The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has stressed the need for Nigerians to resuscitate and sustain the reading culture at this critical point when the country is confronted with a debilitating and anti-intellectual culture.
Fayemi stated this at the public presentation of Afenifere Leader Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s autobiography in Akure, Ondo State at the weekend.
The event had in attendance former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN); Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola; former Governor Kwara State, Senator Cornelius Adebayo; former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Oluyemi Falae.
Fayemi, who commended the author for documenting his life history for this generation and generation to come, described the book as a beautiful work of history, educational management and a peerless work of politics and community development.
He said: “Papa has given us a beautiful work of history, a beautiful work of education management, a peerless work of politics and community development and the one worthy of being on every book shelf in every part of this country.
“For us in this generation, we do have generational responsibility to read book like this, the way we devour Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s books, the way we familiarise ourselves with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s book.
“Not for us to solely agree with the book, but for us to underscore the importance of witnesses to history at a time that it seems to be developing very debilitating anti-intellectual culture in our clime.
“It is huge kudos to Baba that he has given us this book and we can trace its trajectory to his younger days through his UI days, through his Itaogbolu days, his Baptist days and then his Christ School days before delving into politics.”
The Governor also promised that the governments of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States would take up Pa Fasoranti’s N500 million digital library and Democratic Institute Project.
Earlier, Obasanjo, who was Chairman at the event, described Pa Fasoranti as a rare gift to the Yoruba race, whose life of integrity is worthy of emulation.
Also Governor Akeredolu said the author lived most of his life building and moulding the younger ones in the virtues and values held in high esteem by the Yoruba race.
He assured that the Government of Ondo State would support the Afenifere leader in realising his vision of archiving history and promoting democracy through the digital library and Democratic Institute Project.
In his address, Pa Fasoranti, who spoke through his political associate, Otunba Oladehinde Arogbofa, expressed gratitude to those that had contributed to his success in life.
He explained that the Democratic Institute would serve as his visible contribution to human capital development and to serve as educational base and training Institute that would sponsors researches, conferences and bills at the National Assembly.
The Afenifere leader said the digital library would archive critical events of pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial era.
In his review, renowned historian, Prof. Banji Akintoye, revealed that the book does not only document the lifestyle of Pa Fasoranti as a student, teacher, principal, politician and leader of Afenifere, but also reflected and proffer solutions to the current situation of the country.
Prof. Akintoye said the writer demonstrated matchless calmness in the face of diverse challenges and storms that confronted him as he advanced in age.