The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has described a three-term 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 and passions.
Prince Abiodun who made this known at the 80th birthday celebration of Giwa Bisi Rodipe, held in Ijebu Ode, said that the path the celebrant chose was not because of the income in the profession, but because of his concern for the environment, adding that he is a mentor that generations yet on born should look up to.
“We look at you as a mentor; we look at you and find ways to fit into your rather big shoes, so that we can take after you, so that we can learn from you and we can also 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 as provided a means of income for you but because of your concern for the environment,” he said.
The helmsman also noted that people should endeavour to appreciate the passion the celebrant had for forestry, adding that his passion for forestry and the environment was unparalleled and that he deserves a national award, for being a role model in afforestation.
“We must appreciate his passion for afforestation that is unparalleled. I have never met anyone who thinks about tree planting like him; he has been successful in afforestation and I think he deserves an award for loving our forests and the environment.
In her remarks, wife of the Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo said that there were many lessons to be learnt from the life of Chief Bisi Rodipe, adding that his life teaches patience in anything a man does.
There is so much to learn from him. Sitting here among professors, doctors, this is what has got my attention and it is what I will remember his birthday for. What he does teaches us patience. A person that does not have patience cannot plant a tree. It takes time to make profit from it. That is teaching us to do things even if it will take time to see the end; it is with patience one succeeds,” she said.
The chairman of the occasion, Professor Akin Mabogunje described the celebrant as a passionate man who physically enjoys growing trees, adding that he was diligent in his service and stood before kings.
In his keynote address, Prof. Labode Poppola, represented by Prof. Saka Oladunni Jimoh, said that the forestry sector over the years had suffered neglect, saying that the inability of states to check the tide of corruption had contributed to the decline of the forestry sector in the country, calling on states to pay more attention to the sector.
In his remarks, the celebrant, Giwa BisiRodipe, said that his campaign for the sustainability of forest resources for the benefit of humanity, the environment and as a reliable means of wealth creation was pivotal to the growth and development of the nation. He said, his love for trees had influence on many private individuals and institutions of higher learning, most especially the University of Ilorin, Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
He noted that his birthday symposium on Sustainable Forest Resources Management of the nation, was a climax of his concerted tree planting promotional program, adding 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.