A few days back was the 60th birthday of former deputy governor of Lagos State, Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.
As an Amazon who has boldly bestridden the fraught landscape of Nigerian politics with nary a misstep, she was naturally inundated with good wishes by colleagues in the corridors of power as well as hordes of ordinary Nigerians who remain appreciative of her unending sacrifice towards the attainment and continuance of sustainable development.
Some are born winners, but serial victors are always made. Adejoke worked hard to get to where she was. In a clime that has become a country for men, and old ones at that, she is one of the few feminine voices that add genuine spice and variety to policy-making at the state and national levels.
In every post she has assumed in close to three decades of public service, she has consistently excelled, leaving doubters to help themselves to huge quantities of humble pies. Combining rare humility with a sense of undivided focus that is rarer still, Princess Adejoke crafted a solid body of work, proving that her decision to swim in the waters of partisan politics was and remains motivated by a desire to serve humanity in the best capacity.
Unlike some of her peers who, having cracked the glass ceiling of politics, become part and parcel of the elites, to the dismay of the masses who looked up to them, the Princess of Lagos remains down-to-earth, almost to a fault. She is equally comfortable chatting with a trader by the roadside as she is striking beneficial deals with the powerful and deep-pocketed.
From an early age, it was obvious that she saw politics as a means to the end of contributing her quota to nation-building. Her educational background with a diploma in Social Works and Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology prepared the way for her. It is no surprise to find that she maintains her relevance even as political tides turned this way and then that, sweeping many people away in its wake.
As she turns 60, time, that rapid destroyer of beauty and purpose, seems to stand still for her. She remains as sprightly as a maiden and the fire of her passion remains bright-hot, ready to consume anything in its wake. Perhaps it was this that prompted President Buhari to re-appoint her as his Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).