HomeNewsHuman InterestSpecial Jumah prayer for Ipesa-Balogun @ 60

Special Jumah prayer for Ipesa-Balogun @ 60

•Hon Iyepe hails lawmaker on birthday celebration

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Former Chairman of Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, Lagos State, Afeez Ipesa-Balogun has commemorated his 60th birthday with a special Jumah prayer and book launch.

The special jumah service prayer took place in the mosque built in memory of his late wife, Monsurah Ipesa-Balogun Mosque at Awoyaya, Lagos.
While delivering a lecture during the special Jumah Prayer, Former Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulHakeem AbduLateef, said gratitude and patience are the two weapons to overcome challenges in Islam.
“Human beings pass through four stages of existence, first stage, when you are in your mother’s womb, second stage, when you are born to the world, thirdly, when you are in the grave and lastly, the judgement day. The most important of these stages is when we are born and stay on the earth’s surface. Why this stage is important because it determines our afterlife, the judgement day.
He noted that people went astray because they didn’t know that this world was a trial, So, many people misinterpreted success and failure. It is only Allah that determines who is successful and who is not.
“Some people gave themselves certificates of piousness, saying they are the pious ones. Allah said in the Holy Quran that it is only Him who knows who truly worships him. If we understand trial very well, we will not be running helter-skelter over trivial things.
He added that a trial is different from an examination where questions are asked, and you are expected to give the correct answer.
“Trial takes things from people by force without asking, waiting for your reactions to see if they will pass the test and the greatest human enemy Shaitan will be on standby to mislead.
“The greatest mistake of humans is this prayer said by everyone, ‘God don’t allow us to see trial’ whereas Allah created you with trial. The similitude of this popularly said prayer is that of a student who is praying for an exam to be cancelled instead of preparing for the exam. In such a situation if the school eventually cancelled the exam another day will be fixed. So, praying not to witness a trial is not a prayer, but to overcome it is the actual prayer.
 “ All that Allah gave you is a trial, be it money, children, position and what have you. This is to let you know that we are already in, and how to overcome it is what we should be thinking of.
“There is nothing Allah can’t use to test us, let us look at what is happening in Palestine, it is a trial from Allah. So many Muslim nations have been tested by war and with steadfastness they overcame it. People have been tested with death, Allah sees everything and there is a reason for everything.
He said that if humans know when they will die they will never celebrate their birthday.
“ Just imagine a person was told he would die at age 61 and he clocked 60 years. Such a person would either be in the mosque praying fervently asking for forgiveness instead of throwing a birthday party.
We are not getting younger as we increase in age, because we don’t know when we will approach the end of our lifetime and this is a misery to us but best known to only Allah.
Meanwhile, earlier in the week Ipesa-Balogun presented a book titled ‘Afeez Ipesa-Balogun, Mr Speaker…exploration of the archives’.

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The book is a compendium of the odyssey of Ipesa-Balogun through birth, infancy, early school age, high school and tertiary institutions. Mostly centred on his dreams and accomplishments, it also chronicled the former council boss’ forays into the political landscape up till his diamond jubilee day celebration.
The event featured the unveiling the 60 winners of the Ipesa-Balogun@60 Scholarship Scheme, the presentation of the book, the book review and the cutting of cake.
The celebrator dedicated the book to God, his parents – the late Alhaji Atanda Balogun and Alhaja Ramota Balogun (Nee Akinboro) and his late wife, Monsurat Mosunmola Ipesa-Balogun.
Ipesa-Balogun appealed to Nigerians to be patient under this harsh economic situation.
According to him, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a passionate leader, who can never be happy with the situation of the country.
He described the situation of the economy as unfortunate; expressing optimism that Mr President will transform the country and improve the economy as he has transformed Lagos State.
“Nigerians should be patient with Mr President. He will improve their well-being because we have a lot we can export to generate foreign earnings. All the bottlenecks affecting economic growth will be removed; foreign exchange will be earned and the naira will be valuable again.
“I understand people smuggle our agricultural produce to neighbouring countries to export because of bottlenecks in our country, he would remove all the bottlenecks so that we can earn foreign exchange and at that point, we will begin to reduce pressure on the naira and naira will be valuable. You will start to see signals of good things happening after one year.”
He also advised citizens to keep working hard and they should not give up.
“They should keep working hard, they should not give up. If one road is blocked, they should try alternative roads; that has been my life. As wrote in my paper, I wasn’t thinking about politics until my friend nominated me and I got to like it. Imagine a young man, desperate to be an aeronautical engineer now a politician,” he said.
The Book Reviewer, Prof Olugbenga Akingbehin, said the book came at a time of severe dearth of politically stimulating books.
“The book is a bright spark in the dark world of the Nigerian intellectual voyage. The book’s power and energy should, therefore, fuel the scholarly thirst of students, politicians, historians and future leaders. I hereby commend this invaluable book to the reading public,” he said.
According to him, “The book is a compendium of the odyssey of our own Afeez Ipesa-Balogun through birth, infancy, early school age, high school and tertiary institutions. Mostly centred on dreams and his accomplishments, it also chronicled the young man’s forays into the political landscape up till this day of the diamond jubilee celebration. The narrative is not devoid of his travails along the journey of life.”
Former Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, spoke of his connection with the celebrator as very important and that they have been together for a very long time.
He is described as a good leader and a people person who handles all situations’ excellently with no problems.
Fowler said: “Some of you might wonder about my connection with the celebrator. My first main meeting with him was when I was the Permanent Secretary/Executive Chairman of, Lagos State Revenue Service (LIRS). I was asked to monitor the Oshodi area but before I went, I was told that Oshodi was a very tough area. I got there with the chairman, he welcomed me so well, we had a little discussion about security and other measures, he handled everything excellently. I can tell you during that exercise, there was no trouble, no problems, as we went around you could see he knew exactly what was going on and the people loved him. That shows the type of leadership he gave in that area and since then, we became brothers, and our relationships keep growing stronger.”
Lagos State Commissioner for Housing, Moruf Akinderu-Fatai, who is the Chairman Organising Committee, described Ipesa-Balogun as a childhood friend.
Akinderu-Fatai said the book would serve as a good archive for generations.
He hailed the celebrator’s scholarship gesture, saying that the beneficiaries would cherish it for the rest of their lives.
The Commissioner for Housing appreciated the guests for honouring their invitation.
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