“After rain comes sunshine; After darkness comes the glorious dawn. “Behind the ugly terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity. So, tear the mask!”
– Chief Obáfémi Awólòwò
In our lives, we all go through a lot of experiences. The totality of the experiences makes our personalities. The constellation of the experiences forms our worldview. They form the kernel of our philosophies of and about life. They underscore our individual uniqueness. They are the pistons of the engines that drive us. They propel, impel and push for positive accomplishment when properly appropriated and channeled.
The primordial attachment which forms the undercurrents of pure and plain patriotism of Ìjèsà people could never be comprehended unless one is raised as one. Unless one is raised in the rubrics of Ìjèsà cosmology and psychology, fathoming what it means to be Ìjèsà would be a yeoman’s titanic task. The love, affection, commitment and engagement of Ìjèsà to their land is embedded in the essential characteristics that define them collectively but which are incorrigibly and uncompromisingly exuded in their individualities.
The beauty of Ìjèsà is a distinct character that premiumized self – dignity, self pride without the tinges of arrogance. A character that primes untainted integrity and fierce streak of independence. Hard-working. Forthright. Bold. Courageous. Respectful. Industrious. Adventurous. And the seminality of their brilliance is patently self-evident across the aisles of all professions, trades and endeavors.
It is the consolidation of these attributes that have been brought to bear on their determination to take care of themselves and their land. They have come together to do great things for their people. Ìjèsà land has suffered neglect for several decades from various governments. We have been taken for granted. Ìjèsà land despite contributing more than 55% of the Internally Generated Revenue in Osun State has not received commensurate attention from the State Government. Also, of the privately owned corporate outfits in Nigeria, the International Breweries, PLC is number eight in taxes remitted. Yet, there is no presence of the Federal Government that could be pointed to.
But here is a new day in Ìjèsà land. A new era has arrived to change the narratives of neglect to that of self-actualization. The daughters and sons of Ìjèsà land who are distinguished in so many endeavors are coming together to build a new day for ourselves and a beautiful tomorrow for the coming generation.
We are better organized than hitherto. We are more united. We are more focused. We are more determined. We are more dedicated. We are more devoted. There is a contagious enthusiasm permeating the milieu of Ìjèsà land. There is an epizootic zealotry suffusing the sons and daughters of Ìjèsà, both at home and in diaspora. Thanks to the shining leadership examples provided by the likes of Professor Folúsó Òkúnmádéwá in the birth of Ìjèsà Development Council (IDC).
Many of us have contributed in our own little ways to make this a resounding success. This commissioning of the Ìjèsà Geriatric Center, exactly ten months from when the contract was awarded is the evidence of a new day in Ìjèsà land. This calls for the celebration of our leaders who have been able to solidify our trust and confidence in them. Our leaders have convinced the world, that where you have accountable and responsible leadership, a lot could be achieved.
The conception had been mooted by the assiduous Asíwájú Olayínká Fásuyì as early as December 2019 while he was anchoring the building of a befitting palace for the Owá Obòkun Àdìmúlá of Ìjèsà Land. One of our compatriots had chided him for executing a project that has no impact on the ordinary people of Ìjèsà land. Asíwájú Fásuyì who understood his own mission, did not see the chiding as a rebuke but a challenge to be met.
What followed was the constitution of a Three Man Committee of experts by Asíwájú Fásuyì. The Committee consisted Professor Isaac Fólórunsó Adéwolé (IFA), Professor Oyèwùsì Géreje and Professor Bíódún Ilésanmí to evaluate the needs of Ìjèsà in terms of health provision. The Committee eventually turned out to be The Project Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC).
It must be noted that our own Kábíyèsí, Owá Obòkun Àdìmúlá of Ìjèsà land, Oba (Dr.) Adekúnlé Arómolárân II, ab initio blessed this project when it was conceptualized. The success we are witnessing today, without any scintilla of doubt, stemmed from his prayers and blessing. We say congratulations to Kábíyèsí.
We celebrate our own Asíwájú Oláyínká Fásuyì. He has been living and acting out the essence of an Asíwájú. He has been a positive catalyst for Ìjèsà land. A stimulant for success. A propellant of progress. A spur for patriotism. An impetus for prosperity. The exudation of his patriotism has been infectious. It is a yeoman’s task to command the trust and confidence of Ìjèsà people. He, by dint of his love and affection for Ìjèsà land, his commitment, openness and accountability, has been able to provide visionary leadership and got the rest of us to buy into that vision.
