The Owaale of Ikare, Oba Adefemi Adeleke Adegbite, has declared that those who think the end has come for the immediate past Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in Nigerian politics and governance will be disappointed eventually.
Oba Adegbite maintained that Aregbesola has not reached the peak of his political career, noting that the former governor of the State of Osun still has many years to shine in Nigerian politics.
According to Oba Adegbite, Aregbesola has an innate Omoluabi virtue which makes him an outstanding public figure and a humanist.
The monarch spoke on Saturday at the reception organised by the National Association of Old Students of Akoko Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi Akoko, Ondo State, for the former minister.
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Oba Adegbite said: “Aregbesola is a rare politician with innate Omoluabi virtue. He is responsible, transparent and humane. He is a blessing to many generations.
“Let me state that the end has not come for Aregbesola in Nigerian politics and governance. Those who thinks the end has come for him will be disappointed eventually. He has not reached the peak of his political career. The road to farm will not be blocked to a farmer that has God and cutlass. We shall all be alive to celebrate another good chapter of his life.”
Speaking at the event, Aregbesola appreciated his supporters, lovers and other people who have been welcoming him home after the completion of his tenure as the Minister.
“I thank God for enabling me to serve with distinction, honour and integrity as Minister and returning home to these receptions and tumultuous celebrations. The outpouring of love by the people, friends and associates fills me with the deepest emotions and never ceased to draw tears from eyes”, he stated.
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The former governor maintained that he is a fulfilled man with happiness, saying it is a privilege to have served in various capacities.
He said: “Today, I am happy and fulfilled. It is by the grace of God and a great privilege to have been in a position of leadership three times and to have left indelible footprints on my paths and be celebrated in this manner.”
Aregbesola noted that the quality of education he received while growing up stimulated his education reform when he was the governor of the State of Osun.
He said: “I must also mention however, that the schools across Western Region at the time taught and instilled ethics, social etiquette, morals and leadership and produced these great people.
“This is a testament to a remarkable public education policy and programme of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his people oriented political platform.
“When I became governor in Osun, I sought to replicate this idea. Our administration built 11 state of the art 3,000 capacity model secondary schools, in addition to rehabilitating and upgrading the existing ones.
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“Each school has 72 classrooms which can each comfortably accommodate 49 students and six rooms for study groups. It is equipped with six laboratories, 36 toilets separated equally for boys and girls, two libraries for science and arts each, facility manager’s office, a bookshop and a sick bay.
“We introduced Opon Imo the tablet of Knowledge; a digital education tool, ethics and discipline in public schools and even established a state-wide agency on public school discipline. We introduced calisthenics and school feeding and health programme.
“Nevertheless, our commitment then was from the understanding that there is no alternative to a sound public foundation education.
“All governments must therefore know that no matter how attractive private schools may be, they will never be able to displace government funded public foundation education schools, if we really want to provide education to all the children and stimulate development from bottom up. It is a dream we must never give up on.”
The National President of the National Association of Old Students of Akoko Anglican Grammar School, Arigidi Akoko, Mrs Grace Ajayi, described Aregbesola as an icon, a man of vision, honour and integrity.
According to Ajayi, Aregbesola was celebrated for his outstanding performance in all the public offices he had occupied.
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He said: “We are here today to celebrate an icon, a man of vision, honour, integrity, a generous man full of humour, a highly intelligent industrious man, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, ‘Areshow’ as he was called back in the school.
“Ogbeni is one, out of the many old students of the school who had occupied prominent positions at different levels of government in Nigeria. It is gratifying to note that he has always demonstrated tremendous love and uncommon commitment towards the development of the school and has equally projected the image of the school positively.”