90th birthday: Oyebanjis planned low-key event, but we’re here to celebrate our father – MOB

*My father taught me to be humble – Oyebanji

Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele popularly known as MOB, has said that the 90th birthday of Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s father, Pa Ezekiel Oyebanji, is a celebration of uncommon grace.

The birthday, which was marked at Ikogosi Ekiti hometown of the nonagenarian, had in attendance the royalty, politicians, senior citizens comprising retirees and member of Ekiti Council of Elders, businessmen and masses who thronged the city of the warm water spring to be celebrate the man.

Bamidele said, “I want to thank God Almighty for the life of Papa. He has done well. One of the reasons I am very happy today is that we have not gathered for his funeral. It shows there is grace upon him and it is grace that is uncommon.

“To be alive at 90 given the circumstances under which we live in Nigeria and all over Africa is a lot of achievement only God can make possible. The man is not just alive, he is the father of the sitting governor of the state. For me, that is also another call for celebration”.

“We are here to celebrate his life alive, not after he has gone out of jurisdiction as lawyers would say. That is why even when His Excellency, the Governor, chose, out of sheer sense of modesty, not to invite people, we decided to invite ourselves.

“You can see the Speaker of the State House of Assembly leading other honourable members of the House, I am also here with our colleagues from the National Assembly and our friends because we felt that even though the governor has not said let us party, we knew we needed to be here to celebrate our father,” Bamidele said.

Governor Oyebanji attributed his simplicity and humble approach to life to his father, who he said contributed immensely to his spiritual growth, which had buoyed his faith in God, as the only one with the capacity to provide solution to all life’s challenges.

He said that the family decided to have a low key celebration devoid of any formal invitation to anyone in line with its modest manner of doing things, coupled with the fact he, as the governor of the state, he had to live by example.

The governor said, “I would have loved to make the birthday elaborate, but I have to make it a low key for the fact that Ekiti people are currently my employers, so I have to behave responsibly. I have to be cautious and circumspect in whatever I do.

“If I wasn’t a governor, I would have celebrated him more than this. We deliberately did not send out invitation card to anyone so that Baba can have a modest celebration with his friends and family members. But somehow people heard of it and turned up to honour our father”.

He said, “Those who are saying I am humble should blame my father for it. He is the one who taught me to be humble. I have no apologies about that. If I have misbehaved as a governor, my father would have called to caution me. He is such a disciplinarian and would waste no time in correcting me even as a sitting governor”.

Oyebanji, however, seized the opportunity to put the records straight about his political future, saying he has no enemy to fight, adding that those postulating that he and Senator Bamidele would soon clash would be disappointed.

“The two of us are first and foremost friends and brothers, we believe in God as the sole determinant of the future and we are also highly experienced politicians who have committed our political future in the hands of God. So, stop speculating about any war between us.

“God is the Alpha and Omega of human beings, He does things at his own will. God is the decider of our fate. I want to tell you clearly that nothing can separate me from Senator Bamidele. We have built a strong relationship over the years, so politics can’t separate us,” Oyebanji said.

The 90-year-old celebrant, Pa Oyebanji, said his strong belief in scholarship as a weapon to overcome poverty, propelled him to acquire western education through hardwork and resoluteness.

Pa Oyebanji, who thanked God for being alive to celebrate age of 90 in good health, charged parents to invest in their children’s education to make their future brighter, more rewarding and glowingly remarkable.

The Pastor in charge of Gateway Baptist Church, Ado Ekiti, Revd Michael Otun, in his sermon titled, ‘Teach us How to count our days’, urged Nigerians to always do things right for Nigeria to experience radical development in all facets.

Otun showered encomiums on the celebrant for his discipline, humility, prudency, honesty.

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