“The country will get worse before it gets better”

Reverend Ekine

Reverend Elekima Ekine is the presiding pastor of Christ Chapel International Ibadan - a church located at Ashi. He is also a 25 year resident of the city having moved back here in the early 90s to open up his ministry. In this interview, he talks about how he fell in love with the city, his life, the church, nation and other sundry issues.

Please introduce yourself?

My name is Elekima Ekine from Rivers State. I pastor the Christ Chapel International founded by Rev. Dr. Tunde Joda. I’ve been a resident of Ibadan for 25 years. I’ve been married for almost 27 years. I have three sons. My wife is a lecturer at Tai Solarin University of Education.

How did you come to be in Ibadan?

I was posted here to start the Ibadan branch of our church. I’ve always passed through Ibadan but never stayed so June 1991 was my first opportunity of staying and living in Ibadan.

What was your early impression of the city?

When I first came, I wanted to run back… (laughs). Ibadan was…if I may use the word ‘dry’ but interestingly, not quite long after, I fell in love with the city; the serenity, calmness and the fact that you could decide to go to a place and get there on time. All these factors just made me become attached to Ibadan now. The city may have lost some of its serenity but it’s still okay for me.

What is your say on the current state of insurgency in the country?

The importance of us sticking together in such times cannot be overemphasized. Insurgency is the evil of our time and it is not just peculiar to our nation, it is all over the world. As Christians, it’s time for us to come together, to prepare and strengthen our belief to a point where even death cannot question our faith. I only hope the government will stop making empty promises it can’t keep. Even the British took fifty years before they could eradicate the IRA.

What do you make of the country’s current economic state and the president’s effort in tackling issues?

The average human being is very impatient. You bring someone new on the scene and they want you to turn things around immediately without knowing how bad the rot is. Things get worse before they get better so maybe what we are experiencing may yet be a good thing.

A lot of people have a lot to say about this present generation. What is your own say on the topic?

There’s the bad and there’s the good. The only problem is if the bad starts outweighing the good. There is a thin line between these two and that line has gotten thinner and thinner over time. You start hearing people say that wrong is relative. For the good part, self-development is getting better; people are getting more creative, innovative and independent. Young people who ordinarily will still be dependent on their parents are no longer sitting back and waiting for things to come to them.

If you were to give just one advice to this generation, what would that be?

Don’t maintain the status quo. Keep pushing boundaries.

Did your culinary tastes change after settling down here in Ibadan?

Not as much since I’ve been eating amala before coming here. Maybe I added gbegiri and abula to it.

Speaking of which, which of the amala joints around is your favourite?

Difficult question… Iya Ope today, because instead of queuing, they come and serve you.

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