Monday 26 October 2009

70 - A man of integrity planted like a tree of life

Enduring symbols of life

Planted in a courtyard not too far from my maternal grandmother’s old house is a tree whose sapling roots were buried in earth as a commemoration of the day a nephew was born.

That tree is 70 today; there are many ways in which I tried to chicken out of the celebrations and others where I have earnestly desired to be part of those celebrations, but for unforeseen and other circumstances one observes from afar.

A man of men

A man of great intellect but most importantly of integrity upon to whom one would look and be caught up in respect and reverence, so worthy of emulation.

The achievements are many, qualified as an accountant winning many prizes 40 years ago, pioneered as the indigenous professional in many companies proving demonstratively claims to effectively leadership and sterling expertise as the pall of colonial leadership was removed.

His grandmother was a particular driving force in his career and character development, she gave up much to ensure he could attend school and reach a point he also learnt the importance of good education and necessary qualifications.

She lived long to see him successful and excel amongst his peers.

A light in the community

One can dwell on his personal achievements but this man is a leader, an innovator, an inspiration, a mentor in some many ways, I hear of the many he encouraged, helped and pushed to the successes they all have today, this man enjoys making others successful.

He has a no-nonsense approach to issues and is hardly ever taken by sentimentality when objectivity was the better though difficult course of action.

He was squarely in the middle of all developments in our village of Ijesha-Ijebu in Ogun State and that is an entirely different place from Ijebu-Ijesha in another state.

The electrification project, the building of the cathedral, the schools improvement programme as well as the secondary school against the negative forces of darkness had their coordination and ultimate consummation through him.

He has served the church diligently with his professional skills and sat on boards of seminaries for which he is also being honoured today.

Enviable virtues to emulate

Too many things to mention but when he was offered the high chieftaincy title of the right-hand of the king, of all his peers, he was probably the most deserving of it by reason of his selfless duty and leadership.

As a man, he has the most desirable virtues, honesty, trustworthiness, integrity and principle; he is incorruptible, unflappable, meticulous and wise.

If you engage him in conversation, as I love to, it is refreshing with good analysis and a very keen memory, then humour, you wonder how one could have differences with him, but such happens.

A commendation

This is hardly a tribute as one would dearly love to write in more flowing prose, I used to be enamoured by his command of English; now, in nuanced or direct speech we get along so well.

I do not remember too many playful times of, but given the opportunity today, I would play, laugh, hug and even dare to say, I love you dearly. And I really do. One cannot wish for a better forebear.

By character, by example, by conduct, by responsibility, by achievement and by recognition, here is a man of great integrity that I honour, respect, acknowledge and revere.

I commend to you, that nephew, my father and dad, he is 70 today. Happy Birthday! Daddy.

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