “if the leaders could come together, they would have a common voice and would be able to show a good direction in the choice of leaders and how they pilot the affairs of the country.”

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Julius Adegunna, a writer, and publisher of good news and reports. He is also a trainer in Writing and Publishing, a Media Consultant and an Entrepreneur. A 1987 Graduate of International Relations of the University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) with Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations, and Master in Communication Studies of Lagos State University. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

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