Encomium, praises as Erinoso-Babalola NAN PRS director bows out of service

Encomiums poured in torrents as Ms Gbemisola Erinoso-Babalola, Director of Planing ,Research and Statistics, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) took a bow after years of meritorious service to the agency.

The management staff and colleagues poured praises on Erinoso-Babalola, for being forthright while in service.
At a ceremony to mark her exit from service after turning 60, they described her as a woman of truth and integrity.
The Managing Director, Malam Ali Muhammad Ali, in his remarks, said that she had done well for the agency “from all accounts”.

“Although you are leaving when I am just coming, the stories I heard about you are those of doggedness, resilience and the ability to stand for the truth.

“Your ability to disagree with people of equal status, and even superiors, shows passion for the agency and for the job.

“In the workplace, conflicts are inevitable; you can disagree all the time but how you resolve that disagreement is important.

“All speakers here just gave me an idea of Babalola in the last 16 years. Sometimes, you get to know people through other people’s prism and I can see the broadmindedness.

“Babalola is a polyglot, she has done a lot of things here. She moved from the Editorial Department to administration and then to the Planing and Research department. That means an encyclopaedia is leaving.

“The account of your subordinates and colleagues says it all.

“When everyone gives this kind of testimony that you taught them something and you admitted that you learned from them, then you are a super woman.

“That status of a super woman is also reflected in the home front. Really, you should hold your head high as you get onto the sixth floor and you are retiring in grace.”

Ali called on NAN staffers to learn to express themselves, especially when they had strong views about anything, just like Babalola did.

“We should not be mediocres. We are all colleagues here. I am just privileged to be the one managing NAN,” he said

Mr Silas Nwoha, the Editor-in-Chief of the agency, congratulated Erinoso-Babalola on her retirement, noting that many never had the privilege of retiring as they died in service.

“So, when you take your mind through all these situations and you are retiring with your health, life and integrity intact, you must thank God.

“The training NAN gives to each of us prepares us for the challenges of life; may the Almighty God lead you and give you enough time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Mr Ephraims Sheyin,the Managing Editor in charge of Editorial Operations, described the retiree as a practical person with the capacity to call a spade a spade.

“One remarkable thing I like about you is your capacity to tell people exactly what you think about issues even when you know that they will not be comfortable with your stance.

“I liked your insistence on bitter truths in a world where many will opt for political correctness.”

Sheyin lauded her capacity to deliver on crucial assignments and wished her well in her future endeavours.

Malam Abdulhadi Khaliel, Director, Administration and Human Resources, in his remarks, reminisced over his working relationship with Erinoso-Babalola and said that they “disagreed a lot but got the job done”.

“Although we disagreed so much, we always worked together; it did not change our relationship.

“I am glad that we were able to look pass our differences and forged a good relationship in the interest of the agency; congratulations on your retirement.”

Mr Mufutau Ojo, Director, Special Duties, said he joined NAN at the same time with the retiree and shared so many fond memories he had with her.

Ojo wished her well and advised other staffers to be diligent in their work to attain limitless heights.

He called on senior officers to mentor those behind them because that was the indelible thing they would be remembered for.

“Mentoring is an enduring legacy that must be passed on to those coming behind,” he said.

Responding, Erinoso-Babalola commended the management of the agency for the kind gesture and the opportunity to have made a difference while in service.

“Athough I am leaving NAN, I am glad that the agency now has a new leader who actually wants to put it where it ought to be and attract those things that will be beneficial to the agency and the people.

“NAN has a crop of loyal and committed workers; when they sense that they are appreciated, they even go further, that much I know for the 16 good years I have been here.

“I thank you all for the expression of kindness and love. I thank you for your prayers.”

She called on the managing director to learn to discipline without fear or favour in order to remove bad eggs and send a signal that would discourage bad behaviour.

She thanked the management staff for working with her.

“It can be difficult at times. But it’s not because I just want to be difficult, it is because I am insisting that we must try and do the right thing.

“When we serve truth, we serve God. In the final analysis, minus all men’s rules and games, the law of God is sacrosanct and we must serve God like that in our work and relationships.”

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