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   There is time for everything under the Sun: time to be born, time to die, time of joy and of sadness, time to take and to give, time to start and time to end etc. Everything under the has its allotted time.

The above passage taken from the Holy Writ best summarises the life of every mortal. This has nothing to do with education, wealthy, position, religion etc. It is the lot of all of us.

   Every peregrination of man commences sometime and somewhere. When the then young, bubbling and energetic Rotimi Adeyemi joined the public service in those days and came round, people used to call him wolewole. It was a derogatory word used to describe sanitary inspectors. They were popular on account of their notoriety for making life difficult for landlords and occupants of unhygienic  surroundings. People saw them as burdensome, pokenosing people. Aside that, they were not seen as people who were well educated. They reasoned, what is special in looking for untidy surroundings and make the occupants do the needful with penalty to pay? Some bad eggs among them used to make people grease their palms forcefully. To further compound his own case, Rotimi's was seen as haughty as his gait in the big frame clad in white top over brown trouser uniform showed he had joined the the group people loved to hate.

   Thats where his days of small beginnings end. He has become an oak (Iroko tree) in whatever way you want to access him. By the time he retired from the Civil Service, he had attained the level of a Director on grade level 16. His Importance and influence came to the fore on the 21st of January, 2024 when he hosted friends and well-wishers to a grand reception in his house. It was to thank God for seeing him through 35 years in the Ondo State civil service, the Pens Down of which took place two days earlier.

   The entire compound was filled up as the canopies erected had no space to accommodate late comers. Music was supplied by a young man, who brought back the good olden days with vibes from Wale Glorious, Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey and Baba Kennery, Orlando Owoh. The celebrant, Dr. Rotimi Adeyemi could not contain his joy. He was ubiquitous, moving round from one canopy to  the other, greeting and ensuring that everything went on smoothly and everyone was satisfied. His wife, Funmi was even more gleeful, beaming with her trademark hearty smiles and thanking the guests.
Who would blame them? They were celebrating the capping of a tough and tortuous marathon of 35 years that has resulted in happy arrival at destination. Such a privilege is not the lot of everybody. The celebration, a big one by all standards, was characteristic of the celebrant; Rotimi Adeyemi. He does his things in a big ways just as his physique.

    When an individual attains success, people tend to say such has been lucky or fortunate more than others. Dr. Rotimi Adeyemi, who is not known for displaying emotions  betrayed this trait in his vote of thanks. In a suppressed emotion-laden voice, he recounted how his late mother, a palm oil seller took up the responsibility of taking care of and providing for him and his brothers and sister after his dad had pegged out suddenly and prematurely. Fortune might have smiled on him, yet you cannot become an academic giant without putting in a lot of hardwork.

   Having been acquaintances and later a fairly close friend of Barrister Rotimi Adeyemi for forty (40), I am in position to say one or two things about him.
I will like to start this piece with Rotimi's biggest passion: education. His thirst for and acquisition of knowledge is insatiable. It has been an endless pursuit of the Pierian spring since 1982 when he acquired his WASC at Technical College, Idanre.

   In those days at Eleye, off Oke-aro Street, Akure, Rotimi Adeyemi father's house was distinct in all ramifications: it was an elegant two-storey building with flowers planted at its frontyard. The palatial upstairs house was occupied by the mother and children, called nuclear family alone. In those days, none of the other houses around had such arrangement.
The children spoke distinct Yoruba language of people born and raised in Ibadan or Lagos, unlike the rest of us. They were elitist. His mum, a big woman  was businesslike. She carried herself with an aura of respect. Her gait was reminiscent of a military man; moving her giant frame with dignity and poise. I used to see her pass by our house to the Anglican Church, Isinkan every Sunday. I cannot remember seeing her in a gossip session or quarrel with any woman or anyone for that matter. She was too serious for such time wasting frivolities.
Rotimi's elder brother, Folarin, his younger twins-Taye and Kehinde all minded their businesses. None of them mixed with people of the area freely as such. Rotimi however, was different, as he mingled with his contemporaries thereby cultivating friendship in the process. That was how we met. He is gregarious; a good mixer, who is at home with everyone. Yes, he is. Not only that, during the holidays he would join us at Charity photo office to talk, play and do other things. He was also part of the assemblage of young guys playing Table Tennis at St. Patrick Primary School. All of us were  just happy  being in the midst of of our peers and a few elderly ones. Some would wager bets to beat their opponents. This did not catch his or my fancy.

