Babatunde Ipaye, an Intrepid with a Heart of an Angel –Adedapo David

Celebrating our exceptional icons must not be when they are dead, I strongly believed and convinced that when you celebrate men and women of valour, you are helping others with such traits  fly their magnanimous kite hence I celebrate Dr Babatunde Ipaye, Ogun Commissioner for Health and immortalizing him with this and many more to come as long as he fails to derail. Permit me to reiterate here that this publication is apolitical and devoid of sentiments but a true picture of Ipaye’s painting. My search light therefore will be on exceptional leaders.

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Dr Babatunde Ipaye was born without no one predicting who he could be then or in the nearest of time. He grew up from a humble background and rose to be what God has destined for him, his personal conviction centers on human capacity building and development hence he is indefatigable.

Ijebu Igbo is blessed with great potentials, men and women of high caliber who had recorded success in their professional adventure but only very few believes in moulding the future generation, only few believed other young people must reach the zenith of their chosen career two of whom is Otunba Augustine Ola Talabi, Sen Olalekan Mustapha.

Babatunde Ipaye rose from St John’s African School to Beje High School transiting to Ogun State University to Study Medicine and Surgery with a perfect distinction in all subjects, some of his mates then are Bayo Ogunsanya, Femi Ogunsanya, Revd Sofuye Gbenga, Femi Dina, Mr Dele Mabekoje, Revd Michael Ajayi. Information gathered revealed that it was an atmosphere of cognitive competition during this particular set of Beje High School Students winning the best results in WASSCE of that year in Ijebu Igbo cum Ijebu North with Ipaye toping the class with an overall distinction in a seat. His academic Excellence endeared him to win a Scholarship which saw him through his University education. The young and brilliant Babatunde didn’t rest on his oars as he clinched the best graduating medical student at Ogun State University Ago Iwoye now Olabisi Onabanjo University.

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Babatunde is an outstanding Public Health and Health Management/Financing Specialist, with twenty three (23) years progressive experience in health care delivery at all levels of both public and private sectors. He has helped managed several international donor disease control projects and awards including World Bank, Global Fund and UK-DFID funded projects on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Health System Strengthening, Institutional and Human Development, Health Financing and Knowledge Management. Babatunde has also provided high level technical support to many Nigeria health programmes as well as multi-country technical assistance on health policy development and programme reviews (Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zambia, Ghana, etc).
He is a Fellow of the prestigious West African College of Physicians (FWACP) in Community Health and a Master degree holder in Public Health from University of Lagos. He is a member of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria. He also trained at the Royal Institute of Public Administration, UK, in Organisational Behaviour, Leadership and Change Management.

He consulted for the World Bank on the HIV & AIDS Program Development Project (HPDP 2) and he is the Team Leader, Peltom Global Services Limited, a Nigeria management and systems support organisation that has supported strategic management trainings for several agencies of government. He has supported development of sustainable financing and resource mobilisation strategies at national and sub-national levels.
Babatunde was a consultant HIV/AIDS Advisor to United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria; he was also a long-term Technical Advisor to National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) through the UK-DFID funded SuNMaP project. Babatunde was at a time the chairman Project Management sub-committee of the Malaria TWG in Nigeria.

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(Some set of students that received scholarship courtesy of Ipaye)

He was Senior Technical Response Coordinator of the UK Department for International Development funded Strengthening Nigeria’s Response (SNR) to HIV/AIDS Programme; he coordinated SNR’s technical support to the six states of Enugu, Cross Rivers, Kaduna, Benue, Nassarawa and FCT. He worked as Consultant physician to the Starfish Project of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, (Sagamu satellite centre); he was lecturer of Community Health at Olabisi Onabanjo University and taught health management/financing (including community health insurance) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

In May, 2011, he was engaged by W.H.O as one of the external reviewers for Ethiopian Malaria Programme Review and the development of revised Ethiopian Country Strategy. He also supported The Carter Centre, Atlanta, USA, in the development of her first annual malaria plan for Nigeria.
Babatunde is an advocate of the “bottom-top” approach to health care delivery through community participation; with good communication skill and verifiable excellent work relationship with many donor agencies in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Health, NACA and the 36 states (plus FCT).

