Reminiscing about his days as a student at the University of Ibadan, Vice President Kashim Shettima, on Saturday, described the ancient city of Ibadan as home where he learned to turn everything that comes his way into opportunity.
Shettima spoke at the wedding reception of Ibukun Okunmadewa and Obafemi Omitiran held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
The bride, Ibukun, is the daughter of Prof. Folusho Okunmadewa, whom the Vice President described as ‘my beloved teacher.’
Shettima, who laced his speech with the lines from ‘Ibadan,’ a poem by one of Nigeria’s greatest poets, John Pepper Clark, said that he was in Ibadan, not as a guest, but as a member of the bride’s family to receive guests at the wedding.
“So, I’m here to receive you as guests in this ancient city of memories. Ibadan is a home to me, a home that formed me and taught me to turn everything that comes my way into an opportunity.
“This would not have been easy without the patience of my beloved teacher, Prof. Folusho Okunmadewa, whose daughter, Ibukun and her groom, Obafemi, we are here to celebrate as they embark on a beautiful journey of discovering the essence of life.”
The Vice President said that the gathering for the wedding was not that of mere friends but as a closely-knit family united by the traits of time, education and unbreakable bonds.
“As I look around this room, I’m not only reminded of a city that has woven its culture, values and aspirations deep into my being, but also of how fate has played a part in expanding relationships and families,”
Extolling the virtues of the bride’s father, Prof. Okunmadewa, Vice President Shettima described him as “a beacon of wisdom and guidance for vast generation of scholars,” adding, “I’m privileged to not only draw from this intellectual oasis of the University of Ibadan, but also to identify as a member of the family and as a qualified son of the soil.”
He said he knew how a father feels on a day that he is giving his daughter’s hand in marriage and prayed for the newly-wedded couple to deepen their love for each other.
“Giving away one’s daughter in marriage is one of the most profound bitter sweet experiences in human existence.
“It is a reminder that life is a journey of luck, a journey of hope and a journey of change. But I have no doubt that you have instilled in Ibukun the moral discipline that she needs to carry on from this day, away from her first family. And I pray that her new life brings forth endless joy.”
Among dignitaries that attended the wedding reception were the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Lawal; Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum; former Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, Country Representative of the World Bank in Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale.
Shettima also attended the wedding reception of Suliat Alli and Abdulqudus Okeowo at the University of Ibadan before returning to Abuja.