   He exhibited certain characteristics then. These include reading newspapers and philosophical books of his late father. We exchanged a couple of these then. He was irrepressible, opinionated, nononsense, friendly, accommodating and highly intelligent.

   Rotimi enjoyed good and intelligent conversation. I noticed a habit in him. Everytime, we discussed any issue, he would always go against the popular opinion. One day I asked him, awe, why are you always having a different opinion about issues? You like arguing. Why? He smiled and replied, "I know what I am doing. Its deliberate. I am using it to gather and garner opinion of others. This is good as it broadens our knowledge."

   On another occasion, he condemned combat sports especially boxing and wrestling. 'It does not make sense to me. My wife will be sitting somewhere and witness me being smashed on the floor or turned into a punching bag because of money. I cannot imagine myself doing that."

   He would not take nonsense from anyone, no matter the level of your closeness. To him, give it back hot as soon as you got it. "If someone for whatever reason slaps you and you dont retaliate, he would do it again. That is because he would assume the slap did not pain you."

   As we sat there on that fateful day with every segment of the society he had encoubtered honouring him with their presence, Rotimi had succeeded in making his impact felt. Retired and serving Permanent Secretaries, retired and serving Heads of local Government Administrations, (HOLGA), former and serving  NULGE state chairmen, Local Government staff, Rotary Club members, Egbe Omo Oke-aro members, old friends, old schoolmates and others were in attendance. This shows that Rotimi leaves his mark everywhere he has been and with everyone he has had one or two things to do with. It was at the event that I heard that he had been a kingmaker in NULGE. We were also told that he rebuffed every attempt to make him head the union. "A kingmaker does not mount the throne." Active Union politics would have been a needless disruptive venture on his long term academic vision.
A subordinate said, they would miss his weekend monetary gifts. Rotimi is irrepressible.

   No matter how colourful his journey in the civil service might have been, his life after retirement  promises much better prospects. Are you wondering how?
Rotimi's penchant and insatiable urge for education has prompted him to become "a beautiful bride" for all segments of the society outside the narrow civil service. His life after retirement is bound to be a bed of roses. What is the reason for this assurance?
Every public servant with an eye on the future has two optiins: either get the best education can offer and become an expert in one or more specialties. It could be in law, lecturing or degrees marketable internationally. On the other hand, get skills that will make you become your own boss.
Barrister Rotimi chose the first option. Take time to read his lengthy academic and professional accomplishments below.

   He is a holder of Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Health and Safety, Masters of Science in Environmental Health Management, Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education, Bachelor of Law and Barrister at Law.
Dr. Adeyemi also holds Diploma in Public Health as Health Superintendent, Diploma in Health Administration and Management, Diploma in Community Health that he passed at Distinction level, Certificate in Clinical Family Planning and Diploma in Journalism of from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.
He is polyvalent, a licensed consultant sanitarian per excellent, Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and an Environmental jurisprudence scholar.
Dr. (Barrister) Rotimi Emmanuel Adeyemi is a Fellow of West African Postgraduate College of Environmental Health, Fellow of International Federation of Environmental Health and Fellow Royal Society for Health Promotion, London.
Intimidating? With all these, he fits in anywhere he chooses to go.

   Let's go further to check what these lengthy laurels have turned him to. Apart from  being an adjunct lecturer, he is a resource person to both the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria and the West Africa Health Organisation.
He is the Registrar/Secretary General, West African Postgraduate College of Environmental Health (WAPCEH).

   Without saying it, certainly, Dr. (Barrister) Rotimi Adeyemi is not and cannot be out of work now or in the nearest future. His life, as attested to by his qualifications, is an eloquent testimony to the fact that the civil service is just the starting point. That is not for everybody, not necessarily Permanent Secretaries, not Directors, not the man who has made most money but for the man who desires a future where he will be relevant after service.
    Happy belated birthday to Dr. Barrister Rotimi Adeyemi Emmanuel, the wolewole, omo iya elepo, who has become a collosus: an academician, a Lawyer, a researcher, a journalist and an International figure


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