Solanke made the statement during a colloquium in honour of Professor Itse Sagay at the Centre for Values in Leadership on Thursday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, western Nigeria.
According to her, “the event today has categorically proved that people who attain the age of 70 years and above are not brain-dead. I thank Professor Utomi for honouring Professor Sagay at 74 and me – at 83. Truly and certainly, we are mentally alive and brain-alive! Praise God! Hallelujay!!!.”
Commending Professor Pat Utomi for the honour, Solanke admonished the youths on the values societal morality.
She said “It is re-assuring that there are some people who still acknowledge that values in leadership are a ‘sine qua non’ for the development and salvation of a country. The colloquium reminds all of us that we should strive to bequeath a noble legacy to posterity as ‘leaders without title’.
“Further, it is imperative that the younger people should be made aware that values are constants which must be demonstrated in all our activities.”
Calling for a stronger respect for the nation’s currency, Solanke opined that a colloquium should be held to discuss how to salvage the naira from the alarming devaluation being witnessed recently.
“I hereby recommend that Professor Utomi should consider choosing an array of brilliant economists – like his goodself, to attend a colloquium and discuss how the Naira can be saved from the current scary and precipitous descent into nothingness. The exchange rate is now alarming. Nigerian leaders must show more respect to the Naira – our national currency.”
In a sermon-like conclusion, Solanke used a passage in the Bible to drive home her point.
“In conclusion, let me quote St. Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
In 1972, Chief Solanke became the first female Commissioner of Western State. In 1981, she became the first female lawyer to be conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. In 1994, she became the first African, non-caucasian, President of Zonta International, a global organisation that advances the status of women through service and advocacy.