Govs. Abiodun, Bello, Pastor Adeboye, OGD, Amosun, Akarigbo, Others Rain Encomiums On Ambassador Isola, As Egba Obas, Sons, Daughters, Friends Celebrate His Glorious Return From National Assignment ...Ambassador says, Ogun too politically divided ...offers solution to succession debacle
By Adetokunbo FAKEYE
Nigeria - It was rain of goodwill messages and accolades for immediate past Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola OFR, before and at events organised to welcome him back home from United Kingdom by Egba Obas, Chiefs, sons, daughters and friends.
Before the colourful event held at Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, on Thursday, 14th December, 2023, there was one welcome event by Abeokuta Club, which was attended by who is who in Egba and all Egba obas, led by Alake of Egbaland HRM Oba Dr. Adedotun Gbadebo CFR.
During the week, goodwill messages were sent by well wishers to the Baba Adinni of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Ambassador Isola popularly called, 'STI' for his outstanding performance as High Commissioner to UK.
From Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) E.A. Adeboye, General Overseer, RCCG, the message reads: "There is no limit to what God can do in and through any vessel who has yielded his life and his all to Him and to the service of humanity; this is because, God rules in the affairs of men. Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Ishola is a great man.
"Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola has been a very good representative of Nigeria across the world.
"He is humble, accessible and always ready to help.
"He is a fine Nigerian that the Country could consider to represent us again, if another opportunity is opened.
"I can attest to Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola’s suitability as an ambassador
to represent Nigeria anywhere in the world.
We celebrate this abundant grace and mercy of God in his life.
"Keep investing in the service to humanity and to God. Congratulations!".
His Excellency Senator Gbenga Daniel, whom Ambassador Isola worked with as Secretary to the State Government, SSG, in his goodwill message said: "I am delighted to pen these few lines in honour of a successful and distinguished Diplomat, His Excellency, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Ishola, the former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
"According to Napoleon Hill. "Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success". On his appointment as the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in January 2021, there was no reason to doubt the fact that given his pedigree, his exemplary services in various capacities most especially as Secretary to the State Government during my administration (2003-2007) and subsequently as Honourable Minister for mines and steel development, I knew he has all that it takes to achieve success.
"Amb. Sarafa Ishola deployed his sound human relationship and effective leadership skills to further understands the Nigeria/United Kingdom customs and he professionally leveraged on these exceptional attributes at resolving most of the diplomatic issues throughout his period in the office. His promotion of national interest with the host country, the welfare of Nigerians living in the United Kingdom and the exemplary services he rendered with excellent performances are unprecedented.
"Since the announcement of the end of his term, the daily accolades being showered on him by Nigerians living in the United Kingdom and across the globe has been overwhelming.
"Undoubtedly, he has successfully written his name with an indelible ink not only as a former High Commissioner in Nigeria or in the minds of many Nigerians, both at home and in the diaspora but also in the global circle of Diplomats.
"As he is fondly called, I wish Amb. 'STI' a continued success in the services of his fatherland".
Similarly, His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun, CON, in his goodwill message described Ambassador Isola as an astute politician, a family-oriented person, cerebral and disciplined.
The message reads: "I thank the committee of friends and the organizers of this laudable reception ni recognition of one of our own, a man of National and International repute.
"I believe that we should always celebrate whoever has done exceedingly well in any area of his or her life endeavors and who has done good deeds for many. That is why in the time of our administration as Governor of Ogun State we gave due recognition to sons and daughters of Ogun State who excelled in areas of their
"Ogun State indigenes are known for their spirit of excellence and many have achieved many firsts in almost all spheres of human endeavors nationally and abroad. This is why we pioneered during our time in Government what is popularly known and accepted as Ogun Standards, a connotation for both performance and perfection.
"Amb. Sarafa Isola has done Ogun State and Nigeria proud. His two-year stint (2021-2023) at the Court of St James's was characterized by many remarkable achievements that contributed greatly towards the strengthening of Nigeria's bilateral relationship with the United Kingdom.
"For those who may not know, in the time of Amb Ishola, the Nigerian High Commission in the United Kingdom had the least records of rancour or complaints from both the staff and users of their services.
"Amb. Ishola was a good ambassador who projected the image and the agenda of the Federal Republic of Nigeria very well.
"He commanded the respect of the host country, United Kingdom and equally stood tall amongst his peers in the diplomatic world.
"On a personal note, I know him as an astute politician, a family-oriented person, cerebral and disciplined. He is also a man who is very proud of his Egba heritage.
"I thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about Amb. Sarafa Tunji Isola's tour of duty at the Nigeria High Commission, London, United Kingdom".
The Akarigbo of Remo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, HRM Oba (Dr) Babatunde Adewale Ajayi CFR, BL, LLM, FCA, FBR
Torungbuwa 11, in his goodwill message to Ambassador Isola, on behalf of Remo Obas, Remo Chiefs and people of Remoland, said: "I would like to extend my warmest Congratulations to you on the successful completion of your service as the Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
"Your contributions have been invaluable and legendary and I am proud to call you a friend of Remo. It gives me profound pleasure to be associated with you.