Since 2010, Babatunde started giving back to his community, he gives 5 University Scholarships to Brilliant Students in Ijebu Igbo and have never stopped doing that. DBI, didn’t limit his leadership potential to that, he had been extending vital prosperity connection to many of his friends and associates many of whom can boast today that they have made it in life.

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(Another set of recipients of scholarship out of which two came out with first-class degree from U.I)

His vision in uplifting others without favour is quintessential and commendable. The present Local Government Chairman and many of his Committee were direct benevolence of his angelic heart. He identifies talents, moulds and nurture it and ensures such talent reaches the pinnacle. Let’s call a spade a spade and not a farming tool, Ipaye is not rich but has a wealthy heart, he has touched many lives breaking the records of many egocentric oldies in Ijebu Land. We have heard series of sorry incidents of some so call rich leaders who if you open his gate to ask for favour not even money, what you will meet is an angry man rising your BP with questions,he could turn you back or give you false hope; we have seen those who will collect your curriculum vitae and put it in their car booth without any other info. We have heard some who will tell you to go and study further after your Bachelor’s Degree till he can help rather will place their dullard of a children into high seats,”make I stop there abeg”.

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(Scholarship presentation at abusi edumare academy, ijebu igbo coordinated by Pastor Jayesimi)

He is not God but he is God sent, he is not a miracle worker but strive to perform it. A friend of mine recalled how Ipaye was able to fix him up without even knowing him or asking who he is. He is a builder of leaders. Many do say Ijebu Igbo isn’t developed, I then ask what is development? Development is when those who are at the peak pulls up those at the base without rants or an expected returned favour. When all of us are well to do, we have a peaceful coexistence, insecurity will be banished, erecting beautiful housing structures will be a friendly competition. This is what development is.

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Recently Ipaye was coronated as the Asiwaju of Oke Agbo in Ijebu Igbo by Kabiyesi Oba Haruna Abass, Bejeroku of Oke Agbo and one wonders what is he (Ipaye) leading? DBI is leading a new set of leaders who are orientated about human development and capacity building, a hand of fellowship in lifting others up and true empowerment programs (empowerment is not doling out just materials that are not substantial for survival). New leaders are cropping up to redefine what leadership should be and Ipaye is leading us!

The Bible says if these people refuse to praise me, the stones will rise to sing, Babatunde is a cornerstone not because he is a Commissioner but because he is building the future just like Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. When you build the future, you build a nation; youth are the future. Youth development is a task that must not be jettisoned or condoned. Many of our youth are washing away, many are engaged in crimes because those God gave as leaders failed, because they are selfish, because they are only after the prospect of their children not even their extended family; Christ told his followers when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was naked you clothed me, I was thirsty you gave me water and they asked, Master when did we do all these, and answered them since you have done it to these people you have done it for me, Ipaye represents this assertion of Christ Jesus.

Tunde’s word is his bond. He speaks and will never go back on his word even if the whole nation is drifting away. He is frank, dexterous, passionate, immaculate, nonpareil, distinguished, intrepid and consistent. Looking for a nation builder, I will show you Tunde Ipaye, looking for true leadership, I will direct you to Ipaye Babatunde.

The speaker of Ogun State house of Assembly Rt Hon Suraj Adekunbi once said Ipaye is the pride of Ogun State not just Ijebu Igbo or Ogun East. Otunba Olatunji Talabi once said indeed Tunde is an epitome of brilliancy and intelligence, Ogun State Governor Sen Ibikunle Amosun FCA, CON, once said he is the best hand to man the ministry of health, Dr Gbolade Osinowo once said when you hear him speak, you need not a suit sayer to tell you he is an embodiment of a perfect gentleman, Alh Yinusa Olatoye said he loves to help even if he is incapacitated, Hon Adebowale Ojuri said he has never disappointed Ogun East Senatorial district with a hug, Alhaja Adetola Kadiri said he is my Son in whom I’m well pleased with, Sen Olalekan Mustapha said Ijebu Igbo is blessed having you as a son, the families of Late Chief Aderonmu said he is our benefactor, he tried saving our father’s life but God loved our father more, Otunba Olaide Oshifeso said, he always uphold his words, Alh Mojeed Akindele Ekelojumati said I will always be grateful to him till eternity, I Adedapo David says you are a golden fish with the heart of an Angel.

+ Adedapo David
M.Ed, AISMN, MIDPM
(Advocate of true leadership in Ijebu Igbo)

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