He is an epitome of accountability. An exemplification of dedication. When the Palace Project was completed, NGN 36 million was unspent and rolled over to the “Health is Wealth Project” that has produced the most modern, first privately owned Geriatric Center in Nigeria and West Africa. One has been reliably informed that at the completion of this new project, nothing less that NGN 50 million would be left! This would be the seed money for a new project that would soon be unveiled.
Since it has pleased the Kábíyèsí, His Imperial Majesty, Owá Obòkun Àdìmúlà of Ìjèsà land, Oba Adékúnlé Arómolárân to honour our very own dear brother, Oláyínká Fásuyì, with the title of Asíwájú of Ìjèsà land, the elements have patently realigned propitiously. The skies have become bluer. The streams have swirled with zest. The ornateness of nature has become more nectarous. The rain has been timely. And the sun, usually lackadaisical in detaching the dazzling drapes of dawn, has never disappointed.
Asíwájú Fásuyì has proved himself to be the man who takes joy in confronting difficult tasks as long as it would benefit his Ìjèsà people. As pointed out elsewhere, Asíwájú Fásuyì is like the Bob Marley’s “Small Axe”, not afraid to cut down any big tree. He knows no mountain he could not climb. He knows no valley he could not traverse. Neither does he know any river he could not swim for his people, for Ìjèsà Land. He could not be discouraged. He gives of himself selflessly and generously.
A quintessential Management Consultant and an eminently successful businessman, Asíwájú Oláyínká Fásuyì has successfully, through these projects, captured the imagination of serious minded Ìjèsà sons and daughters across the globe. He has turned our fantasy into reality. He has inspired the innate ingenuity in us. He has been able to activate our intrinsic intelligence and inventiveness. He has been able to trigger our originality and our resourcefulness. He has made us believe that, with the right leadership, a lot could be done.
We acknowledge the PTAC consisting the three of the best brains in medical world. Prof Isaac Fólórunsó Adéwolé (IFA), chairs the three – man committee. He was the former Nigerian Minister of Health and a former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan. Prior to his appointment as the 11th substantive vice-chancellor of the university, he served as provost at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, the largest and oldest medical school in Nigeria.
On the Committee with him is Prof Oyèwùsì Gúreje, the most published scholar in the annals of academic history in Nigeria in any field. He blazed the trail by being the first African to obtain D.Sc in the field of psychiatry by examination (at the last count, there are only three of them). Designated as “Professor Extraordinary” at the Department of Psychiatry, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Prof. Gúreje is the Director of World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, Neurosciences, Drug and Alcohol Abuse. On the global scene, Prof. Gúreje belongs to the “top 1% cited researchers in the area of psychiatry and psychology” and, according to Clarivate Analytics, he is one of the “most influential scientific minds.”
Completing the Committee is Prof. Bíódún Ilésanmí, a world renowned obstetrician and gynecologist, and former Chief Medical Director of UCH, Ibadan. He developed the assisted reproductive technology center otherwise known as the IVF and open-heart surgery in the University of Ibadan’s College Hospital, Ibadan. Endoscopic and gyne-endoscopic “pin hole” surgeries too have been conducted under his direction. He is also a pioneer of Telemedicine.
The Committee assisted in identifying the choice of Geriatric Centre, generated the MOU between Ìjèsà Health is Wealth Project and Obáfémi Awólòwò University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) as well as advised on the infrastructural layout for the Geriatric Centre among others.
Then there is the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (PMEC) led by our own Alhaji Lateef Àkàndé Bákàrè (LAB). LAB, as he is adoringly and commonly called the world over, became a Chartered Accountant at age 21. A purpose driven and focused personality, exposed early in life to corporate management of capital and human resources with cognate experience which spans over forty years at best rated international organizations within and outside Nigeria.
He is ably supported by Her Excellency, Erelú Olúsolá Agbéja-Obadá, a former Minister of Defence and former Deputy Governor of Òsun State who is also a lawyer and a financial investment guru. Also on the PMEC is Eng. Yemí Ògúntóminíyì, a former Director in the Federal Ministry of Works, a committed professional engineer who has distinguished himself in various aspects of his profession.
Engr. Bólá Olówè, an international consultant on power and water resources is on PMEC too. Engr. Olówè’s knowledge about his field is so deep that a former Minister of Industrialization for the Namibian government once wondered about the vastness of his experience. Mr. Iyìolá Fáníyì, the proprietor of Rest Park and Gardens, Ilésà, Hon. Timothy Owóèye, Speaker of Òsun State House of Assembly and Engr. Olúségun Òkèbíòrun, a retired Comptroller General of the Federal Fire Service are their compatriots.
