PROF. DARAMOLA AT 80: TRIBUTE TO A VISIONARY LEADER AND ELDER STATESMAN He was not born with silver spoons in his hands, but instead a shovel. Yet

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He was not born with silver spoons in his hands, but instead a shovel. Yet he is today among Nigeria’s most successful academics who have tranversed Nigeria’s educational ladder to be recognized globally. In our growing up days, we listened to the elders of our tribe tell stories of the old days. Amongst the tales they related to us were those of wars fought by our ancestors in defence of the fatherland. They were tales of valour and strength, tales of sacrifice and love for their people. Tales of African leaders who chose to lead from the front, to touch lives and impact society, in spite of sometimes harsh criticisms and seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Like Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the Singaporean phenomenon observed, “effective government, public order, personal security and social progress did not come about as natural causes of events – they germinated from the increasing realization that only visionary, ethical and competent leadership can address the crises of development in our nation”. It is why we honour and celebrate those individuals who have consistently given their all for our society to thrive and for the sustenance of our democracy, unity and development. According to Dr. Mo Ibrahim, “the importance of high quality leadership in sub-saharan Africa cannot be overstated. Therefore, the efforts of those leaders who rise above constraints to develop their communities, lift people out of poverty, and pave the way for future prosperity and success should be recognized and celebrated”.
And today, we celebrate one of Nigeria’s finest impact leaders, Prof. Claud Omoleye Daramola, Former Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, as he attains the Octogenarian age.
Under Daramola and his brother Minister at the Niger Delta Ministry, the presidential amnesty program had resulted in the successful disarmament, demobilization and re-integration of over 100,000 former agitators in the oil-rich Niger Delta region into the society as agents of change through a multifaceted approach involving educational scholarships to ivy league schools across the country, vocational and skills training, aviation and pilots training schemes, amidst others.
Born in Ode-Aye, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, Prof. attended the famous Divisional Teachers Training College, Ode-Aye before proceeding to the University of Sokoto (now Usman Dan Fodio University) where he got his first degree. He later attended the University of Jos and obtained his Masters Degree in Sociology of Education after which he proceeded to the University of Ilorin where he bagged his Doctorate in Sociology of Education.
It is important to know that names are so important in human history. When a name like Thomas Edison comes to centre stage, one cannot but reflect deeply on inventions. Henry Ford reminds us of automobiles and the Wright Brothers re-echoe the genesis of airplanes. One of Winston Churchill’s greatest biographers, William Manchester said, ” Churchill was used by God to save western civilization”. In Ode-Aye and indeed Ikaleland, it is the collective view of observers and analysts that Daramola is a man not only sent by God but a human dynamo and unique being of great erudition who has practically demonstrated the measure of human intelligence and power of knowledge to restore glory and confidence of human race in a society like ours.

Meanwhile, observers are of the view that individual perception of the foremost Don may differ from one another; yet one thing is basic and sure. There are some qualities in him in which no man can dispute. In the submission of Henry Ford, he said and I quote; ” Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance “. This assertion furthers the platform for the success story of this elder statesman. A renowned scholar Ben Stain also said and I quote: “The indispensable first step for you to achieve your heart desire in life is to decide what you want and identify how best to pursue them”. Again, this remains one of the enviable strategies in which this foremost Professor has been pursuing his noble ideals for the good of the people. An American historian, Walt Disney also argued that all our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them genuinely and at the right time. This illustrious son of Ondo State can be premised on this assertion. William Shakespeare said “no legacy is as rich as honesty and discipline “. Again, this submission further re-enforces the platform on which Claudius Omoleye, KJW, has successfully paved the very road he has been running the race of life.
As a media organization, we wish to join his numerous friends and admirers to rise in his honour as he attained the Octogenarian age today. He is a rare gem and indeed a pride to his people in Ode-Aye, Ondo State and Nigeria at large. At 80, Prof. remains a great icon and indeed an inspiration to all of us. His enviable records and inspiring account speak volume of whom he is. Hence, his noble sojourn and achievements will not only continue to loom large but represents a reference point in the history of mankind.
Honestly, no words will be enough, no encomiums showered on him could outweigh the wishes for a man of compassion. But it just must be said, because there could be no better time to appreciate him than now. For a man who has touched lives, for Prof. Claud Omoleye Daramola, the man truly sent to the world to raise the hope of mankind, his 80 years of distinct existence has been years of service and philanthropy. If you want to provoke him, do any of these: tell a lie, show unintelligence, give inkling of familiarity contempt, steal money or commit any other fraudulent act, display timidity, exhibit slothfulness, and dress shabbily. On the contrary, the oppositeness of these manifestations nurtures his affinity for anyone.
The best is yet to come from this adept innovator, revolutionary extraordinaire, gem of our time and a generational statement.
We celebrate his achievements at 80 and can only wish Ode-Aye Community, Ondo State and Nigeria at large have more of his type.
80 hearty cheers, Prof !!!

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