SPEECH: Aregbesola Addresses The Ijesa Society, Honors Its Distinguished Members




History beckons to us

It is most pleasing for me to gather with you at this reception organised to honour those individuals who have been found worthy of deserving recognition by virtue of the positions they have attained in life. I must begin by thanking the Ijesa Society, Lagos, first, for inviting me to this event as Special Guest of Honour, and second, for coming up with this valuable and laudable idea. It is a most thoughtful and salutary thing to recognise what is good and then go further to acknowledge it through acts of overt endorsement and encouragement, such as is being done here today.

I must acknowledge that this is the second time I will be invited by this noble association of Ijesa people in Lagos since I became governor of Osun. It is indeed remarkable that Ijesa people will identify with their own who are successful but it might give the wrong impression that this association looks for successful people to associate with.

I remember that the association was unflinching in its support for me while I was contesting the governorship of the state. They also wholeheartedly gave me their support in the dark days of fighting for my mandate when they could have opportunistically aligned with the ancien regime.

But Ijesa people are honourable, God fearing, steadfast and full of integrity. They will always stand for principle, righteousness and good governance. Above all, Ijesaland is the bastion of progressive politics.

This association and its distinguished members have also stood faithfully behind me since my inauguration almost three years ago. I want you to know that we have always been conscious of the enormous responsibility of leadership and governance which requires that we put the people first and put self last in every policy that we make and everything that we do. Some of our policies are necessary but painful and may not be well accepted now. We are however convinced that surgery is not always pleasing and soothing to those who need it but the joy of recovery and healing afterward more than compensate for the temporal pain of going under the knife. Whatever we do today, we have our eyes on the verdict of history that in the next 10, 20, 50 years, the legacies we leave behind will be the true assessment of our sojourn in government.

Today’s gathering is significant. Even though in principle, we are all endowed with talents by our creator, but in cultivating and deploying our God-given talents, we make significantly varying degrees of effort. This is the indubitable reality of the human world. However, it is an inescapable fact that effort makes all the difference in whatever we do in life as human beings. Different levels of effort produce different results. It should not come as a surprise therefore that the most successful people are also those who make the most effort in what they do. In effect, effort is of the essence in life! Success in life is the reward of those who imbibe Samuel Beckett’s advice to, ‘Try again. Fail again. [And] Fail better.’

But making extra effort is not as easy as it sounds. Indeed, the average human person is often content with the most minimal effort; while virtually all humans would desire maximum results. It is also true that most human beings recognise the efficacy of effort in producing positive outcomes, and hence treat it as a virtue. Indeed, the recognition of effort as an invaluable virtue is the essence of honouring those that have attained great heights in society by a dint of hard work.

Therefore, hard work, dedication, commitment and serious-minded focus are virtues that are widely known to be beneficial to both individuals and society. Thus, human societies have instituted awards and honour as a mechanism for promoting these highly desirable virtues. So, the Ijesa Society in Lagos is doing its good bit as a socially responsible group to confer recognition and awards on its members who have been appointed to distinguished positions and offices in the society.

I have no doubt in my mind that those who have been selected for recognition today have been able to come this far in life by their single-minded devotion in their different areas of endeavour. Some of these awardees are people that are well known to me and are, indeed, serving in various capacities under the State Government of Osun. They are men and women who have distinguished themselves in their chosen carriers, and for this, their services have continued to be in high demand in society. This is the result of the virtue of effort.

I do therefore fully identify with what the Ijesa Society in Lagos is doing today as this will be of immense benefit, not only by encouraging the honourees to stay the course of hard work, but also by holding them up as role models for upcoming generations, which is something that is in dire need in our society.

As sons and daughters of the State of Osun, we are most proud to showcase them as genuine men and women of virtues. Their achievements in life are certain to add substantive value to our campaign of fostering the Omoluabi ethos. Today’s honourees are another vindication of the need for us to embrace, imbibe and apply the philosophy in whatever we do in life.

I congratulate the awardees and I once more thank the Ijesa Society, Lagos, for the invitation.

I thank you all for you attentive audience.

Obokun a gbe wa o.