Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and other eminent Nigerians, on Monday, lauded the virtues of late Oba Oladele Olashore, a former minister of finance, saying that his exceptional character while in public service and contribution to the development of the country were worthy of emulation.
They said this at a 10th-year memorial lecture, which was held in his honour by the OISA Foundation in Lagos.
In his keynote address, Osinbajo said Olashore lived an exemplary life of service to humanity, adding that he redefined service and the act of giving which privileged Nigerians and leaders should emulate.
According to him, Nigeria leaders need a new culture and attitude if the country is to overcome the challenges it will face in the coming years.
He urged privileged Nigerians and leaders to rise to the task of contributing to the development of humanity and empowering the needy in the society.
Osinbajo, who was represented by Dapo Akinosun, a member of the Advisory Power Team in the office of the Vice-President and managing partner at Simmons Cooper Partners, said: “We need a new culture of leadership if we have to face the challenges of the coming years with equanimity, and success.
“No child anywhere in the world should have to go to bed hungry, uncertain of their future because they have no access to quality education, opportunities for realising their potential. And it falls on all of us, those privileged with positions of leadership authority in the public or private sectors and those privileged with access to wealth.”
Osinbajo added that there was a need for redefinition of service among Nigerians, stressing the need to impact other lives with the resources at one’s disposal.
“There is a sense in which you must first redeem leadership from the encumbrances that limit its effectiveness today, if we are to deal with the challenges confronting us on every level. But to redeem leadership, we must first redefine it in the light of its most central and simplest activity. Leadership is service,” he said.
Joseph Sanusi, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the late Olashore worked with him at the CBN for several years, adding that he showed exceptional character by showing interest to assist everyone who was around him.
Fola Adeola, founder/chairman of Fate Foundation, in his lecture titled ‘Public Service As Best Form of Service: The exemplary of Oba Oladele Olashore,’ said Olashore’s legacy of selfless contribution to humanity and his community would remain memorable.
Adeola noted that Olashore’s commitment to public service, love for education and development of his community necessitated his (Olashore’s) establishment of secondary school and several scholarship programmes for students in Ogun State.
“Olashore cared about education, particularly, quality secondary education, and beyond just caring, he set up a secondary school that offered scholarships to young people who would otherwise have been unable to afford such an education. In their lives, and the lives of everybody, each of those children goes on to impact; he defies death,” Adeola said.
He challenged Nigerians to strive to make an impact on humanity that would leave an enduring legacy, adding that Nigerians must see every position they occupy as an opportunity to serve.
Others who extolled the virtues of Olashore at the event included Ike Nwachukwu, a former minister of foreign affairs.
Olashore, who died in 2012, was the Ajagbusi Ekun and Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa in Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State. The renowned banker and educationist died at the age of 77.