The President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has congratulated the leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, on the occasion of his 97th birthday.
In a statement to celebrate Fasoranti, Tinubu praised the elder statesman for his commitment to the ideals of good governance in Nigeria and unwavering dedication to progressive politics.
He also commended the nationalist for his exemplary life of courage and public service as a Teacher, School Principal, Local Government Chairman, Administrator, Commissioner for Finance, and astute politician.
Tinubu also recalled his discussion with the Afenifere leader during his visit to his residence in Akure last year, saying that he pledged to him to work day and night to fulfil the promise of a greater Nigeria.
He said; “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 pledged Baba and all Nigerians that I will work day and night to fulfil 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.”
Tinubu also praised Pa Fasoranti’s ecumenical spirit as a great man of faith with uncommon grace and fortitude to bear the 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 the public good by Baba. We are motivated to follow his examples because Baba Fasoranti is a light unto our paths,” the president-elect added.
Tinubu also 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 Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Premier of the Western Region, and Chief 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.
Tinubu said 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 Pa Fasoranti lived a value-guided life in public office as Commissioner for Finance in old Ondo State under the leadership of Chief Adekunle Ajasin and creditably discharged his duties as leader of Afenifere.