BEING THE REMARK OF DR. NAJEEM FOLASAYO SALAAM AT THE SPECIAL SESSION IN COMMEMORATION OF HIS BIRTHDAY ON 8TH AUGUST 2018.
As a Muslim and a leader of the faith in my community, I know as a matter of religious doctrine that gratitude is the breakfast, lunch and dinner that one can serve his God to not only to appreciate the gift of life, but also to open doors for more favours. Even if a human being does well to us, our mode of appreciation would determine his disposition to us in the future.
Yoruba proverb has it that a person who obtains our favour but chooses to ignore gratitude is not different from a common thief who steals our belonging. In the context of this, I am grateful to Almighty God, the Cherisher of the universe, the most merciful, the most benevolent, for the gift of life; for making me faring thus far in this assignment as the Speaker of this distinguished parliament and for blessing me with good friends and allies as colleagues. Lord I thank you.
The journey of my life causes a reflection for anyone who cares a hoot to listen and I would be generous to think aloud here, because this may be the last birthday I will be having here as the Speaker of this parliament.
In the first instance, I must say that it is a known story that I lost my mother at age of two, a time a child needs mother’s care and love most. So, if the psychological theory that argues for upbringing as determinant factor for child’s success in life is to be held with utmost truth; my story has proved that wrong, thanks to the woman, my mother’s sister who raised me and my younger sister. What I thought happened is that God is the destiny author and He has perfected His script on all of us.
Ordinarily, some people could give excuses why they could not obtain good education and one of it could be that they did not have parent who would undertake such journey for them, but my story seems to have proved that wrong too, because I read to the peak of academic engagement-Doctor of Philosophy in political science by divine arrangement, not by human enhancement. What that tells me is that God is the finisher of faith and fate.
My political journey is another testimony that God is on the throne. I started as Supervisory Councillor and I rose to become House of Assembly member and later elected as the first among the equals in this hallowed chamber without money to bribe my colleagues or a “godfather”. What that tells me is that God is the Designer of life and nature.
What shocks me most is the kind of love ordinary people on the streets across the state showed me when I chose to vie for the post of governor of the state. I was shocked, because I am neither a moneybag nor the most connected politician in the race, but the affection and solidarity I received on the day of my formal declaration were so awesome to the extent that those who do not share my political view agree with me that God is at work. What that tells me further is that, God is the Front-runner in the affairs of men.
Having acknowledged my God, I must show gratitude to those who have been there for me in life. My mother and father, may the Lord continue to rest them; I thank them for giving birth to me; I am forever grateful to “Iya Agba” my great mother who raised me from infancy. I thank my siblings for believing in me right from time.
My gratitude to Hon. Tayo Ilupeju for assisting my political career at the threshold, I am most grateful to my good people of Ejigbo for making me who I am today. I am indebted to my colleagues who supported me to lead this honourable House in the last seven years and I appreciate Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his role in bringing this government in which I am one of the prime beneficiaries some seven and half years ago. My gratitude to Ogiyan of Ejigbo, Oba Omowunola Oyeyode Oyesosin and some traditional rulers who stood by me in the hour of need; I thank my supporters, friends, allies and aides who have been with me all this while. There will still time to celebrate you before our departure.
Thank you all for celebrating today with me……..