Dr Lekan Are, the Chairman of University Press Plc, was epitomised on Thursday by academician, businessmen, chief, politicians among others at 85.
They urged Nigerians to imbibe the virtues of integrity, hard work, pragmatism, service, ruggedness, humility, sincerity, honesty and devotion to family by Chief Are.
This call emerged from their various remarks at Are’s 85th birthday and book launch in his honour, titled, “The Right Way”, held at Lekan Are hall, Ibadan.
Chairman of the event, Mr Bisi Rodipe who led the avalanche of tributes for the celebrant, lauded Are for his sincerity, honesty and good relationship with his friends over the years.
In particular, Rodipe lauded Are for his hard work and generation of employment for many Nigerians through his various businesses and investments for over 30 years.
In his own remarks, book presenter, Mr Niyi Akintola praised Are for ensuring that through his investments, especially in hospitality, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, is recognised on the world map.
Furthermore, Akintola said he was indebted to Are and some other Ibadan elders for their financial and spiritual support towards ensuring that he made a success out of life.
Some guests at the event were the wife of the celebrant, Mrs Olabisi Are; Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; Orangun of Oke-Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Olowu of Owu, Adegboyega Dosunmu; Right Reverend Jacob Ajetunmobi; historian, Professor Toyin Falola;
Professor Ayo Bamgbose; Professor Ayo Banjo; Chairperson, Oyo Education Trust Fund, Chief Mrs Onikepo Akande; Maye Olubadan of Ibadan land, Chief Bayo Akande.
Chairman of Musoro Booksellers, Dr Kolade Musoro, who did the book review, said Are’s commitment to the development of Ibadan was unshakeable, through his great business instinct.
He lauded Are’s doggedness, perseverance and intuitiveness that kept his business afloat especially it was threatened by lack of peace in the state, poor infrastructure and its attendant poor returns on investment.
Musoro added that the 210 pages book detailed accounts of growing business in such a harsh environment, where each day already started with a deficit, by running on generating a set.
Co-author of the book, Mr Adedamola Are stated that the book depicts the importance of having a strong character, while also discussing success in a practical way.
In a society synonymous with doing things the wrong way, Adedamola said the book emphasizes the need for Nigerians to do things the right way.
The event also had in attendance Managing Director of the University Press Plc, Mr Samuel Kolawole, represented by Mr Ganiyu Adebayo and Ibadan elders that included Ambassador Olusola Sanu, Chief Theophilus Akinyele; Chief Biodun Jolaoso; Chief Bode Amao; General Raji Rasaki and Alhaji Lateef Oyelade.