The Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions in Lagos State, Dr. Akintola Benson Oke, has described retiring Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Training, Mrs. Clara Omotilewa Ibirogba, as a learned, versatile and competent Amazon of beauty and brains.
Oke made this remarks at the weekend during the ‘Last Day in Office Ceremony’ and Thanksgiving Service in honour of Ibirogba, at Chapel of Christ The Light in Alausa, Ikeja.
According to him: “Indeed, it is a fitting tribute to Mrs. Clara Omotilewa Olutoyin Ibirogba to give her the sobriquet, ‘competence, with a good heart and willingness to serve’. One would suppose that the anonymous source to whom the quote is attributed, had her in mind when the profoundly true words were written.
“Read her profile, and you will read of an officer who has had extensive, rich and varied experience serving the Lagos State Civil Service.
Inquire from friends and colleagues about her and you will be told of a woman of grace who can develop and nurture lifelong beneficial personal and work relationships.
Work with her and you will discover a goodhearted graceful lady and versatile officer who is competent and always willing to serve and contribute meaningfully to issues. I can confidently say she came, she saw and she conquered,” Oke said.
The Commissioner stressed that he was delighted to note that Ibirogba left indelible marks in the Ministry of Justice where she served for the better part of her career in the Lagos State Civil Service.
He added that she was extensively involved in the landmark and trailblazing mediation programme of the Ministry, drafting and supervising the drafting of a large number of memoranda that led to the resolution of otherwise intractable disputes.
He said that, as a skilled draftsman, she also led the efforts to draft a number of laws, subsidiary legislations, council memoranda in chieftaincy matters and oath papers for swearing-in ceremonies at state functions, among others.
Responding, Mrs. Clara Ibirogba said she was highly elated at the turn out of family, friends, colleagues and well wishers who had turned out to bid her farewell from the service. She said the journey had been eventful, challenging, demanding as well as exciting.
“When I applied to the Lagos State Civil Service, I thought to myself that I would only spend six months and leave for either a bank or other opportunities.
Little did I know that God had other plans in store for me. A projection of six months has led to – would you believe it – 35 years in service. I leave with a lot of memories, with my head held high and truly satisfied and fulfilled that hopefully I have left indelible marks in the service.
“Particularly in the Ministry of Justice, where I served for the better part of my career and also in the Office of Establishments and Training, among others.
It has been a truly eventful journey. I just want to say a big thank you to all those who have contributed in one way or the other to this wonderful success story.
“First, I thank God Almighty who has kept me through it all, to the governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, my Commissioner, Dr. Benson Oke, all the staff who contributed professionally during my time and especially to my husband, my children, family members and friends for all their support and understanding during this time,” Ibirogba said.
Mrs. Clara Ibirogba was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. She started her civil service career as a State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice in 1983. She then rose through the ranks to become a Director in the Ministry of Justice.
She headed the Directorate of Legislative Drafting in 2001 and served as Director of the Directorate for Citizens’ Rights in 2006 until November 2017, when she was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Office of Establishments and Training.