By Sodiq Yusuf
NIGERIA’S Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has been described as a politician that is passionate about the development of Yoruba race and the growth of the youths.
Aregbesola, the immediate past governor of the State of Osun, was equally commended for his innovative programmes, aimed at promoting intellectualism and restoration of Yoruba values.
The Director of Protocols to the Minister, Barr. Abiodun Tiamiyu, gave the commendation while handing over a complete set of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s books to the Awolowo Centre for Philosophy and Ideology, Osogbo on Monday, on behalf of the former governor.
According to Tiamiyu, Aregbesola is so much in love with intellectual development; hence his decision to set up the centre for promotion of progressive ideology, Yoruba ethos and values and reorientation of Nigerian youths for desired growth.
He said: “Aregbesola is a man that has passion for intellectual development, societal growth and youth development. He is passionate about the progress of the Yoruba race and Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s ideology.
“The idea of the Minister on the centre was born out of the fact that he realized that there is a missing link between the past and the present. That is why he feels that with this centre in place, it is an opportunity to go back to where we got it wrong and have a fresh plan.
“When he was leaving office as governor of the State of Osun, Aregbesola did not give his cabinet members any money. Instead, this package of the books of Awolowo was handed over to them, and what was the message behind that? It simply means: “You have been a team of Aregbesola, go and study these books at your leisure time, study what he has conceptualized, study what progressivism stands for and Awolowo’s ideology too.
“What is in the complete set? Chief Obafemi Awolowo published 16 books. And Aregbesola ensured that all the books were reproduced, and each time we have visitors from the West and among Yoruba leaders, we usually give them the complete set of Awolowo’s book. That is part of what endeared him to the West.”
Speaking further, Tiamiyu said there is need to bridge the gap between the past and the present in terms of intellectual development through reading and promotion of Yoruba values, saying that the society began to degenerate when reading culture, Omoluabi ethos and hardwork lost their values.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of Awolowo Centre for Philosophy and Ideology, Mr. Tope Mustapha commended Aregbesola for his moral support to the centre, just as he solicited for more assistance from the minister.
Mustapha stated that the centre is committed to promoting Awolowo’s ideology, intellectual development and progressive ideals.