"I express my deep appreciation and commendation on your attitude to work and can only wish you the very best in your future endeavors.
"I appreciate your warm welcome during our last visit to the United Kingdom. 1 pray the Good Lord continue to guide, and endow you with divine wisdom.
"Please accept the assurances of my highest regards as always.
"Once again, Congratulations!".
In his speech at the occasion, Ambassador Isola, who appreciated former President Buhari for not only appointing him but also supporting and believing in him throughout his tenure as the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, emphasized the need for political leaders and traditional rulers to unite in putting an end to the hostility over who become governor in the state. "Hostile transition of power from one governor to another in our state is unhealthy", he said.
According to him, "for the state to attain its full potential, the political class must jettison the hostile takeover of power and practise politics of continuity and sustainable development.
"What we have seen here today transcends beyond Egbaland because what has happened today was a kind of conglomerate, consisting of good people across Ogun State and beyond who believe in this course and have identified with this course.
"In Ogun State today, we are too politically divided and no state can develop within eight years, which is the maximum term of any state government.
"What develops a society is sustainable development. I will continue to mention that Navy Captain Oladeinde Joseph spoke to me and identified hostile succession as the problem with our state.
"I want to enjoin all of us, particularly our traditional rulers because that happens to be the only permanent feature, to work towards ensuring that hostile succession is a thing of the past in Ogun state.
"I’m challenging everybody in the political class to also take up the challenge, the potential of this state is quite enormous. I look forward to a state where all of us will see ourselves as partners in progress".
While leaving UK, during valedictory ceremony held for him, by the High Commission diplomats, staff and some members of the diaspora community in the UK on Friday 27 October 2023 at the Tafida Hall of the Nigeria High Commission London, the man he handed Commission to as acting High Commissioner, Ambassador Cyprian Terseer Heen, described His Excellency Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola as a man of honour, a remarkable individual who has dedicated his life to the service of Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria and indeed to humanity.
He traced Ambassador Isola’s successful public service and particularly at the Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom to his unwavering dedication, notable accomplishment and exemplary leadership.
Ambassador Heen, as reported by AfricanVoice, said, "His Excellency, Sarafa Isola, during his service he consistently demonstrated effective governance, with grace and dignity.
"During his tour of duty as High Commissioner of Nigeria to the UK, he demonstrated his diplomatic finesse, administrative prowess and strategic vision.
"Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with Britain became strengthened under him. Nigeria was able to show visibility at the Commonwealth and in the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Nigeria’s position on the global stage under him became greatly enhanced. As chair of the Commonwealth Accreditation Committee, he played a pivotal role in ensuring the effectiveness of that committee".
Ambassador Heen further said, "As we celebrate His Excellency, Sarafa Isola and send him forth, we sincerely wish him and his family members, as they embark upon the next chapter of their lives, very graceful endeavors.
"Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola has left a legacy and vision, which we all that as we seek for further visibility, we wish this vision will continue to guide and lead us. On behalf of the entire members of the High Commission, I wish to express our profound gratitude to His excellency for his visionary leadership, his exemplary life and for the commitment he has shown in deepening and enhancing Nigeria’s diplomacy in the UK. We pray that as you move on, God will continue to lead and guide you. May your contributions to the progress of Nigeria continue to be remembered as you move on".
Ambassador Sarafadeen Tunji Isola was appointed as the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom by President Muhammadu Buhari in January 2021.
Isola, also known as "STI" was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State into the family of Egba High Chieftain, Alhaji Ibrahim Isola Tairu on 25 November 1960.
He attended the Oke-Ona United Primary School in Ilugun, Abeokuta and was a member of the Drama Society. His secondary education was at Nawair-ud-Deen Grammar School, Obantoko, Abeokuta. After completing his secondary education, Isola started working as a sales clerk at Welcome Nigeria Limited, a pharmaceutical company. In 1978, he traveled to the United Kingdom to pursue further studies. Isola attended training programmes at the Institute of Marketing, United Kingdom, where he earned a graduate certificate in Marketing. He also completed the Principles of Investment Course at the South West London College, Tooting Broadway, London, United Kingdom, in 1981. Chief Isola returned to Nigeria in 1982.
In 1986, Mr. Isola became a Sales Executive at the Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) in Abeokuta. However, in 1990, Chief Isola resigned from his position at OGBC to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations and expand his business knowledge. Subsequently, he founded Taist Nigeria Limited and Taist Merchants, where he served as Chairman/Chief Executive.
His public service roles; Isola was Chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government; Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of State, Finance; Secretary to the State Government, Ogun State; Honourable Minister, Mines and Steel Development and last one, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Below are pictures of an earlier welcome party organised for Ambassador Isola by Abeokuta Club, Abeokuta.
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