Biography of Late Rev. Onesimo Simon Maikenti: A Servant of God from Tangale Land

Introduction

Rev. Onesimo Simon Maikenti was born into the family of Mr. and Mrs. Maikenti Yalwe on the 26th March, 1938. He was brought up under a strict Biblical and Christian discipline and accepted Christ as his Saviour in 1953 and got baptized on 14th November, 1958.

Baba Rev. Maikenti is proficient in written and oral English, Hausa and Tangale languages respectively. His personal qualities included good working and inter-personal relations, honesty and accountability.

 

Family Background

Rev. O. S. Maikenti got married to Kwate on 22nd June, 1962 at ECWA No. 1 Billiri, Gombe State. The marriage is blessed with nine children which comprises of six males, and three female children. The Lord has called three among the children back home to be with Him. Baba’s marriage is blessed with sixteen grandchildren.

 

Schools Attended and Certificates Obtained

Rev. O. S. Maikenti started his educational pursuit at the Sudan Interior Mission (S.I.M) Junior Primary School Kufai, Billiri from 1948 to 1951 and then proceeded immediately to the same S.I.M Senior Primary School Kufai, Billiri from 1952-1956 and obtained the Primary School Leaving Certificate in 1956.

He then went to ECWA Bible College Kagoro from 1959-1962 and obtained a Diploma in Bible Certificate. As the quest for education increases, Rev. Maikenti sought and gained admission to ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja from 1968 -1971 and obtained a Certificate of Diploma in Theology.

Being zealous for education, he travelled overseas and obtained a Diploma in Christian Education of the Evangelical Teacher Training Association from the Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland Oregon, USA in 1987. He also bagged his Masters of Arts in Church Education and Masters of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Portland Oregon, USA in 1987.

Other educational and professional certificates Rev. Maikenti secured include Certificate as Pastor in 1968, Certificate of Ordination as Reverend in 1971.

Baba sought to acquaint himself with the moving technological trend which made him to attend the Computer Literacy Workshop in 2001. Others are Certificate of Introduction Course in Applied Linguistics (ICAI) in 2004 as well as a Certificate in Para Text and Advanced Para Text in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

 

Work Experience

Rev. Maikenti was licensed as a Pastor in August, 1968 and later ordained as a Reverend in 1973.

He started his ministerial career as a probationary teacher at S.I.M Primary School, Banganje in 1957, when Rev. Philip Ajebu was the Head Master. At that time, the All Tangale Primary School Games started under his watchful eyes as the Games Master.

From S.I.M Primary School Banganje, he was then transferred to S.I.M Primary School Tal, as a probationary teacher in 1958, under Mal. Mikah Panguru, the Head Master.

His pastoral career began when he was posted as Pastor in-charge of ECWA Church Sansani, Billiri, in the then Tangale–Waja/Gombe District Church Council (DCC) and served from 1963-1964. That was the period he started the ECWA Dispensary at Sansani, precisely in 1964. During that period of service, he was also the Secretary of the then Tangale Local Church Council (LCC).

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With the completion of his work at ECWA Sansani, Baba was transferred to Pastor ECWA No. 1 Gombe from 1965 – 1968. Within this period, Baba Maikenti took a part time job as Christian Religious Knowledge teacher in Government Secondary School Gombe, under the umbrella of the North-East CRK Teachers, from 1967-1968 – he was more concerned about the intellect, as well as the spiritual growth of his members.

ECWA No. 1 Bolari, Gombe was built under his watchful eyes, alongside with the late Rev. Sulei Kabalai. Thereafter, they sought for a site for construction of the present ECWA No. II.

While in school, Rev. Maikenti served as a Hausa Student Chaplain at ECWA Theological Seminary, Igbaja in Kwara State from 1969 – 1970. He then continued his career as a teacher at S.I.M Secondary School, Billiri in 1971 – 1975, as a CRK and Hausa Teacher respectively.

Baba then went back to Church and was posted to serve as the Pastor of ECWA Bukuru in the then Benue-Plateau State from 1976 to July, 1978. While in Bukuru, he built the Children’s Cathedral and planted a Church at Angwan Doki as well as Heipang.

Having a good history of administration, Rev. O. S. Maikenti was elected in July 1978, to serve as the Secretary of ECWA Tangale DCC – a post he held till July 1985. As usual, Baba picked up a part time CRK Teacher job with Government Science Secondary School, Billiri, Gombe State from 1978 – 1985. At that time, the DCC was only paying his travelling allowances, but his salary came from the Government.

It was during his tenure as the Tangale DCC Secretary that efforts were made towards building the DCC Secretariat, alongside the then Chairman, Rev. Philip Ajebu. The Secretariat was built and dedicated in 1984 with the name “Ma Pobe” – named after the Missionary that brought the gospel and served in Tangale land.

At the same time, efforts were made towards reopening the Bible College Billiri that was earlier closed down by S.I.M in 19961. This was finally achieved in 1981 with Rev. Bello Misal being the Principal. One of the factors that contributed to the reopening was the fact that ECWA agreed that the school should be reopened in her name, that is why Kaltungo, Gombe and Waja DCCs signed for the rebuilding of the Students Hostel.

