To be born is to the glory of God, Who gives and takes. Growing older is a testament to the great grace I have enjoyed, as I have witnessed many of my contemporaries who are no more alive today. I know of many people who are younger but are no more or living a life they are not proud of. For this and many more, I have every reason to praise and glorify Almighty Allah (SWT) who has preserved me to witness another birthday today.
Celebration of one’s birthday is sanctioned in a Hadith, when Prophet was asked why He fast on Mondays and He explained, I was born on Monday and we must seek piety through this great act, fasting on Monday which is the anniversary of the day I was born.
The above verse explains incontrovertibly, the sanction of birthday celebration by Almighty Allah (SWT).
Having said that, clocking 40 may not be special or a landmark, but when compared with what one has encountered in life – the struggles, temptations, trials and so many unimaginable crises in personal, public, political life and even day to day activities, one has no choice than to keep thanking Almighty Allah for the grace to witness today.
I am therefore indebted to Almighty Allah (SWT) and the people who God has used for me in my journey through life. From my birth to the present position, it has been a historical experience, which I will put in writing very soon and the whole world will have the opportunity to know that Teju is beyond the aura of office you see outside there. I have faced a lot in life, from alabaru (load carrier) on the streets of Lagos, Labourer in Cannanland, Bus conductor in Lagos, Okada rider, to Aluminum village in Lagos, later to student activism and finally to a grassroots politician, I can say, I have seen it all.
I also thank Almighty Allah (SWT), who in His infinite mercy has been kind to me and preserving me and my family for his glory. I pray that the souls of my parents rest in peace. I will particularly be eternally grateful to my mother, Late Alhaja, Wosilat Adunni, she was a mother in millions. The foundation of my life was laid by her, may Allah grant her Aljana-Firdaus. Ameen.
The bulk of my appreciation goes to the family that God used to make me who I am, Ogbeni Rauf and Alhaja Sherifat Aregbesola, who have both contributed a lot to my life. They are the drummers to whose beat I keep dancing to. I am grateful for all that God has used them to do in my life. Only God and God alone can appreciate them for me. Asides God and my mother, the Aregbesola’s are the greatest influencers of my life, I salute them.
Let me go personal here, I will like to talk briefly about my father and mentor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. In my public life, I have worked closely with him and not only that, I have study his life, most especially his loyalty to his leaders, friends and associates. One of the greatest attributes of Baba Kabiru is his genuine loyalty to any cause he believes in. In the word of his leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, “Aregbesola is loyal and dependable. He is someone I describe as my partner, comrade, friend and brother”. This loyalty is what he imbedded in us his mentees most especially me. I want to urge all my audience to take this home today; the only way to be successful in any endeavor is to be loyal to the ladder that got us to the top. And anyone who feels betrayed in any way should take solace in the word of a wise man which says, “Still others commit all sorts of evil deeds, claiming karma doesnt exist. They erroneously maintain that since everything is empty, committing evil isn’t wrong. Such persons fall into a hell of endless darkness with no hope of release. Those who are wise hold no such conception.”
Thank you Rauf Aregbesola for making me who I am, I have learnt a lot from you and am still learning, but the greatest knowledge I have acquired from him is to be loyal to a cause consistently and never to betray my friends and benefactor because of anything or whatsoever.
On todays lecture, let me, first of all, thank everybody that joined hands in putting this together, I am surely indebted to you. Also, let me say that you picked a topic that is trending in our political space today.
The topic; EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON INTERNAL SECURITY, A CASE STUDY OF #ENDSARS, HERDSMEN, CYBER-CRIME AND RITUAL KILLINGS in no doubt, is a trending issue across Nigeria, which we must consider as a threat to our existence as a united country. Without labour for so long, the speakers have done justice to the issues and I believe we all benefited from their presentations.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, once said of Media, “There is increasing death of professionalism in the media. The fall in the standard of education, the enveloping cloud of moral turpitude, the erosion of media ethics and the combination of the other factors have conspired to wipe off professionalism in the media”.
While the evolution of social media is commendable, the quality and the genuineness of the news must be of a high standard. We must stay away from fake news in order not to jeopardize the internal security of our country. Without any iota of doubt, the security of Nigeria is been threatening because of fake news and growing suspicion among all the ethnics groups in the country.
Let me emphasize that, no country grow without the security of life and properties of its citizens, let me also quote my mentor on what he said about security, ” No meaningful economic and industrial activity can thrive in an atmosphere riddled with rancor and crisis. Central to peace, in turn, is the positive productive engagement of the active working population in any society “. Ogbeni continued, “But more importantly, we must keep the peace, promote national unity and cooperation, shun division and conflict generating behaviors and practices”.
In the light of this, I will urge us all, particularly, youth, not to tear the fabrics of our unity as a country with the wrong usage of social media. Verify your news and use social media to promote national unity.
Once again, kudos to the discussants for a job well done, may Almighty Allah (SWT) increase your wisdom.
On our empowerment program, The Ishola Foundation was established in honour of my late father, to assist the less privileged in kwara state particularly and the nation at large. This foundation, since its establishment has trained, hundreds of students on how to be self-sufficient without waiting for a job that’s not available. This takes me back to today’s discussion which bothers on the increase of crime in our society. One area we must tackle is unemployment. We also decided to give a token amount of money to selected women in kwara south, which we plan to extend subsequently. This little amount of money will go a long way in the life of our mothers. I promise to always make myself available to the service of humanity.
Finally, let me use this opportunity to thank my immediate family, your support, endurance and encouragement cannot be overemphasized. May God keep all of us in good health for many years to come. I appreciate my friends, political associates, my staff and everybody around me, you are part of me, may God bless you all.