The concept of time is still a work-in-progress, because some of the early thinkers who dwelled on the matter of time were only deploying intellectual arguments. Time is different things to different worldviews.
Time to the western worldview is money, because wages are quantified by the numbers of hours put in a job. So, to the western employer, it is time that should be priced not the quantity or quality of work; for it is believed that job description has taken care of the two variables. Whereas, in Africa, if the thought of J. S. Mbiti is given a filtered look, events constitute time; all things being equal, time is still a work-in-progress, because human beings designed to use time to measure their milestones as constituted by events are created in such a way that the philosophical principles of: thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis are work-in-progress too.
How time flies? Rt. Hon. Najeem Folasayo Salaam, Speaker, State of Osun House of Assembly is a year older today, and his milestone deserves to be noticed not because he is the presiding officer of the
state parliament, though part of it; the fact that many had occupied the exalted position before him, and certainly legions of people would still occupy the post after him, makes one to relegate transient
position as indelible mark.
The question would now be, what makes Speaker Salaam birthday deserving? Then, it would conform to logic to argue that his humility, brilliance and accountability which have formed the core values of his
statesmanship disposition in the discharge of duties his office dictates, is worth celebrating.
Born 52 years ago from Ejigbo, Speaker Salaam who was an orphan at the
early stage of life, knew that education is a leveller, and it is the gateway to success in life. As a result of that, he braves all odds to obtain knowledge for the journey of fate, and in the process, he studies political science at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, where he bags his first degree; he proceeded to obtain his masters in the same field at the same prestigious citadel of learning and at the peak of being inducted into the hall of
doctoral fellows in the same discipline at the same respected university to which its practicality has shot him to political limelight from the grass of the grassroots.
Being a certificated politician, his deft moves in politics with grassroots appeal suggests that Speaker Salaam is a certified politician whose focus is service to the people, and his philanthropy
bears eloquent testimony to the solidity of his acceptance by the people at his remote, immediate and extended constituencies.
Speaker Salaam was elected in 2011 by the Speakers of 36 states of the federation as the national Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly, and the way and manner he fixed the conference of equals before he midwifed it into democratic formation, speaks volume about his democratic
credentials, and leadership potentiality.
Not a few are wondering how Speaker Salaam has been coordinating the
parliament since 2011 without hitch, but those who are observing him keenly will agree that his core value: humility,
brilliance and accountability are the attributes deployed to carry along his colleagues in the house. His humility is not pretentious, it appears it is in his DNA, for he believes that success in life lies in
being stooped to conquer, and that all humans are equal before the Creator; his brilliance is rooted in native wisdom and emotional intelligence; his accountability is grounded in open-door policy garnished with collegiate system he upholds in the discharge of his responsibility.
It is a public knowledge that Speaker Salaam is a peace maker, and his
effort as go-between in some disputes concerning public institutions,
and his persuasive skill which has made the State of Osun House of Assembly as honest broker, have created an enabling atmosphere for development being witnessed at every nook and cranny of the state.
If the attributes mentioned above are worth celebrating as virtues, an individual who exhibits such a character profile should equally be celebrated, and that is the reason why Rt. Hon. Najeem Folasayo Salaam is being celebrated today as he marks his 52nd birthday on earth.
Happy birthday Speaking Speaker!
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker
State of Osun House of Assembly