As Obasanjo, Akeredolu, Fayemi, Oyetola eulogise Fasoranti
Dayo Johnson – Akure
Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo led other serving governors and eminent personalities from all works of life to celebrate the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti as he marks his 94th birthday.
The serving governors include Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, and Osun State governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
Former governors present include that of Ogun and Kwara states, Gbenga Daniel and Cornelius Adebayo and other notable Afenifere leaders Supo Sonibare, Yinka Odumakin, Sehinde Arogbofa, Chief Olu Falae, Prof. Banji Akintoye, Chief Sola Ebiseni, former Ogun deputy governor Gbenga Kaka, and Kunle Olajide amongst others.
Pa Fasoranti at the occasion made a public presentation and the formal launch of his autobiography titled ‘ My Life, My Legacy’.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the International Event Centre, the Dome, the former President Obasanjo who was also the chairman of the occasion, described Fasoranti as a special gift to the Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.
Obasanjo however assured the Afenifere leader that he would see the Nigeria of his dream before his demise.
Obasanjo said: “Papa Fasoranti l feel your sense of frustration as you are getting to your departure and you are wondering that is this the Nigeria of my dream that I (Fasoranti) had laboured for?
“But I want to assure you that I have a vision of a new Nigeria, I see new understanding among Nigerians, new awareness among Nigerians, new realisations among Nigerians.
The books you launched today is one of the legacies you’re leaving behind and the coming generation will refer to it.
“We hope for the best for Nigeria. We will continue to follow your footstep and examples.
“My vision is that you will see the Nigerian of your dream before you depart, the Nigeria you’ve laboured for, and our founding fathers.
“They didn’t wish for a disintegrated Nigeria but a united, progressive and united Nigeria. In your lifetime we will achieve the Nigeria of your dream.
In his welcome address, Pa Fasoranti his wish to build a public digital library to articulate and archive critical events of Nigeria’s history; pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial, to be established in his life time.
Fasoranti called on all stakeholders to ensure the project was completed before his departure.
In his address which was read on his behalf by Basorun Seinde Arogbofa, the Afenifere leader said “Time is no longer my friend, though, but with you, great and understanding people, time can still be bought to get the project accomplished before my time is finally out. I now respectfully welcome and invite you to make the project a reality. I wish you safe journey back at the end of the exercise.
“In my life adventures, l have tried to see what I could leave behind for humanity. To this extent, I have tried to invest in human beings.
“I have served the people at both local, state, and national levels and shown the way to selfless services I have experimented with western education to set examples I have also made some input into human capacity building.
“Of late, however, it occurred to me that I must have a project as a centre to harness and concretise all these; something unique, more lasting, modest, noble and useful in lifting up humanity.”
Fasoranti, a former Commissioner for Finance, in Ondo State “My story that I am leaving here for you, is, to the best of my ability, the truth. It may prick or move or even challenge you one way or the other as you read it.
“But while recommending the book to you to read, I can’t but prepare your minds for some of my worries about the State of the Nation which I invite you to share with me and find early solutions to.
“At over 94 years I am still here with you because of the grace of God and even though as an individual I am fulfilled, I regret to say that all is not well with the country, no thanks to the insecurity of life and property, worsening unemployment of abIe-bodied citizens leading to all manners of crimes, threatening famine which is a conspiracy between mother nature and the ravaging of the land by ever surging marauders and so on.
“I call on all concerned to quickly arrest all these before they tear the country apart. Beloved countrymen, this is not the Nigeria of my, nay our, dream.
“ln my life adventures, l have tried to see what I could leave behind for humanity.
“To this extent, I have tried to invest in human beings. I have served the people at both local, state, and national levels and shown the way to selfless services I have experimented with western education to set examples I have also made some input into human capacity building.
“That is the essence of my using the opportunity of the presentation of ”My Life, My Legacy to raise funds to establish “A democratic institute to inculcate and entrench desired.
The chairman of the Nigerian governor’s forum and the Ekiti governor, Kayode Fayemi promised that three governors (Akeredolu, Oyetola and himself) would pool resources together to build and deliver the public digital library to him as their contribution to his dream project.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, in his remarks, described Fasoranti as an icon of the nation who used most part of his life molding the young ones.
Akeredolu said: “Many of your students are proud of you because made an impact on their lives. You are our pride in Ondo State and in Nigeria.
He said that “You are not only the pride of Akure Town, Ondo State but pride to Nigeria as a whole. Before your eyes the country will change for good.”