It is crazy that I have spent much of my life wrestling with man’s hatred. I have little material wealth but I have faith and happiness. I appreciate the grace that the Almighty has given me to work very hard, focus on every challenge and achieve results that please Him. I love the gifts He has given me and I try to use the gifts the best I can to His glory. I am so certain that the good Lord will not send me on an errand without giving me the wherewithal to get there.
I have said before that I do not wish to be Dangote or Otedola or Ronaldo or Donald Trump. I am Tony Okoroji and I like it! I am a completely focused and proud Igbo man with friends from every state and every tribe in Nigeria. I consider tribalism to be the worst kind of illiteracy. I work hard, very hard and I do it almost always with a smile.
I know that the good Lord has given to each of His children, our peculiar gifts. The problem is that rather than harness their gifts, some people are very busy with envy and covetousness and fixated on the gifts of others. I am totally convinced that the people who seem to do nothing else but talk about Tony Okoroji and the institution God has used me to build can also do great things themselves if they will only focus on the gifts God has given them.
Somebody should tell them that I do not want to be them and no matter how much they try, they cannot be me.
During the week, someone asked me how I have survived all the arrows aimed at me and all the horrendous harassment and torture I have been subjected to. I answered with my usual creed – I drive on a full tank of faith! When I say that I drive on a full tank of faith, what I mean is that I have full confidence that if what I am doing is to the glory of God and the good of his children, I cannot fail. As my tank is filled with faith, so are my tires filled with love and no obstacle or bump can stop me.
I have heard some people say that I am arrogant… No sir! What they consider arrogance is confidence. I am not so stupid that I do not understand that the wisdom and strength that I may deploy does not belong to me but to the Almighty. How can I be arrogant when I know that the Almighty can take my life the very next minute if it pleases Him? I am not arrogant… I have faith and I am happy!
I know that hatred is a virus. It permeates your engine and destroys your crankshaft. It makes you sick and unhappy all the time and gradually, you wither away. I refuse to work with hatred but with love. I want to remain a giver and not a taker. That is why those who fight me with falsehood always fall yakata and will continue to fall yakata. As they fall, they get angrier and repeat the stupidity. It does not matter who they enlist to help them spread their falsehood. Hatred belongs to the devil and those who spread falsehood are partners with the devil. I deal with love and have asked the Almighty not to let me attack anyone who has not done anything against me.
For some years, I have witnessed some people concoct so much lies about me, repeatedly tell their lies until they even begin to believe their lies. They keep running from pillar to post. Is it not time they asked themselves why their coordinated lies and hatred have been so ineffective? I am not sure if they have ever wondered why each time they think they have struck me down, the Almighty immediately lifts me up, even higher. The answer is simple: love conquers hate. As we enter the Christmas season, I pray that the Almighty will forgive them and that they learn that loving is always better than hating.
I hope that they will humble themselves and learn that man is not God and that truth will always triumph over falsehood. As Martin Luther King Jnr did say, “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice”. I know that with a full tank of faith and my tires pumped with love, I will never want. I will continue to thrive and will never be stranded along the way.
Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating Thanksgiving right now.
Have a good December everyone.
See you next week.