‘On The Service Lane’ launched as Maureen Bakare marks 85
By Josephine Agbonkhese
It was a gathering of dignitaries drawn from various strata of the society, as the first-ever Director of Education, Lagos State, Maureen Florence Iyabode Bakare, celebrated her 85th birthday Thursday in Lagos, with the official launch of her debut autobiography.
Titled ‘On The Service Lane’, the 329-page book embellished with 226 historic photographs, according to the author, was inspired by the need to influence the younger generation to lead a life of service devoid of constant demand for gratification.
“When I reviewed my life, I concluded it was a life of service right from my childhood to the university, community, civil service and up to my life as a Christian. I am grateful my son-in-law, Babatola Akinkugbe, spurred me to put this down for posterity.
“For example, even though I was not an indigene of Lagos State, I was handpicked by a military Governor here in Lagos State, who saw my hardwork as an Assistant Director, to be made the first Director of Education in the state until I later became a Permanent Secretary,” she said.
In his review of the 16-chapter book, the book reviewer, Dr Henry Ogunjewo, a lecturer in the Department of History, University of Lagos, described the book as one that portrays competence, capability, character and courage, dubbing it a comprehensive historical archive required for the upbringing of children and anyone that wants to serve God.
“Each chapter is appropriately titled to reflect events in chronological, thematic and expository order. The author also skilfully deploys a use of language typical of a long-standing civil servant and pastor, with insight and absolute dependence on God. Every chapter is also prefaced by an epigram,” he said.
Special Guest of Honour, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of the President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on her part, while speaking at the event, described the book as a timely documentation needed at a time such as this in history, saying, “This is what we need now; our society does not really have role models anymore.”
The event also had in attendance representatives of various associations to which the celebrant belonged, including the Retired Heads of Services and Permanent Secretaries, Lagos State; Alumni Association of the University of Ibadan; and Saint Teresa’s College, Ibadan, to mention but a few.
Among others present were Prof Afolabi Lesi, the Provost, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; the Chief Launcher, Alake of Egbaland, Oba Michael Adedotun Gbadebo, represented by Tolu Sodipo; and Adefemi Taire, first female Secretary to the Lagos State Government.