The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described Afenifere Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, as a man of great repute, accomplished educationist, astute politician, elder-statesman and die-hard Awoist.
Tinubu congratulated Papa on his 94th birthday and prayed to God to grant him more wisdom and robust health to continue to serve as a moral compass and guardian to the political class.
In a congratulatory statement issued by his Media Office on Friday and signed by Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “I most heartily congratulate our father and leader, Pa Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere, as he turns 94.
“On this occasion of his birthday, I pay a special tribute to a man of great repute, accomplished educationist, community leader, astute politician, elder-statesman and die-hard Awoist.
“What we celebrate is the success story of leadership by example, political consistency, total loyalty to the progressive cause, devotion to principle, integrity, courage of conviction and uncommon contentment.
“Chief Fasoranti filled the vacuum left behind by our illustrious pathfinders and cherished leaders, and in post-Chief Abraham Adesanya era, Papa laboured tirelessly to build bridges of unity, accommodation, understanding, reconciliation and harmony in Yorubaland.
“I note with fondness that since Baba Fasoranti placed his hands on the plough in 1951, when he joined the defunct Action Group (AG) as an undergraduate student of the premier University of Ibadan, he has not looked back.
“Through thick and thin, he has remained a true democrat, a tested, trusted, silent and productive worker in the progressive vineyard, a dependable ally of early leaders and a man of honour.
“As an accomplished teacher, school founder and administrator, Papa has contributed to human capacity development by moulding the lives of numerous youths who now occupy important positions in the socio-economic and political life of our country.
“Through the dint of hardwork, dedication and commitment to excellence, Papa rose to the pinnacle of his chosen profession, serving as principal of reputable schools, including Baptist High School, Iwo, Olivet Baptist High School, Oyo and Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, when the standard and quality of education were high.
“As a distinguished grassroots player, Chief Fasoranti led the way in community service as Chairman of Akure Local Council. He also inspired, mobilised and supported like-minded patriots, including Omo-Ekun Wumi Adegbonmire, Alex Adedipe and other progressives to keep the banner of Awoist philosophy flying in Akure city.
“In the Second Republic, Papa served meritoriously as a founding stalwart of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), led by the indomitable Chief Obafemi Awolowo, joining party leaders in planting party structures across the nooks and crannies of old Ondo State.
“It is also noteworthy that Papa performed excellently as a two-time Commissioner for Finance under Governor Adekunle Ajasin, whose administration effectively implemented the five cardinal programmes of free education, free health services, full employment and rural development.
“Throughout his public service career, Papa served without blemish and scandal, but made his mark as a shining example to people who aspired to selfless leadership. Having embraced a Spartan lifestyle, Papa has shunned covetousness, counselled against primitive accumulation and decried indiscipline in high places.
“As Afenifere leader, Pa Fasoranti effectively contributed to and enriched the discourse on regional integration, nation-building and good governance, and with a benefit of hindsight, advocated for a pure federal principle as the basis for peaceful co-existence in an indivisible and united one Nigeria.
“As a public figure and private person, Papa has borne personal and political vicissitudes with sober reflection and philosophical calmness in a world that is full of ups and downs.
“As he celebrates this 94th birthday, I pray that God imbue him with more wisdom and robust health to continue to serve as a moral compass and guardian to the political class.”