By Babatunde Kaka
The Provost, Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Associate Professor Nosiru Olajide Onibon, has called for selfless leadership in the collective quest to hoist Epe Division, and the Nigerian state at large to greater heights.
Prof Onibon made the call in an interview at MOCPED premises on Wednesday 13th October 2021, where family, friends, well-wishers and colleagues turned out en masse to felicitate with the veteran academician on the occasion of his 54th birthday celebration.
Onibon, who noted that development can only thrive in a just and fair society, disclosed that his detribalized nature has helped create a conducive atmosphere for all to thrive.
“Sentiments thrive where there is no development, where hope is lost. Where you find everybody having hope, nobody would remember his tribe. What makes people give more currency to tribal or religious sentiment is because there is no fair play and justice outside there. If as indigenes of this community and Nigerians by extension we identify with humanity, we wouldn’t be where we are.
In my home town for instance, at a time I was accused by both sides of the divide of being closer to one side against the other. However, I’m for everybody. So, if people come to me for help, It’s not as if I won’t help them, It’s just that I may not have the opportunity to honour their requests,” he stated.
The Islamic scholar further drew references from his family background and adumbrated how he was able to navigate through diversity during his formative years, a quality that has helped him steer through the inevitable ambiguities associated with highly demanding leadership designations like his.
“From day one, I’ve always believed in One Epe. As I grew up, it was like that for me as a person. In my family, you’ll find the two sides who have long gotten married to each other. For instance, the former Noibul Imam of Epe Central Mosque, Ita-Opo, was married to my sister and when she died, she was buried in the husband’s house.
Only God knows how many I’ve assisted, whether Eko or Ijebu, I don’t care and as a Muslim, the first thing I see is humanity and that must be imbibed by everyone. We all come from Adam and we’re created by one God. Our tribes are determined by Almighty God. So, God didn’t instruct us to practice selective righteousness.
The seasoned scholar also rolled back the years, recalling how wistful it felt after he missed the chance to enroll into the legal profession, which happened to be his preferred career choice as a youngster. He, however, drew a sense of satisfaction that he has eventually reached the pinnacle of his chosen career path, stating “I can’t see or remember what I’ve done to regret even though I would have thought it is because I did not eventually become a Lawyer but then here’s nothing regrettable about that. Even if I become a lawyer, I’ll still need to have the basic things of life which Almighty Allah has provided. Alhamdulillah.”
Onibon also expressed gratitude to God, his family, friends, well wishers and colleagues who exhibited strong sentiments of love and goodwill on the occasion of his birth anniversary through prayers, felicitations and gift items.
“I take much more delight for my leisure time with my family in most cases. I keep a low profile, staying indoors with my family, we do a lot of things. I play a lot of games with my wife and children. We have indoor and outdoor games like ludo, monopoly, chess. I read and I also party on a very low profile. If it’s a family party, I grace the party and I dance very well. I am a good dancer to a certain extent. I organise an indoor dance competition between me and my wife and I enjoy myself. If invited to a function, I’ll attend if I have the time, so don’t think I don’t have fun or relax during my leisure time,” he stated.
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