The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has heaped praises on a Nigerian nationalist and leader of pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation Afenifere, Reuben Fasoranti, on his 97th birthday for his commitment to the ideals of good governance in Nigeria and unwavering dedication to progressive politics.
Tinubu, in a statement from his office signed by Tunde Rahman, praised Fasoranti who turns 97 on Thursday, May 1, 2023, for his exemplary life of courage and public service as a Teacher, School Principal, Local Government Chairman, Administrator, Commissioner for Finance and astute politician.
The President-elect recalled the various roles Fasoranti played in progressive politics in Nigeria and the South West in particular from his student days at the University College, Ibadan where he was an active member of Action Group and one of the trusted allies of late Obafemi Awolowo, Premier of the Western Region, and Adekunle Ajasin, first civilian governor of old Ondo State.
According to the President-elect, Fasoranti established his lasting legacy in the educational sector where he made invaluable impacts on many of his former students and generations of students at Iju-Itaogbolu Grammar School where he was the founding Principal, Iwo Baptist High School, Olivet Baptist School, Oyo and Christ School Ado-Ekiti where he retired as a Principal.
As an astute School administrator, Fasoranti, after retirement founded a private school with his wife, Omolere Nursery and Primary School and Akure High School that changed the landscape of private primary and secondary education in Ondo State.
While highlighting the public service records of the venerable statesman, Tinubu described the Afenifere leader as “a light unto our paths” and a worthy example for all to emulate, adding that Fasoranti lived a value-guided life in public office as Commissioner for Finance in old Ondo State under the leadership of Adekunle Ajasin and creditably discharged his duties as leader of Afenifere.
Tinubu also praised Fasoranti’s ecumenical spirit as a great man of faith with uncommon grace and fortitude to bear pain and live with personal tragedies without harbouring any bitterness and hate towards God and man.
“On this special day that our father, Chief Reuben Fasoranti turns 97, we have nothing but gratitude to God for granting him long life and presence of mind.
“All of us in the progressive fold are inspired by the long years of unflinching dedication to public good by Baba. We are motivated to follow his examples because Baba Fasoranti is a light unto our paths.
“I particularly thank Baba for his support for me, his guidance and encouragement during the campaigns for the presidency of Nigeria. He gave me confidence and demonstrated total support. When I visited him in Akure after I won my party’s ticket, I told him to still stay long enough with us to see a great Nigeria that his generation worked hard and fought for. I made a pledge to Baba and all Nigerians that I will work day and night to fulfill the promise of a greater country.
“I remain resolutely committed to that promise, even as I’m delighted that Baba is still very much around with us.
“I join the children, entire family, friends, associates and Afenifere men and women to wish Baba a glorious 97th birthday.”