Nigeria-born US medical practitioner, Dr. Marindoti Oludare, has described an elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti as not just a builder of men but also of the nation.
Oludare, who is Convener/National Coordinator of Social Rehabilitation Gruppe (SRG) in a statement titled, “A Prose to a Sage”, issued from Texas, USA, described Akure, Ondo State-born Fassoranti as a leader who could have easily become governor or aspired to be president, but opted to retreat to the background and help in shaping policies that all are today hailing as fantastic.
Recall that Pa Fasoranti who turns 97 on Thursday, was an acolyte of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and later became Finance Commissioner under the Second Republic administration of Governor Adekunle Ajasin in Ondo State.
The story was told of how he, in 1998, turned down an offer by the leadership of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to come bear the governorship flag of the party in Ondo State, on the grounds that he was a widower and needed to attend to his children.
Oludare applauded Fasoranti thus: “No great nations without great leaders. It’s been said that nations don’t make men, men make nations. Some of the founding fathers of the United States became presidents-men like George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Others never aspired to become one-men like Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and Benjamin Franklin. It is among the great men like Benjamin Franklin of the United States that we can classify Pa Reuben Famuyide Fasonranti, succinctly put: A Great Mind.
“Baba Fasoranti is not just a builder of men but a builder of a nation. Long before Nigeria became a sovereign nation, Baba had started working indefatigably to build it through his work as an erudite teacher. Baba’s impact as an educator spanned several generations. He taught many of our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers.”
He also gave him eulogies for standing firm with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, now President-elect, when Afenifere took a stand that power should shift to the South this time round.
“A paragon of integrity, an epitome of grace. Even greater than his lectures in the classes, are the examples that he passes down to us all. Baba has eternally been on the right side of history, from the days of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, to the days of Ajasin, down to his endorsement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Oludare added, saying, “Like the saying goes, “It is not just about the years in your life, but about the life in your years”, Baba Fasoranti has lived many years in this life and had an abundant life in his many years. We the people of Ondo State are so lucky to call Baba our own, we couldn’t have asked for something better from God.
“He is the gift that keeps on giving, the blessed that keeps on blessing and the light that keeps on shinning. We love you, we thank you and we pray that the good Lord grant you many more years in good health and sound mind.
“As we celebrate you on your 97th year on earth, we shall sing your praise, and wish you a Happy Birthday,”Oludare added.
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