Pensioners immortalise late Chairman, changed Secretariat’s name

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Pensioners immortalise late Chairman, changed Secretariat’s name

Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria (LOGPAN), Ogun State branch has renamed the Association’s Secretariat after their late Chairman, Chief Sikiru Akangbe AYILARA JP.The Association has, as part of the Lying-in-State programme for the departed Chairman on Friday, 4th of November, 2022 held at the Association’s Secretariat, behind Ita-Oshin Motor Park, Abeokuta, the new name “Sikiru Akangbe AYILARA LOGPAN Secretariat” was unveiled by Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government of Ogun State, Mr Tokunbo Talabi.

Mr Talabi while unveiling the new name said, it’s deserving naming this facility after Pa Sikiru Ayilara. I hereby commissioned this Secretariat in the name of God and for the benefit of humanity.

Earlier, the SSG has eulogised the deceased for his strong will at which he pursuit whatever he believes in, pensioners welfare in particular, adding that the late Chief Sikiru Ayilara JP was an old man of many parts, describing him as a terror and gentleman.

To his enemies, Chief Sikiru Ayilara JP was a terror. To his friends, he was a gentle soul.

Speaking moment after the unveiling, the chairman of the burial Committee, Pastor Benedict Ademoye, stated that the changing of the Secretariat’s name, was an unanimous decision of the members in all the twenty local government areas of the state as one of the enduring ways to institutionalize the legacy Chief Ayilara left behind.

Pastor Ademoye explained that honouring the late Chairman as such was not only right but also justifiable because the deceased had truly lived for the utmost interest of the Retirees in the state.

“Could you believe that starting from the purchase of this piece of land up to the completion of the building till the commissioning of the Secretariat, it was as if Chief Ayilara was carrying out his personal project considering the level of determination, zeal, passion, and the elegantry he put into all the phases.

“Chief Ayilara monitored every bit of the documentation, ensured that the construction adhered strictly to the 21st century architectural design befitting of a meeting place for the senior citizens.

“You see, Chief Ayilara nurtured the Pensioners as if he was their biological father, elder brother or sibling; on most occasions, he would exhaust himself during agitation or protest for the welfare of his retired colleagues”, Pastor Ademoye stated.

As well, the Permanent Secretary of the Bureau of Local Government Pensioners, Mrs in her tributes said Pa Ayilara’s unparalleled impacts can never be forgotten in the affairs of the Pensioners in Ogun State.

Also, the Secretary of LOGPAN, Chief , while reflecting on over sixty years of the duo’s friendship, said he recommended Chief Ayilara to be trained in the Community service in 1968 because he noticed in the deceased a genuine passion to care for others and the willingness to make people’s burden his own.

Reading from varied oratories, the Vice Chairman, Deaconess Oreoluwa Aranju expressed the Association’s appreciation for all the groups and Dignitaries, in particular, the retired Nurses in the state who showed gratitude for the impact of Chief Ayilara in their lives.

BIOGRAPHY:

Chief Sikiru Akangbe Ayilara JP (Yorùbá: Síkírú Àkàngbé AYÍlÁRÁ; 8 August 1942 – 27 August 2022) was an elder statesman who played a vital role in the development of Egbado/Yewa/Ketuland, Ogun State and Nigeria.

Chief Ayilara grew up to become a born teacher, clear-cut administrator, embodiment of Parenthood and a genuine lover of humanity. Over the years, he successfully molded many reputable present day leaders.

When he had encounter with Jesus Christ in 1995, he became a devout convert, served God wholesouled firstly at ZOE Ministries and later ordained as Elder in the doctrine of the Living Faith Church, popularly known as Winners Chapel, headquartered in Ota, Ado-Odo/Ota LGA, Ogun State, SouthWest Nigeria.

His respect for Yoruba cultural values earned him the Alapinni (ALÁPINNI) of Ketu land; a High Chieftaincy title bestowed on him in 1982 by HRM Alákétu of Kétuland, Oba Pascal Adeoti Adetutu in the presence of his millennium visitor, the Ọọni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II. It will be recalled that Chief Ayilara facilitated the visit of the Yoruba heritage Custodian to Alákétu’s Palace.

Born in Imeko in Ogun State, South West Nigeria, Sikiru Ayilara’s natural love for Imeko town could be seen in the way he facilitated infrastructural projects into the formal headquarters of Egbado District; Securing Vehicle Number Plate for Imeko (MEK), Writing memo and getting approval for Imeko/Afon Local Government Council from FCT, facilitated the conversion of Imeko Health Centre to a General Hospital status, as well as the establishment of Alaketu High School, Imeko. During his regime as the Secretary to Egbado North LGA, Motor Park, Town Hall, Better Life Market were all constructed. He facilitated the Upgrading of Onimeko Stool to a Grade I status.

In the 80’s, when Chief Ayilara was the Secretary to Ketu Development Association (KDA), he aimed at educational empowerment of the youths, facilitated many scholarship awards to indigent students.

