*TURNING 60 AND PERFECTING THE PURSUIT*
Comrade Bisi Fakayode, started his working career with the State Ministry of Works in 1977.
Born into the respected royal family of late Prince Fatoye Fakayode of Okesan Compound in Arandun (Irepodun Local Government), Comrade Bisi Fakayode was educated both in Kwara and in Akwa Ibom States. Worthy of particular mention is the fact that Comrade Fakayode served as the Kwara State Auditor of Nigeria Civil Service Union between 1986 and 1988. He later went on to become the State Chairman of the same Union and served meritoriously in that capacity between 1998 and 1993. He also served as the State Chairman of the nation’s umbrella Labour body – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) between 1992 and 1998.
Since his foray into partisan politics in 1998 at the insistence of the majority who value creativity, innovation and flexibility, he has had the opportunity to serve as the State PRO of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (1998) and was also elected as Executive Chairman of Irepodun Local Government between 1999 and 2002. In his capacity as a Council boss, he served as the State Vice Chairman of Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (2000 and 2002) and, later, as Chairman, Kwara South Senatorial District of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
One striking fact about his three year tenure as a Council boss is that despite the paucity of funds in virtually all the 774 Local Councils across Nigeria at the time he served, his tenure experienced utmost peace, tranquility and mutual understanding throughout the length of the period. It is on record that as Chairman of Irepodun Local Government, Comrade Fakayode was able to extricate the public sector from routine and monotony!
Till date, the tale of how Fakayode, as Council Chairman, succeeded in enthroning Traditional Rulers in communities that had none for up to 20 years, is still being told. These communities include Ajase-Ipo, Arandun, Ipetu Igbomina, Oro, Agbonda, Aran-Orin among others.
Today, as Special Adviser to the Kwara State Governor Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Comrade Fakayode continues to moderate his manner and has been able to pave a pathway of peace between his principal and members of his primary constituency.
Been a lover of Youth especially Students, the dedicated icon was recently decorated with an additional office as SA Students Affairs and Labour by the Kwara State Governor.
This however reflected positively in the state students’ body. In less than two weeks, Sir Bisi Fakayode resolved the lingering crisis within the apex Students Union body in the State –National Association of Kwara State Students.
Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you Sir (Comrade) Bisi Fakayode
HE WRITES- A very warm hello to all my dear friends and family members.
Just like many other people in this world, I also wait the entire year for my grand day, October 29; my birth day. This day has always attracted such enthusiasm in my life just because of you all. Your endless heart melting blessings and wishes make my entire life blossom and prosper in such a unique way that cannot be expressed in words.
On 29 of October, 2018, I reach the “milestone” of celebrating my 60th birthday. A few who know that I am reaching that point in my life have asked me how I feel about that fact. Obviously I have known it has been coming. I am a person who, regardless of happenings around me, can be very sensitive to time, date and occurrence. In such a time as this, the best I can describe my feelings are ones of reflection.
The last “major milestone” birthday was 10 years ago at reaching 50 years of age. As I think about how my life has transpired over the last 10 years, I doubt if there is very much of it I would have predicted would have been part of my life 10 years into the future.
Just like a dream, I have walked this earth more than half of a century and I am writing this to;
1. Appreciate God Almighty my Upholder for the gift of life, family and friends amongst other things.
2. Revere on my journey so far, share a couple of lessons learned, experiences had, and hopes for the future.
3. Intimate my friends and family, admirers and well wishers about a few programmes I have slated for the celebration in the coming days
*HOW THIS DAY WAS PLANNED LONG AGO*
In the early eighties when I specifically clocked 25 years of age, I had it in my plans that if God would be pleased with me and spare my life to witness this moment of my 60th birthday, I will celebrate my *Diamond Jubilee* as a grand event with three major accomplishments;
1. That at my 60th year, I will retire from civil service which was to be the first celebration for me
2. That I will also retire permanently to Arandun my home village and settle down there .
It is important to note that at that time, *Arandun* did not even have a motorable roads let alone telephone services as we have today to the glory of God . My friends at that time normally make a mockery of me each time I tell them about my plan to relocate permanently to Arandun at 60; they always referred to Arandun as too remote for any educated person to settle. To me, as young as I was then and as old as I am now, Arandun is my own Jerusalem.
3. That at my 60th year, my very blessed marriage will be 38 years and this is the third celebration which had been slated in my plan since when I was in my 20s.
Behold , the little child of those days is now fully grown under the mercy of God . In my *Diamond Jubilee* journey , there are days where I feel completely in control of my life, and days when I don’t know which way is up. But in all, God has been faithful to me and to all that concerns me. *Hallelujah!*
I have had to fasten my seat belt and hang on because I have no idea where God is taking me next and what kind of wild ride it might be! I could never have imagined this journey and the learning that awaits along the way.
To my wife I want to say a lot of things – how patiently you have handled me despite my demanding career. I still remember when you said that no matter how unbearable I would be, you would always support me. I have never expressed my gratitude enough towards your caring actions and gestures to me and our children. But today I want to say it loud and clear that I am indeed very fortunate to have a life partner like you.
Special thanks to my parents, my father of blessed memory and my mother for all the sacrifices they made to ensure this life happen for me. Without them, my existence and journey of being such a great human being would have never ever been possible. Each thing that they did for me added the best to me.
My life is so blessed with some of the most amazing people. Thank you for being part of my journey. I cannot thank you all enough for all the overwhelmed moments that each one of you has made me witness.
Sadly , despite all the positive reasons I have had to be thankful to God , the journey to 60 years was not without its unpleasant memories. In this year 2018 alone , I have lost my very beloved younger sister, *Deaconess Olubukola Folayan (Nee Fakayode), my blossom driver like a son , Late Bolaji Abdulkadir and the most recent blow death dealt me was the loss of my own mentor, a woman very dear to me, Princess Olufunke Deborah Adedoyin* all of blessed memory.
One thing I know for sure, is that I am so grateful for all that I have and all that I am able do at this point in my life and while there will be total absence of funfairs in this year’s celebration due to the above highlighted sad occurrences which are still fresh in my memory , I will not but show my gratitude to God my maker and my sustainer since childhood for in all that happens to man on earth , there’s no room to question God who made him from dust .
Consequently, by tomorrow , Sunday the 28th October, 2018, with a heart of gratitude, I will be at *St. Barnabas Cathedral Anglican Church , Ilorin* to give thanks to God Almighty for his faithfulness and mercies which endures forever.
Immediately after service at St. Barnabas , I will proceed to *Arandun* to spend time with my family, further appreciating the blessings of God.
On Monday 29th October 2018, I will be wrapping up the thanksgiving at *St. Peters Anglican Church , Arandun at exactly 6am* where I will also be receiving Holy communion.
Once again, thank you everyone for being a part of my life and for all your wishes and prayers. Despite, it being my birthday, I am not feeling old, in fact, I am feeling more energised. Most of all reflecting at my 60th birthday has taught me that I have no idea as to what to fully expect or what will happen by the time I reach my 70th birthday, if I am blessed to do so. Does that bother me? The unknown troubles all of us to some extent or another. However, if it troubles me that greatly, I hope the greatest lesson I have learned over the last 10 years is to look back, reflect on where I was in my life and see to where I came. For me it provides me the strength of knowing that while things may not “turn out”, exactly as you may think, that does not mean your life can’t be fulfilling and rewarding and allow you to live in such a way that is truly terrific in connecting and sharing of yourself with those you are privileged to meet.
*Sir (Comrade) Bisi Fakayode,*
ARANDUN, Irepodun LGA,