Kunle Adelabu & Oyinlola Pelumi Adewale
Members of the Senior Citizens Relaxation Inner Circle, made up mainly of retired teachers, on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, threw a Christmas/ End of the year party for members, families and friends in the spirit of the yuletide season.
At the party held at the Teachers’ House, Ikorodu, the immediate past National President of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Michael Alogba Olukoya, was officially decorated as the Grand Patron of the association.
The group, at the memorable get-to-together, also launched its official cash support which was presented to members.
Six new members who are also retired teachers – Mrs Adelowo Adisat, Mr Kehinde Adeyemi Sunday, Kalejaiye Aliyat, Mr Sanwo Wale, Mr Jayeola Taiwo and Mr Abraham Isaac Oluwafemi, were inducted into the association with Mr Babatunde Owolabi administering oath of membership on them.
Asiwaju Lateef Babatunde Oduguwa, the Convener/Coordinator of the association, said that the idea about the association came into being because of the need to get retired teachers engaged and active socially rather than just sitting down at home.
“We deem it fit to gather retired teachers together instead of sitting down at home after retirement. Through this gathering, we share views and relax, thereby, unburden ourselves”, he said.
“We also resolved to come together so that we can continue our relationship since we have been together for many decades in the service before our retirement.
“We believe people stay at home after retirement and that may cause many health challenges, so we decided to form the group to have fun and relax”.
He said that the group is not only meant for retired teachers alone, even though it was formed by them, but that other retirees from government and private sectors are also welcome.
“Even though it is formed by retired teachers , it is not only for those retiring from teaching service alone, rather, we are also going to accommodate retirees from other sectors. But they must be people of impeccable characters.
“We usually converge on the Teachers House every Friday and celebrate members’ birthdays every three months. It is usually a joint celebration for our members”.
Asiwaju Oduguwa also revealed that plans are in the pipeline to register the association with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) next year.
Comrade Akintoye Hassan, the State Chairman NUT, Lagos State, who attended the event in his personal capacity and also as the representative of the immediate past National President, NUT, while commending the initiative, also said that the best way to have happiness and live longer is by coming together to enjoy life.
“The union is about a group of elders. Those who have passed through the public service and after their statutory retirement; be it 60 years of age attainment or 35 years in service, have decided to come together to celebrate and realize that life continues even after service.
“It is all about happiness. The best way to create that happiness is to come together, share the memory of the past as well as what they have passed through in life. Today, they have decided to make themselves available and happy to celebrate the end of the year. I am happy to identify with these wonderful personalities”, the State NUT Chairman said.
Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly who was a retired teacher also congratulated members of the association for finding a platform to engage themselves.
The lawmaker, who was represented at the event by Mrs Eniola Oluwanimilo, aside from donating to the group, also pledged his continuous support.
Alhaji Lanre Kuye, the Director of Information/Public Relations , Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), addressing members of the association, said that he would be joining them as soon as he retires from service.
“I am coming to join you as soon as I retire. If not for my love for journalism, l should have become a teacher”, he said.
“I should have retired by now as a teacher. I started school very early and served at the age of 21. My love for journalism took me off teaching.
“All of us will retire one day and it is association like this that will make us last long and keep us in good health. I hope to be part of this group someday”.
He also charged newly inducted members to support the group to attain its objectives.
“The newly inducted members should support the club so that it can also live longer and I wish everyone happy yuletide, good journey and a good life”.
Comrade Fakolade Oluwafemi Oluwaseun Jpil., the Chairman, Ikorodu Branch NUT, who was a special guest at the event, said that he attended the ceremony to celebrate with people who had served the government with better parts of their lives.
He commended them for initiating the body which he said will further keep them together and active after service.
“We are here to celebrate senior citizens. Those who have spent the better parts of their years on earth in the service of Lagos State”, he said.
“As a matter of fact, they used the active years of their lives to serve the government. So, after all that, they came together to form this group to celebrate and make themselves happy.
“Once you retire, there is a need for you to join the senior citizens’ relaxation group and not just stay at home after being active for too long. What they are doing is to encourage themselves to still be active after service.
“They chose this day to have their end of the year party and also bring in new members”.
Meanwhile, in his message to teachers at the Christmas period, Fakolade charged them to remain safe and observe necessary COVID-19 protocols.
“My Xmas message is that teachers should remain safe as there is a deadly virus out there. So, they should be very careful and they also need to be happy”, he charged.
Comrade Kehinde Okeowo, former Chairman of National Union Of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ikorodu Local Government and a member of the Circle, expressed her satisfaction over her membership of the group.
Many other guests were also in attendance to spend good time with the senior citizens as there were varieties of food and drinks to ensure everyone had a swell time all through.