Barrister Adebayo Akinade

Shakespare once said that: -

“Some are born great
Some achieve greatness
While some have greatness thrust upon them”

Do you know that some buy greatness as well? How solid and real is the greatness bought with money?

In many cases, we talk about greatness without really defining the attributes of greatness. Is societal recognition tantamount to greatness? Does professional achievement amount to greatness? Does social crusader of the poor and needy amount to greatness? Do invention and creativity amount to greatness? Is success equal to greatness? This needs critical reflection.

Many people do not know that greatness is a relative term, relative to people, place, time and events.

The Great man theory can be largely explained by the impact of “great men” or heroes highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom or political skill utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact”

Human being can be great in every endeavours of life.

Professor Eddy Olajide Omolehinwa, is a great patriot with splendid personality, whose place in the history of university education and leadership in Nigeria, is unique. He displays in his character the virtues of selflessness, discipline, objectivity, tolerance and methodical approach to personal contemporary and national issues.

Professor Eddy Omolehinwa is a distinguished scholar and Professor of Accounting. He is a dedicated Christian of Aglican.

Professor Omolehinwa is an embodiment of humility, hard work, intellectualism, perseverance, symbol of excellence and devotion to the development of university education for the advancement of this great nation which is paramount in his heart and vision. We salute his courage, wisdom, intellect, depth, patience, generosity, love, humanity, simplicity and an uncommon sense of purpose.

Professor Eddy Olajide Omolehinwa is open, frank, fearless, considerate and a democratic leader and freedom fighter as a scholar and social fighter. Sometime the element of high authority creeps in spontaneously and that has made him dynamics and a special legends of our time. He believe so much in consultation and team work and he is very humble, amiable divinely dependable leader of this generation.

The achievements are noted and recognized and the society ascribe greatness to the heights attained by hardwork. If the hardwork is further reinforced with honesty of action and purpose, we are boarding for greatness.

If the society recognizes that the wealth is accompanied with humility and decency, we are nearly arriving at the doorstep of greatness.

When we provide service to people unknown with the motive of not receiving appreciation in return particularly from those whom we do not know and who may never know the provider, we have given to humanity and posterity. By that, we would have built psychological statutes in the minds of those who have heard or benefited from the grace. This is the result of greatness.

We salute our indefatigable role model whose life has been one of exemplary leadership, uncommon achievements and great service to humanity.

Professor Eddy Olajide Omolehinwa is a Professor of Public Sector Accounting and former Dean of Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos (2005 — 2009). He has served UNILAG in various capacities including membership of University of Lagos Governing Council as a representative of Unilag Senate. Educated at King's College. Lagos, he studied Accounting at University of Lagos where he was also the Financial Secretary of UNILAG Students' Union. He attended Columbia Graduate School of Business, New York for his MBA and graduated as a member of Beta Gamma Sigma Honours' Society for outstanding Business students. He is also an alumnus of Manchester Business School, University of Manchester where he obtained his PhD in Budgeting. He was a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence at Texas Southern University, Houston during 2006/2007 academic session on Exchange Programme sponsored by American government. He also served as a part-time Commissioner at the Tax Appeal Tribunal, South Eastern Zone, Enugu between 2010 acid 2016.

During his many years of service at UNILAG, he contributed to the education of thousands of Nigerians. Among them are eight State Governors including three of the current ones, the first female Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, former Head of Service of the Federation, many Professors and leading Accountants in both public and private sectors all over the country. Prof. Omolehinwa is a 2014 recipient of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) merit award for his contribution to accounting education in Nigeria

It is more appropriate to wish you 70th birthday anniversary because pure love, humility, warmth, and courage have been your natural elements. It is the truth of life that if a person is beautiful internally, it will reflect externally. And as Jack Benny put it "Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you do not mind, it doesn’t matter."

Today, we celebrate with you a milestone and accomplishment. You victoriously entered the historic age in life. Happy 70th birthday, our dearest patron! Over the last 70 years, you successfully navigated and conquered most of the challenges that you faced on this planet. The rare combination of humility and courage ordained you to be an inspiration to the lives of so many people that you have touched. Six of these aspects of those experiences of courage stand out and comprise your intellectual diversity, hunger for knowledge, deep engagement in socio-economic development, political change agency, family man extraordinaire, and a man genuinely purified in the fire of authentic Christianity.

Those who have outstanding intellectual diversity are very few. Unarguably, you are one of those rarities. You own accredited academic and professional accomplishments in the disciplines of security leadership administrative law, public administration, socio-economic development and many more that we do not know. Through the lens of Sun Tzu, in The Art of War, we make an enlightened meaning of this perspective of your life. "There are not more than five musical notes, yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard. There are not more than five primary colours, yet in combination, they produce more hues than can ever be seen. There are not more than five cardinal tastes, yet combinations of them yield more flavours than can ever be tasted. "We can as well add: "there are not more than eight decades of experiential diversities in the life of Professor, yet in combination, they resulted in the inspiring leader that we celebrate today". Can we, therefore, conclude that this intellectual diversity partially explains the positively enigmatic you?

