By Segun Odegbami
Diary of my fascinating two days visits to Ekiti, Ondo
It is a few seconds to midnight. It has been a truly terrific day.
At 10am earlier today, we went for the birthday Mass (church service) inside the Government house Chapel.
My day was made when I found that the service was to be conducted by my two very good friends and spiritual fathers – Bishops of the Catholic Church, Badejo of the Oyo Diocese and Felix Ajakaiye of the Ekiti Diocese.
The homily and the service were fantastic, with Bishop Ajakaiye ‘altering’ service protocol by publicly inviting me to the front of the pulpit to be acknowledged. He is one of the greatest fans of Nigerian football and footballers that I know.
After the service we moved to the huge tents erected within the government house premises for the reception.
It was a star-studded event with at least 8 State governors ‘breezing’ in and out of the venue, within the space of one hour, to honour the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, the celebrant, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. They came and left in a ‘breeze’ , all within an hour, with their battery of security officers and aides in tow!
The Governors of Sokoto, Jigawa, Ogun, Lagos, Edo, Ondo, Abia, and Kaduna were present.
A book on the celebrant was presented to the public after a panel discussion by his colleagues across the spectrum of his works. Each panelist told thwir peculiar experience making us know him through his works in various fields – in civil society, in academics, in service to humanity, in politics and in governance.
The consensus was that Dr. Fayemi is a quintessential great leader.
The event became an evening of superlative tributes to a deep mind and a great man by different segments of society.
One segment was left out during the service but was captured in the very last picture in the beautiful programme booklet the event – Sports. The picture is of JFK on the football field. The man loves sports too.
At about 5 pm the program ended. We left the venue, returned to our hotel, packed our things and headed, at 6pm, for a one hour trip to Akure to meet with Arakurin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo State, in continuation of our ARG consultation on “Amotekun”.
We had an absolutely brilliant two hours of a great conversation with the governor, held over tea, selected from some of the best collection of assorted teas that I have ever seen. The family must love tea a great deal.
We left government house elated and in high spirit. It has been a fascinating two days.
The South West States, for the first time in a long while, have become united, without reservation, on the way forward for the zone’s future course and cause, irrespective of political affiliations.
But there is still a lot of work to be done in the area of enlightenment of the people about the “Amotekun’ project, philosophy and promise.
“Amotekun” may evolve into the great instrument that will drive peace, restructuring, and the kind of development the country has been groping for in the darkness of Nigerian politics all these years since democracy began and became, in the eternal words of Fela, ‘a demonstration of craze’.
That is what ARG will soon embark upon in all the South West States – to provide some illumination for “Amotekun”.
It is almost midnight as I write this. I want to broadcast it before I lay my head to rest and to sleep.
In the morning we shall leave for Ibadan for another crucial meeting in continuation of ARG’s service to the Yoruba, and to Nigeria.