They were days of thanks giving and celebration for Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi, member, Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ojo Constituency 2, as he celebrated his 50th birthday.
Suffice to add that he indeed celebrated his entrance into the Golden Jubilee Club in grand and unique style. The youthful looking lawmaker not only celebrated with dance and songs of praise, he also gave back to the society some of the grace God has bestowed on him.
On the morning of Friday, 22nd February, which was the actual anniversary of his birth, Muslim clerics from his constituency were the first to visit. They held more than an hour long prayer session for the birthday. Ogunyemi, despite being a devoted Christian, has never discriminated on basis of religion. His de-tribalised nature and religious tolerance know no bound hence the Islamic clerics were the first to acknowledged his good nature, humility and accommodating features.
After the prayer session, pronto, Ogunyemi headed for the Citadel of Grace Orphanage Home at Igando where he donated cash and consumable goods to the inmates. “I’m thanking God for sparing my life and giving me His blessings and one of the ways I can do this is by showing love to children in this Home and give them a sense of belonging that somebody out there knows and appreciates their existence,” he said.
After the Orphanage programme, it was time to make the people who made him their representative in the Assembly happy and he did not disappoint.
The main auditorium of the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto-Ijanikin venue of the empowerment programme, was packed full of expectant people. However, when they were going back home at the end of the event the expectant look had changed to expression of joy as their representative has indeed made them happy.
At the event, petty traders, widows and aged were empowered either to improve their businesses or to start small scale businesses of their own. Students were not left out as they were also given cash to assist them in their studies while a graduate was also given money.
“We will continue to put in place measures and programmes that are aimed at reducing poverty among our people. For me it is better to teach people how to fish rather than giving them fish to eat,” the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources and Waterfront Infrastructure Development said.
At grand finale of the birthday celebration which took place on Saturday, 23rd February, 2013 at the K and G Events Centre, Oregun, prominent people were not only on hand to honour the lawmaker, they were also there to testify to his good behaviour, humility, generosity, and ability to accommodate people irrespective of age, status, religion or creed.
“I have known him for a long time and since that time we have remained very close. Ogunyemi is a man of God; a good and loving husband to his wife; a loving and doting father to his children; and in spite of his young age, an astute political leader who has used his position to recommend and enthrone council chairmen, lawmakers and several appointments to people. He is my younger brother but a very good one at that,” Honourable Bisi Yusuf, Ogunyemi’s colleague in the Assembly said.
Another lawmaker, Wahab Alawiye-King, described Ogunyemi as a man of honour whose contributions on issues in the Assembly are always respected. “He is imbued with wisdom and he is an experienced politician but very humble,” he said.
There were also moving and inspiring testimonies from prominent politicians such as: Chief Mufutau Olatunji Hamzat, former Deputy Governor of the state, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye; Auditor General for Local Governments in Lagos State, Mubasiru Hassan; Lagos State Commissioner for Rural Development, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi; and member, House of Representatives for Ikeja Federal Constituency, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke among others.
The Speaker of the state Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, led other members of the Assembly to the event. The Secretary to the State Government of Osun, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti represented the Osun Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola; the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, was also in attendance just as the state Commissioners for Energy and Mineral Resources as well as information and Strategy: Taofeek Tijani and Lateef Ibirogba respectively were also there.
The highlight of the event was an inspiring goodwill message from the Governor of the state, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, read by the Master of Ceremony, Deji Balogun.
A book, ‘Lanre Ogunyemi: Loyalty, Perseverance, Service’ which chronicles the political activities of the celebrant was presented at the occasion.
It was an elated and overwhelmed Ogunyemi who at the end of the event sang songs of praise of different types to eulogise God for His mercies and express appreciation to those who have honoured him.
By Jumu’ah Abiodun