Happy 71st Birthday To NUPENG Veteran, Hon. [Comrade] Joseph Iranola Akinlaja
By Emmanuel Ajibulu
Today, June 1, 2021 by God’s special grace, mercy and boundless blessings, Hon [Comrade] Joseph Iranola Akinlaja is 71, and thankfully in excellent condition.
Traditionally, it is equally a day when both the social and traditional media are known for experiencing ‘traffic gridlock’ as a result of torrents of birthday wishes, greetings and prayers coming from his supporters, proteges, business/political associates, mentees, family members, etc to celebrate God in his life.
This year edition is profoundly unique as he is also using the occasion to simultaneously launch his autobiography with the title, LABOUR, POLITICS & GRACE in Abuja to commemorate his 71st birthday anniversary but not without stern compliance to COVID-19 protocols, guidelines and regulations that everyone are already familiar with.
One isn’t surprised that Hon. Joseph Akinlaja-himself, a brilliant raconteur attracting riveting attention will, in writing his book, show a remarkable power of recall of events that will amaze most people; he has employed a refreshingly down-to-earth prose, a lucidity of style and language that is pleasing and an occasional infusion of his characteristic humour that should enliven the reading of the 350-page autobiography. This is quite scholarly and intellectually robust.
Hon Akinlaja is indeed an astute elder statesman, a veteran of Trade Unionism, a political juggernaut, chattered arbitrator, a voice to the voiceless, and an advocate of the downtrodden.
Time and events have however revealed that Hon Akinlaja is a force to reckon with in the political milieu, not just in Ondo State but in Nigeria. In the Legislative Circle where he held sway for two-terms of eight years at the National Assembly, he consistently displayed vibrant and blazing conduct that befits a true democrat and leader who shares in the feelings of the people and identifies with the pains of the moment in the life of the nation.
Similarly, as a trade unionist who rose to the position of General Secretary of NUPENG and also as Deputy President of NLC, workers’ rights, welfare and wellbeing were his key priorities so much that he was seen as a thorn in the flesh for employers of labour with obnoxious policies particularly those who subjected workers to precarious working conditions.
His emergence as Technical Consultant and Life Parton to PTD Branch of NUPENG has also been a memorable and commendable one without regrets or disappointment.
We pray to God Almighty to extend our lives to witness your hale, hearty and prosperous octogenarian, nonagenarian and centenarian days in life with peace, sound mind, long life and prosperity.
May the love you have shown to others return to you multiplied. May this birthday mark the beginning of a year filled with happy, sweet, awesome memories, and shining dreams.
May you live to celebrate more beautiful years on earth, and we also wish you a fruitful and purposeful life.
Congratulations to you sir, ‘Ina Njo Ogiri O Sa’, a labour leader of note with achievements that are worthy of emulation.