Success is more easily attainable than greatness. You may be a successful businessman, politician, or professional but greatness is not for everyone. But I think I learnt the secret of greatness, you will only be great if you devote your life, and your efforts, to serving others.
Remarks by the vice president of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, his Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 10th Convocation of lead city university in Ibadan, Oyo State, on November 9, 2017.
I am honoured to have been invited to celebrate this special day with you. The 10th Convocation ceremony of the Lead City University.
In celebrating the past, we honour the selflessness and enterprising spirit of the founder and all those who not only dared to envision this great institution, but turned it to a dream, to this city of great edifices to nurture the great minds of the imminent future.
So today we must honour the founder of this place of creativity and learning, Prof. Jide Owoeye; a man whose life and times have proved that with vision, hard work, and the courage of your convictions, you can achieve practically anything.
By establishing this University and before it, several other educational institutions, he has shown that securing the future of the following generations is the most important service that we owe the present.
As we do this, we also celebrate the great scholars, and the fine academics who make up the faculties here at the Lead City University. You are the thought leaders at a pivotal time in our national history, whose enormous task is to guide the present and inspire the future. And as we celebrate also and perhaps most importantly, the reason why we are gathered, the graduating class of 2017, congratulations and many congratulations also to the parents, family, guardians, sponsors, and loved ones of the graduands.
I was 60 years old in March this year, and I must confess that it was one of the greatest surprises I ever experienced! I just suddenly became 60. I can clearly remember when I graduated when I was 21 years old. How time flies. One of the most important lessons you will learn is that time flies. Whether you are wasting it or using it well, it simply flies by.
There are a few other lessons I learnt along the way. And at the age of 60 I’m entitled to give some advice, and l will share some of them with you. Some you might agree with, others you may not, but I would be most flattered if you remember them and whenever you meet me in life’s journey, somewhere down the line, you will tell me whether I was right or wrong.
First I learnt is that talent, an excellent degree, even coming from a well-off family, does not mean success and certainly does not mean greatness. The most talented people, those who get the best degrees, and even from a well-known family, do not necessarily become the most successful in life.
The difference between success and failure, mediocrity or excellence, is character. Along with character is the importance of opportunity, but perhaps most crucial, is the grace of God.
So what is character? And l will define it my own way; character is a set of values that shapes the conduct of an individual. It is the set of principles, spoken and unspoken, that a person observes and lives by.
I will speak about some aspects of character that I have learnt would make the crucial difference in life. These are, trustworthiness,
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