It is good to remember our past leaders who have contributed immensely to the various regions, most expecially in Africa. The Ijebu-Imushin Management Board has again organised a befitting posthumous award day in honour and remembrance of respectful parents and leaders in Africa, Ogun State to be precise.
The significance of this induction ceremony can best be described as the realisation of a dream and vision fulfilled in line with the known culture of its community.
This 2017 first year posthumous award day was filled with personalities from South Africa, Abuja, Lagos and within Ijebu axis.
The families, friends of the awardees and all distinguished guests made the awards presentation and induction of the year 2017 an epoch-making occasion. Ijebu-Imushin community has been exemplified severally by the forebears, whose courage, focus and steadfastness in the pursuit of their dreams faced many obstacles and never gave up.
Some of the aims and objectives of the Hall of Fame among others are to immortalize people, be they are Ijebu-Imushin citizens or others from anywhere in the world through placing on records the deeds and achievements of such personalities which hopefully could serve as incentives and inspiration to others now and most especially the future generations. It is also to have a place where information on great achievers can easily be obtained; this could be of advantage to rural dwellers.
In a short welcome address delivered by the Alayeluwa Oba S.A Onafowokan, the Oloko of Ijebu-Imushin, he noted that the grace to have sons and daughters who are enlightened, who have the desire to elevate our community into greater heights through the longitudinal transfer of technology to our community as done in other enlightened and developed communities of the world, which are Dr. Micheal Omolayole, Otunba Maj. Gen. S.A. Odunsi, Late Otunba Maj. Gen. T.B Ogundeko and a host of others that time may not permit me to mention.
We appreciate you all and urge you to do more. Our communities are abreast of what happens in the advanced countries of the world by establishing a Hall of Fame. We believe we are first in Nigeria, in other words, we believe we are trail blazers.
Major Gen. Samson Odunsi, the chairman to the Local Management Board in Ijebu-Imushin Hall of Fame was also quoted to have said, “we believed we are the first as we had done in a number of programmes before where we blazed the trail, such as our Annual rally over 70 years, building of a domestic science laboratory over 70 years and many more.
This is one reason, among others, why we have striven to publish in a handbook some of what took place before today.
We hope it would become a module and template which could be adopted for future use. Some of what it (the handbook) contains, I believe, you may find quite interesting. For example, as a process, an indigene (sponsor) who wants to celebrate someone of his choice (based on best known reasons) would nominate an individual to the LMB.
“As we always say, God does not make mistakes; his creating us in this community can therefore not be seen as a mistake. This is why we all must come together and work for the advancement of the community.
“Unity as the saying goes is strength. I believe our patriots of old in this community did not do all they did, be it in the field of education, religion (they built schools, mosques and churches), communication (built post offices), social services (electricity, water and roads), political-cultural (organised a unifying rally, fought to relocate to this town provincial administrative seat of government at that time), commerce (uninterrupted operation of Oja (market) Imusin this past 1000 to 2000 years and banking).
“I believe we are made for this moment in this community, we will seize this opportunity we have to take it to greater heights, this we can do as long as we seize it together.
“To my fellow members of the Local Management Board, the Ijebu-imushin Planning Board, (the umbrella organization on whose shoulders the development and uplift of this community rests), please permit me to remind you that recently this Library was publicly handed over to this community by the City Profs Educational Foundation, (the NGO that showed us the way and facilitated this programme here), HRH Kabiyesi Oba Oloko publicly handed over the library to us (my humble self representing all of us).
“This action by our Kabiyesi we should note is pregnant with meanings, that is Trust and Confidence. Kabiyesi and our people believe in us, this is what this means and has provided us with the opportunity to prove ourselves by excelling especially when some people may not have such a high level of confidence that we can excel. Your Highness and all our Royal Highnesses, we thank you all and I promise we will not fail you.
“In some years ago, this Ijebu-Imushin E-Library was commissioned. The Hall of Fame in which eminent personalities found worthy of being inducted today were carved from it. We believe these HOF will live for several hundreds of years with inductees names and records being here and also being in other HOF around the world (when the one here would have been accredited).
“For my dear colleagues on this journey, let me remind us that if we are walking down the right path and are willing to keep walking, eventually we will make progress”, the chairman concluded.
For the consul-general from the South Africa who also presented a speech on the significance of the occasion, he explained that for both South Africa and Nigeria, “this is the day in which we will stand out in history as the most important day in our bilateral relations. A day which further consolidates our commitment for a shared prosperity as brothers and sisters.
“The honour bestowed today on our late President Mandela means much more to our sister countries. It is the reinforcement of a deep solidarity steeped in history. Our forebears Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela and many others, made sacrifices so that today our people can have a better tomorrow, a better life free from hunger and deprivation.
He explained further, “as a South African, we are grateful for the support of the Nigerian people during our struggle for freedom. But today we are faced with the new challenges, which call on us to recommit to a new solidarity of brotherhood, mutual trust and mutual economic benefits. The legacy of Mandiba demands of us to plan together, work together to extricate ourselves from underdevelopment, poverty, and inequality.
“We must all invest our capability for the welfare of our communities; this will be one of the greatest honour to Mandiba’s service to people with integrity, sincerity and humility. Let this remind us of the values of sincerity, trust, humility, sacrifice and love, which were central to Mandiba’s life.
“More than anything, let us educate our children to serve humanity in perpetual remembrance of Mandiba, for he loved education. One of his favourite quotes on education was education, which is the most powerful weapon in which you can use to change the world; the future of our communities and countries are assured if we can teach the youth.
“This induction into the Hall of Fame shall be a permanent monument of what Mandiba means to both Nigeria and South Africa, but more especially the community of Ijebu-Imushin.
“To all of us, Mandela must mean peace, unity, solidarity, development and prosperity for the people of our sister countries. Not only must we invoke his name as a source of pride, but we must emulate his leadership qualities to change the circumstances of our people in our sister countries for the better.”