Honestly speaking, nobody is ready to hear the truth, not a bitter one for that matter. Therefore, pardon me for this white lie I’m about to tell. Though, it is not in my DNA to lie and didn’t intend to take that path but for my brother, Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, Special Assistant on Media to the Hon. Minister of State for Transportation, Prince (Hon) Demola Adegoroye, who is also the publisher of Trace Magazine, who recently presented his book; ‘Aketi: The Courage To Lead In Trying Times’, I might for once.
In retrospect, all that he said about himself while giving his opening speech were not lies. I knew Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan, the author of the book way back in 2006 when he was working with Hope Newspaper, owned by Ondo state government. He used to help our NGO, Coalition for Transparency CT and Hitv then in media works. Also as Editor-at-Large for our defunct social Magazine, Pink. Adeniyan is diligent, professional and focus as ever. He would never demand for money before carrying out his assignments. He is indeed a proud son of the soil, he deserves every accolade and support he is getting in all ramifications.
The book presentation took place at Dome Events Center in Alagbaka. The time of the events was 11am and it was expected that the Guests and other dignitaries ought to have been seated before the arrival of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON who was to signal the commencement of the event at 11:30 am prompt. Unfortunately, people were not available as at scheduled time and the program didn’t start until 12: 40 pm. What an African time?
This African time idea which has now become part of our culture does not in anyway portray us as serious-minded people who understand or appreciate the importance of time. Some have even suggested that Africans have no concept of the future, and that the relaxed attitude towards time portrayed by deliberate lateness to event or functions is one of the impediments militating against our economic development as a people.This is sometimes used in disparaging terms, about our tardiness in appointments, meetings and events.
However, the chairman of the event, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim CFR, the Southern district Senator-elect, has proved himself as a man who is conscious of time. He breezed in at 11:05 and met a handful of people like Baba Ijabiyi, Rt. Hon. Olabimtan, Mr. Razaq Obe, Mrs. Lola Fagbemi and Mrs Ronke Ojo and a few others before he drove back with his entourage after waited for a couple of minutes, which was not good enough. Just imagine if Aketi were around?
The author of the book, a student of Aketi’s leadership academy, in his opening speech, said the book is chronicle of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN CON’s public activities, speeches, lectures, interviews, policies, press releases. The book delves more on Aketi courage and leadership qualities on national issue such as restructuring, cannabis economic benefits, power rotation, state police and creation of Amotekun security corp. Indeed as Aketi’s student, the author demonstrated a remarkable and commendable gesture by presented a cheque of N1million to his Alma Matter, Adu Memorial Grammar School, Akure as part payment for the construction of a library.
The chief host, Prince Demola Adegoroye, Minister of State for Transportation, was brief in his remark. He eulogized Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his courage on national issue. He described him as the voice for the voiceless, and a leader who take the wellbeing and protection of his people as priority at all time.
However, other speakers and the reviewer of the book, Dr. Felix Ale took turn in expressing their views on personality of Aketi , but what they have said were not different from what the Chief Host and the author have had opined on Aketi, except the celebrant who was humbly represented by his loyal Deputy. Hon. Orimisan Ayedatiwa; the guest speaker, Ekiti state governor Mr. Oyebanji, ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Abibat Omolara Adubiaro, and the chairman of the event, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim CFR.
Hon. Lucky Ayedatiwa buttressed the lecture delivered by the Guest speaker with the titled paper; “Reawakening the Restructuring Debate: Setting a National Rebirth Agenda”, that president Buhari have move toward that direction with his recent assent to some Bills that supports devolution of powers and true federalism. Meanwhile, Mr. Oyebanji faulted the federalism as being practiced presently in Nigeria, he however canvassed for the reintroduction of 1963 republican constitution. He said restructuring is the call for a more perfect union that is just, fair, equitable, and functional.
Mounting the podium with his ebullient aura, mesmerized his audience, the person sat beside me didn’t know when he stated that this man will make a good governor for the state. I don’t know how he arrived at that conclusion. No doubt, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim has shown himself to be a true academic and philanthropist, Ondo south is lucky to have him in the Red Chamber comes June this year. I recall my first encountered with him in 2002/2003 in the company of a group known as National Youth Reform NYR planning a summit on ‘southern governorship’ which was disrupted by an irritant group DYC in Okitipupa. As smart and savvy as he was, he knew that the summit was in favour of Dr. Agagu/PDP not for him as ANPP candidate at that time, and declined to honor our invitation as one of the guest speakers.