Development Expert, Charles Akindiji Akinola @ 65

By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju

Have you an older brother you could laugh with, laugh at, jeer at, scream at, think together, plan with, disagree with, agree with and so on, yet nothing changes? Do you have an older brother, who is a decade older, yet he treats you like an equal? That is uncle Charles for me. At functions with the creme de la creme Yoruba elite, he would hold my hand and introduce me with effusive praise to those I do not know and those who do not know me. In his house I would dictate our breakfast and insist on what goes on his plate, just for fun. The only ridiculous thing I haven’t done is to spike his tea with pepper instead of ginger.

Dr. Akinola, the scholar and development expert chose development over academic eons ago, for the love of country through his commitment to organic growth of public and private institutions. In private and public sector consulting, he has shaped public policy. An avid believer in social protection, inclusiveness and innovation, uncle Charles has worked with state governments and the federal government on development projects. His work has elicited grants, awards and partnerships with multilateral institutions like the DFID, USAID, Ford Foundation and the World Bank.

On assuming office, Governor Gboyega Oyetola appointed him to be his Chief of Staff. Here is a man who has stayed true to his solid Christian upbringing in words and deeds. He is a man I respect and truly proud of.

Happy birthday Sir. I wish you many more happy years ahead of you. On your behalf, I pray to God for good heath and the totality of goodness, from within and from without. I wish you many more years of service and positive impact. Dear friends, please help appreciate this dedicated, spartan public servant and big brother. Thank you

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