During his days as the Administrative Secretary to Local Governments in Ogun State, legacy projects executed under his watch among, Sango/Ota Motor Park, Oja-Oba market in Ota, Owode-Yewa market, First Two Classrooms at Tongeji Island, Jubilee Flat in Ilaro, Oja Igboro in Ilaro, Rehabilitation of roads and Construction of many health centres across the then Egbado North LGA, Igbogila Town Hall, et cetera.

When he became the Chairman of Local Government Pensioners Association of Nigeria, Ogun State Branch, in the year 2013, Chief Ayilara took proper care of the senior citizens. He fought for the aged fundamental rights such as timely payment of pensions, as he would not blink eyes to question successive governments over unpaid gratuities since the inception of democracy in 1999.

HIS BACKGROUND: Chief Sikiru Ayilara JP was born on 8 August 1942 in the Ketu town of Imeko in the present-day Ogun State of SouthWest Nigeria. Named Sikiru by his Muslim parents, he was the youngest of his mother’s three children and sixth of his father’s nineteen children. His father, Pa Adamu Ayilara and mother Mrs Muyibat Ayilara were farmer and trader respectively.

As a boy, he began his educational adventure at the Koranic School at Sheikh Akorede Salami School for some years before changing to Western education at Saint Augustine Catholic School, Imeko in 1949.

He proceeded to Saint Patrick Secondary School, Imeko, and finished in 1959 as one of the pioneering students.

As a secondary modern III certificate holder, he engaged in teaching for two years between 1960 and 1962. He later obtained Teacher’s grade III certificate from Egbado Teachers Training College, Ilaro in 1964. During his studentship at ETTC, Ilaro, he was the School Time-Keeper. He gained admission into Muslim Teachers Training College, Surulere and passed out in 1970 with Teachers Grade II Certificate.

Having sat and passed the private candidate GCE O/L creditably, shortly after that, he was admitted into the only Federal College of Education in the Southern part of Nigeria in 1972 at the UNILAG College of Education, Yaba, Lagos State where he was awarded the National Certificate on Education (NCE) in 1975.

As a result of his brilliant performance at the NCE level in 1975, he was offered just a two-year program at the University of Lagos in 1977 from where he bagged Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History and Education in 1979, becoming the schoolmate of the former Governor of Ogun State, HE Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

He studied for his master’s degree in Local Government Studies between 1987 and 1989 at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, being the member of the pioneer set of the Department.

As a teacher for many years, Baba Ayii as fondly called taught at various primary and secondary schools, as well as two Teachers Training Colleges in Ogun State. He was an examiner for Teachers Grade II.

He began his teaching career at Ansar-Ud-Deen Primary School, Irigun-Iju-Ota near Ibese in January 1960.

After a meritorious teaching service in Lagos and Ogun State, he worked as the Vice Principal of Methodist High School, Arigbajo, Ifo from where, he, in 1981, transferred his civil service to the Local Government Service with his first appointment as Administrative Secretary to Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government. He was the first Administrative Secretary in Ogun State to be admitted into the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), as well as one of the first two Administrative Officers to bag Master’s Degree at the University of Ife.

He retired as Secretary to Local Government, and was appointed again as Secretary to Local Government to meet the policy of the time.

In 1988 Chief Ayilara was transferred to Egbado South Local Government in Ilaro, from where he was posted to Egbado North Local Government, Ayetoro in 1990.

Chief Ayilara was appointed Commissioner to the Local Government Service Commission in 1997 and diligently served the State till 1999.

He worked at the Ambrose Alli University, Osogbo Campus as Registrar between 1999 and 2001.

Thereafter, he worked as Administrative Officer at Tai Solarin College of Education Post-Graduate Diploma, Ota.

Chief Ayilara resumed duty at the Techno Mechanical Nigeria Limited and Thermo Aqoustic Products Limited, Pakoto, Ogun State in 2006 as Human Resources Manager till 2009.

The gentleman as he preferred to be called would not tolerate any acts of indiscipline. He would relate well with all lovers of sincerity of purpose. He remains one of the simplest human being who ever lived on the planet earth. He was meek, honest, considerate and above all, jovial.

Chief Sikiru Akangbe Ayilara JP of blessed memory served his colleagues – Local Government Retirees – diligently for 22 years (12 years as pioneer Secretary, and 10 years as Chairman) till the point of death as he would not agree with any government that deprived the senior citizens of their rights.

MARITAL LIFE:

Chief Sikiru Ayilara got married to his beloved wife, Mrs Grace Bamidele Ayilara Nee Tade in 1964  Mama Bamidele Ayilara who has gone to be with the Lord was truly a pillar of support to Chief Sikiru Ayilara such that Baba Ayii refused to remarry.

The marriage was blessed with five children who are doing well in their choosing careers; Olukayode, Oluwafemi, Oluwakemi, Oluwabukola, and Ibukunoluwa AYILARA.

HONOURS:

He was a recipient of 2019 Human Rights Defender of the Year – ATOTO COMMUNICATIONS

Until his demise, Chief S.A Ayilara was among the Ogun State 50 Most Influential People as Published by Prestige Newspaper Book titled, “Ogun State 50 Most Influential People”. Vol. 1 and “Ogun State 50 Top Role Models” (MEMOIRS) Vol. 2.