Today, all the DCCs in the North-East are the proprietors of the ECWA Theological Seminary Billiri, Kufai.

The contributions of the late Rev. Samaila Kure, Rev. Dr. Siman Ibrahim (presently an ECWA Trustee) among others towards the Bible College cannot be overemphasized.

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Again, as Secretary, Rev. Maikenti and Rev. Philip Ajebu as Chairman, sought for 78 hectares of land for the celebration of 55years anniversary of the Gospel in Tangale land which was held in 1978.

The land was acquired through the help of the then Mai Tangle, His Royal Highness, Iliyasu Mai Yamba.

Rev. O. S. Maikenti’s tenure at the Tangale DCC recorded tremendous achievement in the health sector. ECWA Health Dispensaries were established in seven different locations, with the help of Community Development Associations. These locations include Pandi Kwalak, Shela, Kulgul, Tal, Kumo, Billiri, Kufai and Sansani.

Rev. Maikenti served as the Secretary to the Building Committee of ECWA No. 1 Billiri, where he worked amicably under the Chairmanship of late Rev. Kure Nitte, with late Barnabas Langa as the Treasurer.

Baba Maikenti founded the famous and highly spiritual youth group in Tangale, the ‘Tangale Youth for Christ’ (TYC), aimed at bringing spiritual revival among the Youth of Tangale studying in various tertiary institutions.

The name of this movement has now been changed to ‘Tangale for Christ.’ Conventions are held annually in December with the ECWA No. 1 Billiri as the venue. The first leader of the TYC was Prof. Lazarus Tekdek.

Today, TYC has grown and has been meeting the needs of not just only the youth of the land, but the entire people of the land. Other youth from the neighbouring States do join the annual convention.

In 1987, after his tenure as the Secretary to the Tangale DCC, Rev. Maikenti was posted as a Lecturer in ECWA Theological College Billiri, Kufai, to 2002, when he actively retired from service. Rev. Jeremiah Gado was the Principal when he was posted to the College. During the cause of his work as a Lecturer, he served as the Vice Principal from 1989 – 1990, and later as the Principal.

In the course of his leadership positions, the Bible College began a Diploma Programme, an ACE program which was named ‘Nune ECWA Staff School.’ Maikenti also built ten different hostel flats in the school.

He headed the school to 2002, a period of twelve years – perhaps this made him to bag the Longest Service Award from the ECWA Headquarters among others. Rev. O. S. Maikenti has continued to work even after retiring from active service.

 

Leadership Experience

Aside from the aforementioned, Rev. Maikenti is a leader to the core. He has used his leadership positions at different points to serve God first and then humanity.

Rev. Maikenti served as the Chairman, Nigerian Bible Knowledge Teachers Association for North East from 1971 -1975. Baba also served as an ECWA Representative at Northern Education Advisory Council (NEAC) from 1976 – 1977.

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As an active minister, he was appointed as the Chaplain of the Girls Brigade, Nigeria, at the then Bauchi State from 1979 – 1984. He held the same position as a Chaplain when Gombe was created from defunct Bauchi State from 1990 – 2004.

With the high sense of providing quality leadership Baba is endowed with, he was appointed as a Member of the Committee for the Office of the Assistant General Secretary to be included in the ECWA Constitution in 1983 – 1984. Rev. Maikenti worked tirelessly as a Board Member representing Bauchi/Borno in the Nigeria Bible Society from 1990 – 2002.

As Baba worked and served in ECWA, the State and the Nation, he never forgot his root as a Tangale man. No wonder, he was regarded as high custodian of the Tangale Ethnic traditions.

He was appointed as a Trustee of the Tangale Community Development Association, Billiri in 2000 to date. This could tell us why Baba is working tirelessly with his team in translating the Bible into Tangale language – a project they began with Mr Ankalai Yelyel since 2005 to date. He is also a Member of the Tangale Language Curriculum Committee for Primary and Secondary Schools as at 2007 – Date.

Rev. Maikenti has continued to serve his Community as Member, Committee for Employment for the Tangale Micro-Finance Bank in 2007. He did not stop there, but still serves as Member of the Board of Trustee on the Documentary of the History of Tangale as at 2009 to date.

He has also served as a Board Member of the Gombe Media Corporation, Gombe State from 2004 – 2011. The State Government still utilizes his services. As a result, he has been serving as Member, School Based Management Committee for the Federal Government College, Billiri from 2010 to date.

 

Publications

Rev. Maikenti has a few unpublished books to his credit. These include “Knowing Education That is Christian” written in 2005 and “Pastor’s Handbook in the Ministry” written in 2011.

 

Awards

Due to his meritorious and selfless service to humanity, Rev. O. S. Maikenti has bagged several awards among which are the ‘Longest Service Award’, awarded by the ECWA Headquarters, Jos, 1994. This award has proven his relentless service to ECWA as a denomination.

In his local community, Rev. Maikenti has been awarded by the Chief of Tangale in 2007 with a ‘Patriotism Award.’ Not just his community and his denomination, Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN) observed that Rev. Maikenti was faithful and selfless in serving Christ and humanity. LCCN therefore presented him a ‘Faithful Service Award’ as well as ‘Selfless Service Award’ – both on 24th October 2009.

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