MY ENCOUNTER WITH LATE JUSTICE RASHEED FAWEHINMI! GBOBO FAWEHINMI LIBRARY, LAJE ROAD, ONDO, SAYS WALE OJOLANRE



If the criteria of a dead man to rest in peace in heaven is his positive contributions, a high percentage of good deeds on earth over his misdeeds, then Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi, the great son of the greatest ALIJONU of Ondo fame will certainly rest in peace and be with Allah in Aljaena!


I had an evergreen encounter with the late Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi after he retired gracefully from the Bench in 1986.
As a hush philanthropist and as part of his service to the community, he erected a Library inside his country home, a few metres from the Second Gate of Adeyemi College of Education along Laje Road. Ondo Town christened Gbobo Fawehinmi Library for public use.


Having left Ondo State College of Arts and Science in 1984 with 9 points and unable to secure the admission of my choice to a University, I joined my mum who was with anti-Folake ( Bra Diran Ayanbeku’s senior sister ) in serving at Cafe 6 Adeyemi College of Education new cafeteria in 1985.


Still boiling with a quest to read and not being allowed into the two well-established Libraries at Adeyemi College, the Reference Library and the Main Library, I desperately needed a place to read.


To God be the glory, I think, that year, the Gbobo Fawehinmi Library, which was probably the first privately funded Library in Ondo State was inaugurated by the Late Justice Fawehinmi in Ondo
One day, I determined to venture into the Library.


I got there at about 10: 45 am, I met only a man who sat quietly at a vintage desk reading a newspaper with his glasses.
‘Good Morning Sir ‘ I greeted
‘Good morning young man ‘he calmly responded
‘How can I help you? ‘
I told him how I got to know about the Library
“Do you think the Library will be of use to you ?” he asked
“Sir, this Library was founded primarily because of me “I responded
And I immediately explained how his worthy and commendable gesture is being served as a saviour
He calmly revealed why he founded the Library which was heavily stocked with books on almost all subjects and concepts.


‘This is nice sir ‘? It is for us all {
He respectfully motioned me to a chair.
As I was about to sit down to read some newspapers, a young man who entered while we were interacting called my attention to the fact that I have to register with a certain sum of money which will entitle me to an ID card for uninterrupted access to the Library.


I lamented that I had no money on me now and that I have to use the Library that day.
Late Justice Fawehinmi, unknowing to us that he was listening called the young man and said
“Register him. I will pay for his registration. He is a young man with a passion to read and utilize the Library. We should not kill his zeal with the registration fees ‘


And not minding that a nobody is standing before him, a whole retired Justice explained the reason for the token fee.
“This is my solo effort to knowledge acquisition and education. The Library should have a way of at least contributing to maintaining the books, the environment and others. Do you know that I am happy today as this Library has achieved one of its objectives by your coming here . “.


He Immediately dipped his hand to his pocket and brought out the sum with a stern instruction
” kindly allow this young man to have access to me any time he desires to “
As he was discussing with the other young man, a serving Justice Ademola Ajakaiye then, who is now the King of Iyin Ekiti, in Ekiti State drove in,
And the Late Justice Fawehinmi apologetically excused himself off the Library to welcome his guest!
I was humbled by his candour and humility.


I registered as No 3 in one big book!
I utilized the Library better than anyone else throughout my school days at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo where I bagged a degree in History Education.


I also remember citing a reference in one of the Library books which propelled one of my then lecturers, Mr Ayodele, to inquire where I got the book that was not on the school’s Library shelves to visit the library and also registered as a user.
I cannot quantify the contribution of the Library to the little knowledge I have garnered so far in life.


A venerable, humble and quiet philanthropist has left the world
I am sure he is with Allah, the most beneficent and the merciful.
Heaven will not be fair to me if I refused to publicly acknowledge that I am one of the benefactors of the essence of the Late Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi sojourn on Earth.


I pray to God to let my essence of life benefit some people too
And I encourage you to let your light shine for others to walk like the Late Justice Rasheed Fawehinmi who I am sure is resting in peace

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