The governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has said that if government at all levels and all stakeholders dedicate themselves to service, Nigeria and indeed Africa will be a great country and continent.
He observed this in Osogbo last Friday at the 29th Annual National Convention of Lion’s Club Multiple District Nigeria, just as he was awarded the highest honour of the Lion’s Club of Melvin Jones, emanating from Oak Brook, Chicago, Illinois.
The governor was given the award for his dedication to the service for humanity.
Speaking, Aregbesola said that life would become more enjoyable, when both governments and service organisations work and partner together in key areas.
According to him, the real essence of living is to serve either spiritually, economically or socially, which, he said, forms the cardinal principle of the Lion’s Club.
He said: “Given the yawning needs of the inhabitants of the modern society, it is important that service organisations like the Lions Club provide services that will help to complement government’s efforts at all levels.
“This will neither reduce government’s role as the biggest agency in the provision of services to the people, nor will it encourage a shirking of responsibility.
“I would like to use this opportunity to encourage both financially well-heeled and low-income Nigerians to show genuine interest in aligning with service organisations for the advancement of societal wellbeing.
“The best leaders are those who lead from below, rather than from the top. They do this by continuously striving to meet the needs of their people.
“In reality, leadership is all about service. This, in addition to the pace we have set in employment generation, is the eloquent statement we have made with our youth empowerment scheme (OYES),” the governor stressed.
He stated that one of the core values his administration is promoting in the state is the culture of selfless service, saying this is part of the major blocs in the Omoluabi ethics that his government has been promoting.
Aregbesola then called on all Nigerians of whatever means to put selfless service above selfish striving, which, he said, is the way to add meaning to existence as human beings.
In his remark, the District 404 Governor of Lions Club in Nigeria, Mrs. Stella Agbogun, said the choice of Osogbo for the organisation’s convention was neither accidental nor coincidental, but the insight the club saw in the rapid infrastructural development in the state.
She said that since “the creation of the state in 1991, the infrastructural development of the past three years of Your Excellency is unprecedented.
“I therefore congratulate you for the determination to lift the State of Osun to a better place than you met it.
“The vision of yours is in consonance with the vision of our founding father, Melvin Jones, who sought to leave, not just his own fatherland, but the whole world a better place than he met it.”
The guest lecturer and former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Wale Omole, also stressed the need to place others above self.