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To Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe: A Tribute To An Iconic Leader And Statesman @ 69 By Ademola Adedoyin

It will be appropriate to start this eulogy, yes, that is what it is: a eulogy, by quoting Kwara State First Citizen, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the subject of our interest. Here we go: "Mr Amolegbe is a rare breed. He is a bridge builder and a selfless elder statesman who put the interest of our state above everything else. Generous and kind, Mr Amolegbe is a man of the people."

These words and more fittingly describe our Leader, Statesman, Unifier, Inspirer, Builder and Mentor, Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe.

The encomium showered on the celebrant  by  Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is well deserved and truly  earned. In Leadership and Statesmanship, the Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe approach and contributions should be of interest to political scientists and scholars with interests in Effective Leadership Minus State Powers. In the quantum of contributions and records of achievements regarding bringing positive changes to the society, this writer submits, without fear of contradictions, that very few people outside of power loops are in the hue of Lateef Adebisi Amologbe. 

One stands inspired by the Lateef Amolegbe's leadership style and approach to societal challenges because it is devoid of ulterior motives, selfish or pecuniary interests or concealed agenda. Most crucially, his landmark achievements, worthy contributions to societal progress and development and positive impact on major issues of state are done quietly, effectively and at personal costs to his time, energy and resources. And in expectation of absolutely nothing in return.

When I refer to Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe, I hold that name in awe in the same manner as the late Bola Ige held the Sage and the legendary leader, Obafemi Awolowo. In all his articles, he affectionately referred to the legend as simply Obafemi Awolowo. Only great and outstanding leaders in history earn such name recognitions without the troubles of prefixes or suffixes. To our people, Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe has truly earned his badge of honour as a true leader and mentor.

The effectiveness of this remarkable Statesman's interventions in issues of public interests in our state and momentous contributions to matters of society progress become even more stunning when one considers his not been physically present in his domain. From far away Washington DC, he has continued to announce his positive presence in our State and, indeed, in our nation. In my chats with him, I have always remarked that I do not know of any other human being who is  absent yet so totally present; who is so far away, yet so reachable and who is clearly out of the fray, yet so impactful in bringing about workable solutions to resolving knotty issues. Yet, all these are done so selflessly, so effectively and so quietly.

To appreciate Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe's contributions to bringing about effective leadership to Kwara State in the last two decades will require a reporter to have key interviews with political, religious and traditional leaders and top public servants in our state. So many major crises have been resolved and major landmark achievements brought about through his decisive interventions and tireless efforts in the last few years. Many individuals in positions of high responsibilities- civil service, political offices, traditional stools etc in the State today have Lateef Adebisi Amolegbe to thank for their attainments. Yet, he sees it as just as service to the State and to humanity and nothing more than that.

During a recent visit to a First Class traditional ruler in the State, this is what the reverred Monarch told the reporter in the presence of a leading politician in the State: "Mr Amolegbe is truly a selfless and great personality. He serves without expecting anything in returns and he makes things possible. You won't believe that in spite of what God has used him to do here, not even a sachet of water has he got as a thank you gesture, and to tell you what, we have never met."

So many people have not met the celebrant at all or in a pretty long while, yet they have related with him so seamlessly and worked together so smoothly to bring about positive changes in  Kwara State that you will think they are next door neighbours who daily compare notes on the state of things.

On so many occasions, the writer has been so sufficiently embarrassed by the briefings from the leader from far away land on the state of things in Kwara State, that one is left wondering if the man is a spirit who monitors all happenings here from such a far distance location.

Apparently, it is in recognition of his monumental leadership qualities and workable interventions that he continues to be a major contributor to resolving most major contentious  issues in our state, be it administrative, political, traditional, religious or otherwise.

As this leader without boarders and statesman without frontiers  inches towards the biblical three scores and ten, this writer wishes you, Sir, many more decades in the service to our people and God's great rewards for your selfless service to our people.

Many happy returns, Omo Atoobo niju bi orisa.

Ademola Adedoyin, Communications Strategist, Writer, Journalist is the Otunba Onigegewura of Esieland.

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