|Chris Okotie, 2011, Lagos|
|President of Fresh Democratic Party|
|Born||16 June 1958
Ethiope West, Delta State, Nigeria
|Political party||Fresh Democratic Party (FDP)|
|Alma mater||University of Nigeria, Nsukka 1984 (L.L.B Hons)|
Christopher Oghenebrorie Okotie (born 16 June 1958) is a leading Nigerian televangelist and the pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries, a Pentecostal congregation in Lagos, Nigeria since February 1987.
Okotie was born to Francis Idje and Cecilia Okotie, in Ethiope-West, Delta State (then Bendel State). As a growing child, he always loved to sing. While in secondary school at Edo College, Benin City, he belonged to the school's Music Club and usually entertained groups of people. He never considered commercialising his talent until his first year at the University, when his father died. His hobbies include jogging, martial art and music.
Education and career
He attended secondary school at Edo College, Benin City. In 1984, he graduated with a degree in law from the University of Nigeria at Nsukka. Okotie abandoned his schooling for a while to pursue a highly successful pop music career before his returning abruptly. He had a highly successful music career with his peers such as Dizzy K Falola, Jide Obi, and Felix Liberty and they stimulated the emerging music industry of Nigeria. Okotie married twice and announced he has separated from his second wife on June 24, 2012 just few days after his 54th birthday.
At the height of his pop music success he returned to school to complete his education and graduated with a law degree. Whilst undergoing law school he interrupted his schooling again to begin his religious ministries. Okotie attended the Grace Fellowship Bible School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and, soon after, established the Household of God Ministry.
The problems faced by the young preacher were as daunting, as they were varied. He gained a lot of criticism as the entertainment industry and his fans, wondered at the choice of occupation he made at the peak of his musical career.
In 1990, Okotie established the annual Karis Awards, hosted by his church, to recognize and financially reward Nigerian citizens who selflessly serve the nation.
Grace programme/Karis Award
The GRACE Program/ Karis Award as an annual charity event hosted at the church where he pastors; The HouseHold of God International Ministries, Lagos, Nigeria. The guiding philosophy being that greatness does not consist in being great but in the ability to make others great. The Karis Award gives recognition to, while financially rewarding Nigerians who had offered distinguished service to the nation, but are not recognized nor rewarded for their contributions to the nation building. Some recipients of The Karis Award are, Prof. Chike Obi, the renowned mathematician (1996), D.I.G. Chris Omeben, a retired Policeman famous for his transparent honesty(1997), Mr. Taiwo Akinwunmi who designed the national flag (1998), Late Hogan Bassey, former Commonwealth and World Boxing Champion (1999), Chief Michael Imodou, the Veteran Labour Leader (2000), Chief (Mrs.) Margaret Ekpo (2001), Nationalist and Woman Activist, Late Mallam Aminu Kano, Nationalist (2004)and Isaac Adaka Boro, Human Rights Activist (2005).
The GRACE Program also makes regular cash and material contributions to charity organizations such as the SOS Children Village, the Sunshine Foundation, Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted and Little Saints Orphanage, Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria amongst others including individuals who have enjoyed the benevolence and vision of a man with a heart for the people. The Childcare Trust, a pet project of the First Lady of Nigeria, Late Mrs. Stella Obasanjo has also enjoyed the benevolence of Reverend Okotie.
Okotie first ran for the President under the banner of the Justice Party (JP), led by Ralph Obiorah after he was schemed out of the National Democratic Party (NDP) primaries elections; he lost to Olusegun Obasanjo in the May 2003 elections. He ran again in 2007 on the platform of a party he founded, Fresh Democratic party, FRESH and lost to Umaru Yar'Adua in the May 2007 elections. Then in 2011, he ran and lost to the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
Chris Okotie does not need introduction. He is many things rolled into one. He was one of Nigeria's most famous singers in the 1980s before he converted and became a pastor. Known for his open-mindedness and candor, his friends cut across religious, ethnic, gender and social barriers. It is on record that he was a close friend and confidant of the Late Chief MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 elections. And even under the most dangerous and perilous times in the history of the Nigerian nation, he proved to be the proverbial friend 'who sticks closer than a brother.' It is little wonder that he was voted 'Man of the Year' by National Encomium Magazine in 2002 for 'daring to speak in the face of adversity and threat to his life'. An auspicious year, the year 2002 witnessed the publication of Okotie's book, The Last Outcast, a widely acclaimed publication fast making the bestseller list. However, the steady decline of the Nigerian nation became Okotie's next big challenge. Thus, his advent into politics. He has a vision to liberate Nigerians from the bondage of poverty, ethnic chauvinism and religious bigotry, believing that Nigeria with its vast human and material resources has no business with poverty but for corruption, which has become a way of life for most Nigerian people.
Chris Okotie is gifted with words. He has published books and is a regular contributor to several Nigerian Newspapers where his political commentaries attract wide readership.
- The Last Outcast (Best selling book, 2001)
- A terror war beyond hashtags
- A conference of geriatrics
- In search of game changers
- Power shift: what my readers say
- Why Vision 20:2020 became a lost cause
- State policies and prophetic solutions
- Adadevoh and the Ebola crisis
- A Government stuck in timing response snafu
- This present assault on education
- Rage over villaleaks et al
- Time to shift Governance paradigm
- 2015: Imperative of the paradigm shift option
- ASUU strike: implications of political infidelity
- Counting the cost of insecurity
- The looming demographic time bomb
- Reclaiming Nigeria's lost hope
- Marshall, Ruth (2009). Political spiritualities : the Pentecostal revolution in Nigeria. Chicago ; London: The University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-50713-0.
- Adeniji, Olayiwola (2002-04-26). "For Dizzy K, a Centre of Joy". Africa News Service.
- "Okotie faults INEC's justification for deregistration of parties", National Mirror, London, 14 December 2012. Retrieved on 14 December 2012.
- "$9.3m scandal: Chris Okotie blasts Oritsejafor, calls for his resignation", Daily Post