By Oki Samson
In preserving the twin legacies of their late parents which is quality education and economic empowerment, the children of late Engr. Akinola and late Mrs. Emiola Ogunsan have initiated a foundation which will cater to the needs of indigent students and entrepreneurs in the society.
Initiated and funded by the Ogunsan siblings comprising Dr. Ayo Ogunsan, Abbey Ogunsan, Lady Aduke Aina and Folorunsho Ogunsan, the AKEM Foundation will support pupils, empower people just as their parents were passionately doing for people while they were alive.
The AKEM Foundation was launched by the Ogunsans last Sunday 8th January in Lagos with the esteemed presence of friends, families, and well-wishers. The dignitaries include the Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG in charge of Zone 2 (Lagos and Ogun), AIG Bode Adeleke and his Wife, Mrs. Modupe; the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, CP Abiodun Alabi; the Commissioner of Police (Armament), Force HQ Abuja, CP Adegoke Fayoade and his Wife; the Commissioner of Police (Railways), CP Yetunde Longe; the MD/CEO of Infinity Paints, Mr. Sehindemi Johnson; Pastor Olaolu Akinola; Professor Albert from University of Lagos, Babajide Pinheiro; Commander Mopol 49, ACP Abubakar Yakubu; Commander RRS Lagos, CSP Saheed Egbeyemi; Chairman Taskforce Lagos, CSP Shola Jejeloye; SP Akerele Adetayo; Gbenga and Omolara Ayoola of Mount Zion Films, among others.
The AKEM Foundation will be giving out sums of money to support indigent pupils and young graduates to succeed in life. The organization will be administered by Dr. Mrs. Ajoke Ogunsan. For this first year, four organizations – SAMDOK Private School, Goshen Homes Orphanage, Smiles for the Orphans and Orphanage Initiatives, and Christ Light Special Mission for the Deaf – got N250,000 each at the official launch ceremony.
The initiative was hailed as a veritable way to immortalize the late parents rather than to throw lavish parties. Many attendees and beneficiaries at the event who spoke with Trek Africa Newspaper immensely applauded the thoughtfulness and kindness which has made the 4 Ogunsan’s to birth the initiative.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, the AIG in charge of Zone 2, AIG Bode Adeleke hailed the Ogunsan’s insight for the initiative. ‘It is a laudable thing to do. Our parents, Akinola and Emiola passed away about 19, 15 years ago. And the children are still remembering them. They are not only remembering them, they want to ensure they have good legacies. Special thanks to God Almighty that has put it in their minds. I pray the Lord will give them the enablement to see it to fruition.’
‘It is worth emulating and worth supporting. I have lost my parents too. I am going to go back to my family and start something.’
In the same vein, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command, CP Abiodun Alabi said: ‘I want to appreciate the children for bringing this together and remembering their parents for who they are and particularly for celebrating them. I want to enjoin them to keep the flag flying. What we are doing today is worth commending.’
On his part, CP Fayoade Adegoke noted about the initiative, ‘even though the parents are gone, some of you will agree with me that their spiritual support. In the course of life, you feel that your mother and father are there with you. I pray for Dr. Ayo and the siblings that no evil will befall them, the spirit of their parents will continue to be with them. As they made this commitment to uniquely honour their parents, honour will not depart from them anywhere they go.’
Also present at the launch, the wife of AIG Bode Adeleke, Mrs. Modupe Adeleke prayed: ‘Dr. Ayo, this is a very laudable idea. I pray that God will back it up. Everything you need to impact lives, God will give you and your siblings. And I pray that your relationship with your siblings, God will continue to perfect it.’
Some of the friends of the family who experienced the goodwill of the parents while alive also spoke. Mr. Sunkanmi Taiwo said ‘Daddy is a disciplinarian and you have to follow his rules. He is passionate about education. When I lost my dad in secondary school, he called me and said that it is not the end of life but I should make up my mind to study. The school that I started after my school is by God’s Grace now an established school and the first teacher that I employed is Abbey Ogunsan.’
Also, Mr. Bamidele said: ‘I remember I use to go to their house and there is no time that the mom will not give me food while the dad would also encourage me. My dad and theirs were colleagues at defunct Nigeria Airways.’
Another friend, Mr. Tomiwa said: ‘I happen to be Daddy’s boy. If I am not in school, he will find out. He is very passionate about education. You just have to read. Dad also intervened when I got admission to University of Maiduguri and my mom didn’t want to release money.’
Describing the essence of the AKEM Foundation, the CEO of Executive Group who is the eldest child of the family, Dr. Ayo Ogunsan noted that the idea is built on the value system and high moral standards that their parents, the late Akinola and Emiola, instilled in them which has shaped them into the individuals they have become.
Recalling the strictness of his late Dad Akinola, Dr. Ayo Ogunsan said: ‘We call him Baba soldier, my dad is a military man by all standards and till today when I want to deviate, I hear this man’s voice and I do tell my wife and children. This man was completely in charge of our lives. There was a particular day that he was reading to us and we were not getting it and he punished us so much that my mom screamed from outside ‘don’t kill my children for me’. Then he asked us which of us wanted to go join our mom outside, we all said ‘no, sir’.
Dr. Ogunsan also used the opportunity to address the worrisome downturn of parental responsibility. He advised that parents need to maintain discipline because there seems to be a generational problem in which parents in a bid not to appear strict are losing grips and the children are losing the sense of respect, morality, and instruction.
He then thanked everyone present at the event. He also gave a public admiration of his siblings, ‘these ones are precious gifts to me. I will do all within my powers to make sure I keep them jealously. Our children are not permitted to fight battles, their generation is a generation of blessing.’