Tribute to Ade Ojo at 80
Sir: The chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited and founder of Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, Ondo State, Chief Michael Ade Ojo turned 80 on Thursday, June 14, 2018. I have had a rare opportunity of meeting Chief Ojo at the residence of his friend, last Olugbon of Orile Igbon in Surulere Local Government, Oyo State, Oba Samuel Adegboyega Osunbade, Adeyelu 11, on two occasions.
What I cherished most in Ojo are his gentle mien and disposition which betrayed his larger than life personality. Until you are told that he is the same Elizade, one would not know because of his simplicity. Chief Ojo had a humble background which was devoid of the proverbial silver spoon feeding.
However, through the dint of hard work, disciplinarian parents, especially his mother, self discipline, supportive wife and most especially, grace of God, he navigated the ocean of and today sits atop the management of many blue chips companies both at home and abroad. Chief Ojo is one of the responsible Nigerians who appreciated and put into practice the admonition of former American President, Abraham Lincoln, not think of what they could derive from America ( in this context Nigeria), but what they can contribute to her greatness. Ade Ojo is not a politician and we cannot say he milked the nation as is the case with third world politicians. He made his money through the dint of hard work, he is a businessman and has never occupied any political office, yet he has ploughed back to the society by establishing Elizade University, Ilara Mokin, for humanity. In his shoes are Chiefs Afe Babalola, Gabriel Igbinedion, Kola Daisi, Deji Adeleke, Pastor Benson Idahosa among others.
Anyone who read his interview in some national dailies to mark his 80th birthday would appreciate God’s goodness in the life of Ojo. The nation in appreciation of Ojo’s contributions to its economic development has awarded him the national award of Officer of the Order of Niger, OON. In these days when our youths are involving in nefarious activities to meet end meets or get quick wealth at times to their eternal regrets, reading the biography or interview of sages like Ade Ojo would show one that there is no short cut to fortune than hard work. He is a prospective role model or mentor for any child or youth in quest of greatness. How happy would one be if our policy makers in education sector could produce short biographies of people like Chief Ade Ojo and include such in social study, civic, or history and to be study by our youths in our primary and secondary schools? I believe so doing will bring the best out of our youths.
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