The Committee provided oversight on the activities of PMT and PTAC, provided recommendations on all financial and fiduciary issues before financial disbursements and provision of recommendations on all procurement of civil, goods, and consultancy services. The body also monitored, supervised, and evaluated, all contractual obligations involving Ìjèsà Health is Wealth Project and generated and reported to the plenary regularly on the outcome of all Monitoring and Evaluation exercises.
The Project Management Team (PMT) is led by Asíwájú Yínká Fásuyì himself. He is ably supported as Vice-Chairman by Prince (Rev) Adélówò Adébíyî the spokesperson of The Òsun Progressives (TOP). He is found anywhere the progress of Ìjèsà Land is being discussed and acted upon. Others on the PMT include Mr. Wálé Ìdòwú, an amiable and hardworking gentleman as General Secretary, Chief Afolábí Ìgbàróolá, an unrepentant apostle of unity in Ìjèsà land and a Chartered Accountant as Treasurer.
We also have the Iron lady, Mrs. Modúpé Àjàyí-Gbádébò, a philosopher, lawyer and veteran journalist as the Legal Adviser, Engr. Bùsáyò Àlùkò is the Technical Adviser (Engineering), while the indefatigable, irrepressible and blithesome Dr. (Col.) Akin Moses hold the fort as Technical Adviser (Medical). Dr. Moses’ toughness advertises his military background while his humaneness is attested to as a medical practitioner.
In the efforts to raise fund for the medical equipment, our own Amazon, Mrs. Olúwáyémisí Àpèké Ìyàndá has been wonderful. Fiercely patriotic, she is an entrepreneur that showed acute organizational ability. She showcased meticulous attention to transactions and insisted on accurate records. Aside from what she personally contributed, she paid a lot of banking fees for those who sent in money from Nigeria, in order to change naira donation to dollar equivalent of what they intended to contribute, without calling attention. Her dignity is only imbued by her integrity. She is a leader that is uncommon.
The efforts of Chief Lékan Kómoláfé in this regard are recognized and acknowledged. He was able to mobilize his people in Baltimore axis in the State of Maryland and beyond, to contribute their own quota to the medical equipment fund.
It is important to acknowledge Chief Akínwándé Akinolá, the Sàwè of Ilésà for his inspiration. He has been an inimitable source of encouragement. Chief Akinolá is an elucidation of the true Ìjèsà spirit. He embodies the true basic characteristics of an authentic Ìjèsà man – learned, dignified, tough, principled, discipline, committed, considerate, hardworking and imbued with innate pride as euphemism for self-respect. He is an exemplar of unburnished patriotism.
Always inspiring and applauding those of us who are much younger and at times, young enough to be his children. He is always saying “Ilé l’àbò sinmi oko.” He is always pricking and pushing us to invest in Ilésà or our surrounding villages and towns. He is a committed Ìjèsà man. He works to lift up and improve Ilesa from different fora. He is always putting forth ideas and has become unwittingly, a clearing house of ideas about how to develop Ilesa, the social, economic and political capital of Ijesa land. He has worked so hard to foster unity among the younger generation for the purposes of the development of Ijesa land. He is a worthy patriot.
We acknowledge every son and daughter of Ìjèsà land that has contributed fund to this project. With a total of NGN 654, 208,555.00 (Six hundred and fifty four million, two hundred and eight thousand, five hundred and fifty five naira only) contributed within 365 days, we have showcased how magnificent we are. Without the love, affection, commitment and patriotism of everyone, this could not have been possible. We have demonstrated faith. We have shown trust and confidence in the leadership. We have given the leadership a benefit of the doubt. We all bought into the vision and the mission it encapsulates. In this endeavour, everyone and everybody is equally appreciated.
To the glory of almighty God of our forefathers, Elédùmarè, and the progress as well as benefit of Ìjèsà people, the Ìjèsà Geriatric Center is being commissioned today. As Chief Obáfémi Awólòwò advised, we, the Ìjèsà sons and daughters are tearing the “mask of misfortune” .and neglect in order to behold the “beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity.”
Together, we have shown our magnificence as a people. Congratulations.
©️ Rèmí Oyèyemí
Omo Owá, Omo Ekùn
March 31, 2022.