The hand prints of your contributions to the socio-economic and educational development of the nation are overwhelming. They not only speak volumes of your vastly demonstrable experiences in socio-economic development but are apparent in your numerous roles within the political corridors. Indeed, you are a real conqueror at your 70th birthday.

Successful men are not known to do it alone. Behind them are their highly respected and supportive wives and children. You are an amazing family man who comes second after your wife and children. At this moment it is vital to express our sweet and loving memory of our friend’s wife Mrs. Olufemi Omolabake Omolehinwa our angel who went home and joined the saints few years ago. We miss and love you always, sweet wife and mummy. And it takes a man like you with genuine love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship, and faith in your relationship with your wife and children to sustain such priceless oneness. As author Thomas Merton put it, "the married man and the mother of a Christian family if they are faithful to their obligations, will fulfil a mission that is as great as it is consoling: that of bringing into the world and forming young souls capable of happiness and love, souls capable of sanctification and transformation in Christ". While that defines you, it is a genetic legacy. Its full manifestation took place during your encounter with God and your consequent transformation through the purest fire of the Holy Spirit.

Professor Eddy Olajide Omolehinwa a man of integrity, impeccable manners and a philanthropist per excellence. You are a quintessentially wonderful, unique rare breed of modest, gentle, humane, entrepreneurial and perfect epitome of humanity.

Your highly inspirational lifestyle is a family tradition inherited from your parents.

Professor Eddy Omolehinwa, an author of many books, is married and blessed with children.

Here are certainly a lot of Lessons and Inspirations that can be learnt from Professor Eddy Omolehinwa. It is an incredible account of rigorous training and perseverance. He is very diligent in his work with a rare passion for excellence and success. In all his education ventures, he demonstrated his inherent perseverance and determination in the face of all odds to achieve fantastic feat and brilliant achievement as a purpose-driven great professor and scholar. He chose to be a university teacher and worked assiduously to reach the pinnacle of his career as a Professor.

If hard work, integrity, dedication, loyalty and accomplishment are the true measures of greatness, then Professor Eddy Omolehinwa is truly great.

His making was steady, quietly and persistently, Professor Professor Eddy Omolehinwa climbed the hill to the peak of his chosen career as a scholar and educationist.

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified. He that Labours in any great and undertaking has his fatigues first supported by hope and after wards rewarded by joy. To strive with difficulties and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity.

The great heights Professor Eddy Omolehinwa attained were not by sudden flights but by dint of hard work, perseverance, doggedness and undaunting spirit which have carried him through a lot of stormy weathers to achieve abundant success, excellence and greatness in his chosen fields. Infact, he is a great man. As Pilgrims, we are all here to fulfil the law of our God and represent Him accordingly.

There are models, role models and amazons, but some are more than models and amazons. We are living in a world where pride is seen as virtue and a lot have fallen victims of this satanic gift. There are fathers, but there are fathers of fathers.

There are professors but there are professors of professors. There are teachers but there are teachers of teachers. Professor is a complete detribalised professional teacher and leader. He is passionate and committed to his profession as a scholar and counsellor.

As a leader, he is a fantastic listener who is always willing to assist in solving younger colleagues’ problems. He is a genuine leader who is interested in the growth and development of the youngest professional colleagues.

Being around Professor Eddy Omolehinwa, he will ensure that one is comfortable and happy. He makes people feel important recognized and respected. You have continued to live a life of great service to humanity especially to the less privileged. Your great poise, unblemished integrity and humanity endear you to the heart of millions of people as an exemplary philanthropist.

Professor Eddy Omolehinwa is opened, considerate and a democratic leader. As a father, sometimes, the element of high authority creeps in spontaneously and that has made him dynamic and a special legend of our time. He believes so much in consultation and team work. Professor Omolehinwa is very humble, amiable and divinely dependable leader of this generation. He is an experienced resourceful, erudite and diligent teacher and administrator who has made meaningful contributions to knowledge and leadership of this nation.

Words would fail me to describe Professor Eddy Omolehinwa but I want to say he has achieved greatness very well.

Sir, at 70, I say with all authority and with humility to God Almighty that you have achieved greatness, you have succeeded and get to this stage with your devotion to God Almighty and humbleness to Him by doing His wishes in His will, in His ways and in His wisdom. More grease to your elbow.

We celebrate you for your giant strides and great achievements and wish you more blissful years in good health and stupendous wealth. We are always inspired by your determination, dedication and vision. You are known to leave inimitable footprints in the hearts of all who come across you as a leader, mentor and quintessential manager of men and material resources.

Congratulations on your retirement from University service and Happy 70th Birthday.

Barrister Adebayo Akinade
On behalf of Adebayo Akinade Family