Oyo State is blessed to have Engineer Rauf Aderemi Olaniyan as a deputy governor, not only because he is a man with vast experience in administration but a complete gentle man with passion for development.
There is no man without past. His background deprived him of luxurious lifestyle at a tender age but he never allowed the inglorious poor background to stop him to achieve greatness, rather he used the challenges as a stepping stone and today he is a man of many parts.
He was not born with a silver spoon but destiny makes him a man that dines with the kings and people in high places. His story is not far from what the bible records in the book of proverb 22: 29 which reads “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.”
Engineer Olaniyan’s story is not different from the proverbial rise from Grass to Grace. In one of our encounters, he told us how he used to work in farm as a labourer to raise extra money after school hours and during holiday and how he traveled to Ilorin from Igboho to learn Bricklaying job and other menial jobs just to ensure that his vision of becoming great in life did not die.
Geography of destiny took him from Igboho to Nsuka for his higher education and that was the begining of of the new life. As at 300 level he was already on scholarship and engaging in other technical aspect of civil engineering including drawing and even construction which he later took as a job.
Unlike many of his peers, Aderemi did not resign to fate, he took up the challenges with courage and faith and pursued his dream. Today God has blessed him with a lot of things and makes him a source of inspiration and blessings to many people.
His years at the civil service were remarkable especially when he was at helm of affairs at the Oyo state Road Maintenance Agency OYSTROMA where he retired. He was instrumental to the construction of many roads in different parts of Oyo and the present day Osun state when it was a part of the old Oyo State.
As a civil servant, he was diligent, his life epitomizes humility, commitment to service and accountability, and these rare attributes did not only earn him respect but also fetched him several awards both within and outside the country.
His passion for service did not leave him after retiring from civil service, he decided to continue his service to humanity and contribute his own quota to the development of his state through politics, to some of us who underrated him, it was a wrong decision but to him it is a decision taken at the right appointed time.
Engineer Olaniyan is not just a nice man, he is a humanitarian per excellent, a man whose passion is wiping tears away from the crying eyes, help the needy, restore hope for the hopeless. Through his foundation, many lives that could have been forgotten were restored, many students have benefited and still benefitting from his milk of kindness.
Olaniyan is a very rare gem, an uncommon philanthropist, a humanitarian per excellence and “an adunbarinmatosi”. As you clock 60 today, One cannot but wish you more wins, greater height, good health and long life. Happy birthday sir.
Oluremi writes from Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.