By Taiwo Okanlawon
Dignitaries who spoke at the unveiling of the Okanlawon Memorial Trust, have stressed on the need for more foundations for the vulnerable.
They made this known over the weekend at the unveiling of a humanitarian organisation set up by the family of the late Pa Asafa Olohuntoogun Okanlawon and his wife, Alhaja Basirat Okanlawon, held at Kings Riverside Holiday and Resorts, By Odo-Oba River, Iwo-Ibadan Road, Iwo Osun.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Interior and former Governor of Osun, who was the chairman of the occasion was represented by Caretaker
Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State, Abdulrasaq Salinsile.
In his speech, Aregbesola commended the late parents for raising successful children who have represented the Okanlawon family very well in society.
“I am glad that Alhaja Basirat Abike Okanlawon lived a devoted and meaningful life. Her kind was that which priortized the development and growth of other people, she was a woman of virtue, as we gather to pray for her and her beloved husband who left years ago.
“We must all copiously work towards imbibing the imprints of excellence and dedicated service to Allah she held before breathing her last, my Allah (SAW) Grant the Okanlawons Al Jannah Firdaus and continue to uphold the family they left behind,” he prayed.
National Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman Olanrewaju Ahmad, the guest lecturer enjoined every parent to take care of their children and teach them in the ways of Allah.
According to him, the parent will only reap what he or she sows in their old age and all children are indebted to their parents who brought them up while they are young.
He said, “Whatever you sow you shall reap, and we will all pay our debts. If parents take care of their children, definitely the children are indebted to those parents.
“When those parents are alive, the children must take care of them as well as when they’re gone. All these have been explained in the Holy Quran, not necessarily with big money but being humble alone is part of it. You must respect them, listen to them, and do not shout at them.
“You must also pray for them while they’re alive and when they’re gone, all these are part of the debt you have to pay.
“The question now is, are we teaching our children all these qualities of being a good child to the parent?
Imam Ahmad also urged to lay the foundation or right path their children will go in life and a legacy they can carry on with after their demise.
“Parents should endeavour to do something their children can carry one with when they’re gone. Which is what we are seeing today.
“There’s no magic to this ascertain and God is not a magician, no magic will occur, our children will only live by the rules and regulations we have laid down for them when we are gone.
“Even thou the parents may be good and the children turn out to be otherwise, just like prophet Nuhu’s son and the mother may be good and the father will be bad just like Pharaoh.
“God has given us many instances in the Holy Quran and how we can raise our children in His way, and they will not go astray. We must teach them to be virtuous.
“It will get a point that all the luxury of life may be useless to parents.
“We have heard how the parents of these children strived to raise them in God’s way, and we pray May Allah peace continue to be with them in their graves. May God forgive their shortcomings.
“As you have done these to honour your parents, may Allah bless you with children that will honour you as well, children that will remind you too when you’re gone,” he prayed.
In his goodwill message, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos who was represented by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the Lagos State government will also be supporting the cause to help the less privileged in the society.
Omotoso said the Memorial Trust that was launched is going to play a huge role in the life of whoever benefitted from it, and it will go a long way in the future.
The commissioner also urged everyone at the event to see the sermon by the guest lecturer as a take-home that they need to work towards for the betterment of their lives and their children.
“It’s a thing of joy for me to be here today, to see all that we are doing here today, and we are here today because, Semiu’s parents were nice to him, and they trained him well, they showed him how to live life.
“I understand everything the lecturer said, but there is a particular thing that he said “any child that the parent take care of very well, is indebted to them. There are going to be ups and downs, and the way they brought us up before we all rebirth ourselves.
“Semiu himself has remodeled himself and made himself somebody to be reckoned with in the society, and that is why the Governor of Lagos State said today I must be here to deliver this his goodwill message.
“Today is not just a day for us to talk, the Chief missioner has told us the essence of being here today, all I need to just say it to say that, I’m here to bring details from the governor of Lagos State, and to tell you, Semiu is his personal friend, when he saw the invitation, he was alas because he is clashing with national issues, otherwise he would have been here.
“So what we were told by the lecturers, that parents who did well for their children, the children are owing them to do this for them when they pass on, and I’m happy to tell you, that whatever Semiu is doing in any way that the Governor of Lagos State can support him, we are going to support him, we are not going to be announcing publicly, but for what have seen today, I will be able to deliver the message that Semiu is not just well known in Lagos, is also known in his hometown, he is loved in his hometown, and the crowd that we are seeing here, is not just of many people, but people of dignitaries in the society, people of importance, people who know the meaning of what we are doing here today, honor for our parents, and everything that is good in the memory of our parents, so that at the end of the day, when we also have done well for our children, they can also honor us.
“The foundation that Semiu is laying today is going to play so many roles in this town, and the bringing up of so many children, who will also grow up and do well,” he concluded.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Pharm Daud Okanlawon who spoke on behalf of the family said the family chooses to set up the memorial trust in honour of their parents which be a benefit to the community on their behalf.
According to him, both parents who were lovers of education lived a fulfilled life and were contented with what they had.
“Our father died 45 years ago while our dear mother joined him recently, we all know death is inevitable, but we are always scared of the time. That decision is only in God’s hand.
“After our mother clocked 75 years, her only wish was to land safely, and we give all glory to Allah because her wish came to pass.”
“We are doing this because both parents lived a fulfilled life and we are always proud of them whenever we think about them. Both of them cherished education and were contented with what they had.
“This event is borne out of our agreement to do something that will be an everlasting benefit on their behalf, and we are most grateful for your presence here today,” he said.
The colourful event was attended by the representative of Postmaster General of the federation and CEO of NIPOST, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, representative of Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), Asiwaju Aare Musulumi of Iwoland, Alhaji Liadi Tella, royal fathers, political bigwigs, and other highly respected personalities from home and abroad.