Don’t write off Nigeria, Adesuyi Haastrup, ex-Osun Dep. Gov., at 70
A former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Prince Clement Adesuyi Haastrup, has described Nigeria as a land flowing with milk and honey, a blessed nation with infinite opportunities for citizens to achieve their aspirations.
Haastrup, who together with the late Senator Isiaka Adeleke, governed Osun State between January 1992 and November 1993, made this declaration, Friday, as he reflected on his 70 years on earth.
Looking ahead to the celebration of the milestone in Lagos on Saturday, Haastrup, an international businessman, who quit politics “because of the way the game is played” in this clime, said despite our failings as a country, Nigeria is still the place to be.
“This is one of the best countries to be in the whole wide world, in terms of opportunities,” he said. “God gave us a clement climate, very fertile soil, from Uyo to Sokoto, from Maiduguri to Lagos, and to the uttermost part of this country. He also blessed us with a vibrant population that dominates Africa, and the black race. God has given us everything to live in abundance.
“Sadly, majority of Nigerians are blind to opportunities around them. Many also take these endowments for granted. That is why most of our people suffer in the midst of plenty.”
Haastrup, who is also the Executive Chairman of the ENI Consortium Limited, one of the concessionaires of the Apapa Port in Lagos, and an unrepentant champion of public sector reform in Nigeria, prays God to open the spiritual eyes of the people to behold the enormous opportunities that abound in their country.
Similarly, Haastrup, a Christian leader, did not spare the elite who he accused of not doing enough to emancipate the people from poverty, ignorance and diseases. He warned that unless the nation’s elite, especially the political elite, do something urgent about the plight of the teeming youths roaming the streets in search of non-existent jobs, the country may be sitting on a ticking time-bomb.
The first Deputy Governor of Osun State clocked 70 on September 19, 2018. He marked the milestone in the House of God. He and his immediate family travelled to Israel, and worshipped God at some of the places Jesus trod during his earthly ministry.
“It was a wonderful experience celebrating my 70th birthday in some of those places where Jesus performed miracles and perfected the work of salvation for mankind,” Haastrup said.
To show his appreciation to God, the pharmacist-turned-businessman has instituted a foundation which has so far awarded scholarships to 350 indigent but brilliant students. And he is still counting.
The second leg of the celebration comes up in Lagos tomorrow, Saturday, with a thanksgiving service at the Guiding Light Assembly, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, after which he will entertain family, friends and associates at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel, in Victoria Island.