Posted by By SEYE OJO, Ibadan on
Wife of Oyo State Governor, Chief (Mrs) Oluwakemi Alao-Akala recently celebrated her 46th year birthday in grand style in Ibadan with no fewer than 60 people living with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV), in attendance at the ancient Mapo Hall in the heart of Ibadan.
Wife of Oyo State Governor, Chief (Mrs) Oluwakemi Alao-Akala recently celebrated her 46th year birthday in grand style in Ibadan with no fewer than 60 people living with Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV), in attendance at the ancient Mapo Hall in the heart of Ibadan. Star actors and actresses of Yoruba movies, led by the National President of Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners (ANTP), Alhaji Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello) equally garnished the occasion with spectacular exhibitions that thrilled the audience.
The artistes included Alhaji Abdul-Kareem Adepoju (Baba Wande), Lere Paimo (Eda Onileola), Fathia Balogun, Bukky Wright, Muyiwa Ademola, Femi Adebayo Salami (son of Oga Bello) and a host of others.The popular gospel act, Mrs. Sola Allynson-Obaniyi (Eji Owuro), performed live on the occasion. At a time, Mrs Alao-Akala, displayed high proficiency in singing when she was invited to the stage by Eji Owuro, the governor's wife perfectly sang the artiste's popular tracks to the admiration of the audience who applauded the duo.
Before the celebration with the people living with HIV, the celebrant, her husband, Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, Deputy Governor, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja, Secretary to the State Government, Chief Layiwola Olakojo wife of the deputy governor, Mrs Abiodun Arapaja and other top government functionaries had gathered at the Government House Chapel where a thanksgiving service was held. The service was aptly tagged: Celebrations of God’s Faithfulness and Abundant Grace of an Amiable and Loving Mother. In his sermon, the Pastor of Molete Baptist Church and Chairman, Oyo State Pilgrims Welfare Board (Christian Wing), Rev. Edward Alabi, urged the governor to use the occasion to reconcile with the people who were aggrieved with his administration.
The cleric charged the celebrant to use the occasion of her birthday to reflect on drawing closer to God, impacting more on the growth and development of the present generation and generations to come physically and spiritually, saying the governor must fulfill the purpose for which God has taken him to the office of number one citizen of the state. Speaking during the service, Governor Alao-Akala, thanked God for the privilege he gave his family to witness the birthday anniversary celebrations of his wife. He revealed that he specially bought the cake his wife cut during her birthday in 1996, but noted that if he did the same thing this year, people would criticize him.
While saying that he would continue to rule the state with the fear of God, the governor promised to adequately deliver dividends of democracy to all and sundry. He, however, called on all aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state to bury the hatchet and join hands with his government towards moving the pace setter state to an enviable height. He expressed optimism that the nationwide industrial action embarked upon by Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) would soon be over as the teachers and the Federal Government would soon reach agreement at the round table on the way forward. “My government will continue to make people happy. We will continue to encourage the civil servants. We will do our best and I will continue to rule with the fear of God,” the governor pledged.
At the party, Mrs Alao-Akala, made a renewed call to Nigerians to stop stigmatization against the people living with HIV/AIDS in the society, saying if given adequate encouragement, their productivity could still assist the efforts being geared towards revamping the nation's economy. The governor’s wife stated that she decided to celebrate her birthday with that stratum of the society in order to give them hope and equally sensitize the members of the public to stop seeing the infected people as outcasts Said she, “I give all the glory to Almighty God for his mercies and faithfulness upon my family. I decided to celebrate this year’s birthday with the people living with HIV in order to identify with them and sensitize members of the public to stop stigmatization against the infected people.” She observed that the infected people could still contribute meaningfully to the turn-around, growth and development of Nigeria if everybody could give them opportunity to feel as part and parcel of the society, adding that anybody could be infected at any time.
While saying that the HIV positives should be taking their drugs as prescribed to them by doctors, the wife of the governor who was dressed in a multi-coloured traditional Ankara preached abstinence from immoral sex, even as she advised members of the public to be wary when they go to salon to have their hairs cut or done, by telling the barbers or the hair dressers to sterilize their equipment before using it on them.
In their keynote addresses, members of ANTP encouraged the HIV victims not to allow the actions or inactions of some people to discourage them but should let their souls be lifted all the time so that the fear about their status would not prevent them from fulfilling their God-ordained roles on earth.
Highlights of the occasion included cutting of the birthday cake by the governor’s wife assisted by some of the HIV victims, members of ANTP, wives of the deputy governor, commissioners, local government chairmen and other eminent personalities.
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This is a great piece of history, which is dear to our hearts as people and very much appreciated.
Many thanks to the people who worked hard in the past and those who are still making efforts to keep the institution.
The labour is obviouly worth it. We are proud of you all.
A lot still to be done, with the motivation of the champions of this course, others will follow as well to maintain the institution
May God continue to keep the edifice for development of future generations to the glory of God and the benefits of our fatherland.