Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), a prominent lawyer, has urged Ekiti indigenes both at home and in the Diaspora to set aside their political and religious affiliations and rally behind Governor Biodun Oyebanji in his pursuit of sustainable development for the state.

Chief Olanipekun made this statement in Ikere Ekiti during the 26th edition of the annual Chief Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme and 3rd Olanipekun Empowerment Programme on Saturday. He urged all Ekiti people to contribute their ideas and counsel to the present administration, emphasizing that “Ideas rule the world” and can contribute to the great success of the state’s development.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria commended Governor Oyebanji for being the first Chief Executive of the state to embark on consultation with leaders from the state, regardless of their political affiliation, before being sworn in. He added that that singular step would help him take decisions that would be in the best interest of the state because he would not be bereft of ideas needed to development of the state.

He charged the people to contribute their quota to the development of the state, adding that gone were the days when government alone could bring sustainable development to the people because the resources are finite.

Chief Olanipekun charged the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme to thank God for whatever they received from him, adding that the most important thing for them is to also lift some other people when God bless them.

“I want to plead with all Ekiti people, let us sheath our swords, I am not a politician, I am a Lawyer, I work across board, but I want to plead with all of us, let us sheath our swords. Four years is around the corner, let us support the people who are there now. We need to move this state forward. I don’t like a situation whereby they are saying we are the poorest or inferior, and when you have human resources, ideas rule the world. When we have human resources, what else, and we have mineral resources everywhere. Tap them, I will support Your Excellency.

“I don’t deceive people, we love you and we are not pretending, I love you, Your Excellency, I am not saying this to dress you in borrowed robe, I am saying this from the bottom of my heart. Very soon, you will become a flagship Governor and we are going to support you. I never received a contract from Ekiti, I give to Ekiti and I will continue to give to Ekiti.

“I register my commitment, my love, my support, whatever God has given me to you. And anytime you need my counsel, I will oblige Your Excellency. All we want is that we want Ekiti to develop, we want Ekiti to grow, when a man is humble, God adds everything to him, and our Governor is humble.

“May I salute all your predecessors in office, I have been close to all of them. You are the first one that immediately after your election, you started visiting Ekiti sons and daughters across board irrespective of political leanings, religious inclinations and ideological divide, you visited me in my office and you have also been communicating because you want ideas.

“For those of us who have been favoured from God, whom we have seen his benevolence, we have to appreciate him by giving back to humanity. Yes, it is good to pray, but it is important to lift someone up.” Olanipekun added.

Governor Oyebanji, in his remarks at the event, lauded Chief Olanipekun for his philanthropic efforts. He acknowledged that Olanipekun’s generosity had provided relief to numerous people and households in the state, particularly indigent students, stating, “It is not easy to give or share what you have, but Chief has an uncommon grace.”

Governor Oyebanji urged wealthy individuals in the state to emulate Chief Olanipekun’s example in supporting the less privileged in their communities. He emphasized that what ultimately matters are the lives and people one can assist with available resources. Impressed by Olanipekun’s scholarship program, the Governor pledged to initiate similar awards for the people of the state, beginning with his hometown, Ikogosi Ekiti.

“One lesson I’ve learnt here because I keep challenging myself that okay I’m not as rich as chief but I can start something from Ikogosi and I have made up my mind today. I will start from Ikogosi, I’m going to set up a foundation and I will invite Chief to the launch.

While congratulating the beneficiaries, Oyebanji urged them to continue to excel in their chosen career so they can hold their heads high in the society and be able to do more than their benefactor.

Mr. Samuel Olowoyo, a law student, expressed his gratitude to Chief Olanipekun on behalf of the beneficiaries. He noted that the timing of the event was particularly significant given the economic challenges facing the nation.

The event was attended by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, former Deputy Governors Surveyor Abiodun Aluko and Prof. Olusola Eleka, as well as the Ogoga of Ikere, HRM, Oba Adejimi Adu Alagbado.

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