WHO IS HE...
CAN STAND UP TO JUST ABOUT ANY ONE
A BIOGRAPHY OF REVEREND CHRIS OKOTIE
Reverend Chris Oghenebrorie Okotie was born on the 16th of June, 1958 to the family of Francis Idje and Cecilia Okotie in Ethiope West local government area of delta state, South- South Nigeria. He had his primary education between 1964 and 1970 at Kirikiri Primary School, Lagos as his father who was a civil servant was stationed in Lagos at the time. He proceeded to Edo College in Benin for his secondary education between 1971 and 1977. He had his A Level certificate in 1978 and went on to study law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Enugu state and he was awarded LLB with honors in 1984.
The multi-talented nature of Reverend Chris Okotie was evident from his childhood and became more apparent when he became the lead singer of the Edo College school band. His exploits in music blossomed and while he was studying law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka , he eventually rose to become the most celebrated Nigerian pop music star in 1980 when he released his first album, ‘I NEED SOMEONE’. At the peak of his young musical career, having become a born again Christian, to the amazement of the entire show business industry, Reverend Chris Okotie left the shores of Nigeria and proceeded to bible school in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the United States of America in 1985 to answer a divine call to Christian ministry.
He returned to Nigeria in 1986 and launched into the pastoral ministry with the inauguration of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD FELLOWSHIP in 1987 which later became THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES. The ministry of Reverend Chris Okotie became nationally recognized with the inauguration of the GRACE PROGRAMME and the television ministry, APOKALUPSIS. The charity driven GRACE programme was instituted in 1990 and has become the major benevolence channel of the ministry on an annual basis. In 1996, the KARIS AWARD, which is aimed at appreciating Nigerians who have positively impacted the nation but have not been recognized by Government was instituted and subsumed in the GRACE programme.
The KARIS award, which now carries a cash prize of one million naira, has been given over the years to distinguished Nigerians like Mallam Aminu Kano, Tai Solarin, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Gen. Murtala Mohammed (post humus), DIG Chris Omeben, Mr. Taiwo Akinkunmi, Mrs. Margaret Ekpo, Chief Michael Imuodu and many others. The year 2010 KARIS award recipient was Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN who was so honored, though post humus, for his contributions to the practice of law and the fight for good governance and human rights in Nigeria.
The GRACE programme has several charity organizations who have become traditional recipients of the charitable disposition of Reverend Chris Okotie and the members of the Household of God on an annual basis. They include the sunshine foundation, the Pacelli school for the blind and partially sighted, the little saints orphanage and the spinal cord injuries association of Nigeria. Each of these organizations receives five hundred thousand naira(N500,000.00) from the ministry.
In the year 1992 during the transition to democratic rule, Reverend Chris Okotie was evidently in support of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola who had become a close friend of his. His friendship with the acclaimed winner of the eventually annulled election of June 1993 and his insistence that the mandate be restored to Chief M.K.O Abiola brought him face to face with threats from the government of the late General Sani Abacha. Undaunted by the personal threats, Reverend Chris Okotie stood by Chief Abiola and became known for speaking out against the military junta.
The events surrounding the annulled elections of 1993 and the subsequent death of Chief Abiola resulted in the reawakening of a nationalistic zeal in Reverend Chris Okotie, a zeal which is responsible for the singing of the national anthem at the close of every church service. It was therefore no surprise when he was voted ‘MAN OF THE YEAR’ by the National Encomium magazine in 2001. The year 2001 also saw the launch of Reverend Chris Okotie’s first novel, THE LAST OUTCAST which eventually became a best seller.
At the birth of yet another democratic dispensation in 1999, Reverend Chris Okotie began contemplating engaging in active politics as an extension of his responsibility as a Christian to the larger society. By then he had already been serving in the pastoral office for twelve years and was persuaded that he had more to do for the nation as a divine assignment. He saw a dire need for a new breed of righteous leaders for the nation.
Therefore in the year 2002, Reverend Chris Okotie formed a non-governmental organization, THE HOUSE OF NIGERIA F.R.E.S.H as a platform to engage with Nigerians and sell his vision for the nation to the people directly. The F.R.E.S.H acronym, which stands for Faith, Responsibility, Equality, Security and Hope, encapsulated his dream for the Nigerian enterprise. The organization had a nationwide spread which made for easy diffusion of the message to all corners of the country.
Thus in 2002, he declared his intention to contest for the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria. This became yet another source of contemplation across the nation. The ‘controversial’ Okotie had come again with another of his parables. His seriousness soon became apparent to all as he engaged the political class at levels not thought possible for a man who was stepping out from behind the pulpit.
As the political sagacity of Reverend Chris Okotie became well known nationally and internationally, several of the parties in opposition to the ruling party wooed him to become their presidential candidate. He eventually decided for the National Democratic Party. He however resigned his membership of the party after a controversial presidential primary. Reverend Chris Okotie and the F.R.E.S.H machinery then moved into the Justice Party and the erstwhile relatively unknown party became a force to reckon with.
Reverend Chris Okotie thus contested for the office of president in the 2003 election on the platform of the justice party after a series of debates that made clear to Nigerians that he had new ideas as to how the nation should proceed to actualize the dreams of all its citizens. He however was not declared winner after the election.
In 2006, preparatory to the coming 2007 elections, Reverend Chris Okotie registered the FRESH DEMOCRATIC PARTY as a platform for likeminded people to actualize the vision for Nigeria. He eventually contested for the presidency a second time as the chairman and presidential candidate of the party. He stated that he had a date with destiny and with the millions of Nigerians who share his dream for the transformation of the country. He was therefore going to do whatever was required to give him an opportunity to be available for the people to elect him into office to fulfill the divine mandate.
As the 2011 general elections approach, Reverend Chris Okotie is once again running for the office of the president on the platform of the FRESH Democratic Party. He says the vision has only gotten stronger over the years as the need for a new dispensation in Nigeria’s political experience has only become more glaring. In his view, the ineptitude and confusion of the ruling parties at different levels of government across the country is clear for all to see and underscores the need for a Reverend Chris Okotie led government at the centre to birth the new Nigeria.
The leadership style that Reverend Chris Okotie has constantly professed is that of the providential dispensation of governance whereby the leadership of the nation makes deliberate sacrifices for the lifting of the living standards of the citizenry. This is at variance with what is the reality facing the people now as they are constantly asked to make more and more sacrifices by members of a government who are feeding fat at the expense of the same people.
The race is on and Reverend Chris Okotie is ready.