-by Olufemi Lawson
Celebrating Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, a Man whose 60th birth resonates today among his people, becomes a necessity, not for what he has achieved for himself as a person, but for the army of his friends, Political associates and followers. Afikuyomi; a man with the divine burden and mandate to always, stand to be counted, whenever it matters most.
Despite his influential upbringing, which ordinary should have denied him, of the depth of Sociopolitical, knowledge, that he has today, Senator Afikuyomi’s Natural gift of service to humanity and his community, is the spirit that drove him into politics. Ever since his days, as a Students’ Union activist at the University of Lagos and the National Association of Nigerian Students, Afikuyomi has always sought for platforms through which he could care for a larger number of the people.
The history of Nigeria’s return to democracy today, will be incomplete, without a deliberate mention, of the role, played by the young Tokunbo Afikuyomi, who among several other Pro-democracy icons in the country, placed their lives, on the line, while confronting the Military junta in Nigeria, until they became exiled, by the Sani Abacha Junta, a regime, which Afikuyomi and others, ensured its end and the eventual restoration of Democratic rule, in the country, in 1999.
Upon the return of Nigeria to civil rule in 1999, Senator Afikuyomi, again, got involved in the political process, which saw his emergence, through popular mandates to the Nigerian Senate, on two occasions.
This desire to do more for the people, is what made him contest for the governorship of Lagos State in 2007. Although the electoral result was skewed against him, he was never discouraged in his dogged commitment, towards championing the cause of the ordinary people.
A compassionate go-getter and dogged fighter, Tokunbo Afikuyomi has remained a relevant actor, in the political landscape of Lagos State, and Nigeria, as a whole, judging by his network of friends, political associates and followers, which spread across the States of the country.
Senator Afikuyomi, is a workaholic, who believes that nothing is impossible to achieve, hence his constant demands for hardwork from those of us, who finds ourselves around him, and the can-do spirit that he exhibits at all times.
Restless, progressive and constantly breaking new grounds as a measure of personal challenge, there’s no contesting the facts that Afikuyomi, has paid his dues.
For these years, of being privileged to associate with this intellectual warehouse, one cannot but say, that Senators Afikuyomi’s progressive influence, transcends his generation and it’s of greater influence, to those of us behind.
This, therefore, is to more grace and mercy, both of which have sustained him in his journey through life, with a much longer life in good health and prosperity. We pray that God would continue to strengthen him and give him larger platforms to continue to touch the lives of a greater number of humanity.
Happy 60th birthday to our STA.
Olufemi Lawson is the Executive Director, Centre for Public Accountability (CPA)
He writes from Lagos.