The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has described a three time Council Chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government and the founder, Evergreen Tree Planters, Giwa Bisi Rodipe, as a passionate tree planter who has defined himself not only by his character, but by his ideals.
Governor Abiodun who made this known at the 80th birthday celebration of Giwa Rodipe, held in Ijebu Ode, said the celebrant has chosen tree planting as a profession because of his concern for the environment and not for profit making, adding that he is a mentor that future generation should emulate.
“We look at you as a mentor that we can learn from, to be as passionate as you are in different things that matter to the world and environment because what you’ve chosen is not just because it provided a means of income for you but because of your concern for the environment”, he said.
Abiodun who noted that the celebrant’s passion for forestry and the environment was unparalleled, deserving a national award, admonished people to appreciate the passion the celebrant had for forestry, “we must appreciate his unparalleled passion for afforestation, I have never met anyone who thinks about tree planting and I think he deserves an award for loving our forests and the environment’’.
In her remark, the Wife of the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo said that there were much lessons to be learnt from the life of Giwa Rodipe, which teaches patience in life.
‘’There is so much to learn from him, a person that does not have patience cannot plant a tree, he is teaching us to do things even if it will take time to see the end, it is with patience one succeeds”, he said.
The Chairman of the occasion, Professor Akin Mabogunje described the celebrant as a man who enjoys growing trees, adding that he was diligent in his service to humanity.
In his keynote address, Prof. Labode Popoola, represented by Prof. Saka Oladunni Jimoh, called on states to pay more attention to the forestry sector, saying it had suffered neglect over the years due to inability of authorities to check decline of the sector in the country.
Responding, the celebrant said that his campaign for the sustainability of forest resources for the benefit of humanity, the environment and as means of wealth creation was pivotal to the growth and development of the nation, adding that he had been able to influence many private individuals and institutions of higher learning.
He noted that Nigeria as a rain forest country, has all it takes to restore and rejuvenate the forestry sector for wealth creation, sustainable environment and industrial prosperity.