Sen. Adeola’s Selfless Leadership Worthy Of Emulation – Osinowo

0
49
Advertisement

Hon. Jenriyi Osinowo, fondly called ‘Otunba Imole’ in political circles, is one politician that could be dubbed a golden fish that has no hiding place. His popularity is hinged on his love for the people and irrevocable commitment to serving humanity come rain, come sunshine.

The global development and economic expert contested under the umbrella of African Democratic Congress (ADC) during the party primaries for Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside federal constituency. He, however, owing to some ‘abracadabra’ during the build-up to the 2019 elections left the opposition party to team up with other members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to work for the first and second term bids of Governor Dapo Abiodun.

Hon Osinowo recently shared his thoughts with The Issues Magazine on political updates in the state and other relevant issues.

Excerpts:

  • Can you please tell us what is making you to consider embracing politics ?

I grew up to appreciate the inherent qualities of leadership into which I was born, and I believe it’s important for me to pay forward and contribute my own quota to the development of my community and by extension my state and my country, which is evident in the steps I have taken in my political journey so far, but even more importantly is the feedback from our people which is very encouraging, and I’m glad that we’re putting smiles on people’s face and also giving them hope. I’m also deeply encouraged by Senator Solomon Adeola’s generosity and sterling leadership within the state. In a nutshell, rather than sit on the sideline and criticize the status quo, I’ve taken necessary steps in addressing some of the fundamental needs of my people, in areas of education, with scholarships and payment of fees for WASSCE, sponsorship of many sporting competition, youth leadership.

Some of our intervention projects also include construction of a modern lavatory in my alma mater – St Matthew’s Primary School, Ojowo, Ijebu Igbo, Installation of 1,000 pieces of Solar Street Lights in Ijebu Igbo, Oru/Awa/Ilaporu & Ago-Iwoye townships, rehabilitation of rural and urban roads in my Federal Constituency which is Ijebu North/Ijebu East/Ogun Waterside. Others are scholarship award to Students, sponsorship of Ijebu Igbo APC Constituency meetings, giving welfare package/cash to the aged at their doorsteps in my hometown, Ijebu Igbo, as well as time to time assistance to the less privilege within the society.

So my coming into politics is to use the platform to reach a greater number of people. I know that with the exposure that I have gotten, I am well aware of the immediate needs of our people in terms of priority, and that was why I contested at various times during the political dispensation. I joined other party stalwarts to rally support for the victory of Gov Dapo Abiodun, and we thank God that the governor is back for the second time to continue with his good works.

  • And what do you say of the Senator representing Ogun East, Otunba Gbenga Daniel ?

Let me tell you about this humble and successful political icon, Otunba Daniel has succeeded in changing the lives of the people through meaningful projects and policies even when he was the Governor and now as a sitting Senator representing Ogun East. Indeed, as governor of Ogun State for eight years, Daniel ran an impactful administration and remained undaunted despite the obstacles that came his way. He toiled day and night to meet the expectations of his people. Further to his giant strides in Ogun State, Otunba Daniel, in February 2009, authorized the reduction of fees at the state-owned Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta to ₦7,000. This followed negotiations with the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) after parents and students had protested increased fees then.

Otunba Gbenga Daniel established three free trade zones in each of the state’s senatorial districts. These include Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone Limited, Igbesa, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area; Olokola Free Trade Zone (OKFTZ); Olokola Deep Seaport and Kajola Free Trade Zone in Ifo. On assumption of office, he left no one in doubt of his desire to leave the landscape of the state better than he met it. He felt the need to provide the needed infrastructure that would help in driving the economy of the state to be economically viable, socially secured and habitable. He created the Ministry of Special Duties, which was saddled with the responsibility of the construction and renovation of residential quarters for government officials.

To reposition the civil service, the Daniel administration constructed an ultra-modern workers’ secretariat. The commissioning was performed by the former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Musa Yar’Adua of blessed memory, in the company of the former President Obasanjo and a host of distinguished guests. The new secretariat, an architectural masterpiece of three wings of eighteen blocks, was constructed for the repositioning of the civil service in Ogun State. In the area of sports development, Ogun State became one of the best three in Nigeria during Otunba Daniel’s tenure. As a sport-loving leader, the success recorded was made possible by the deliberate sports development programme of his administration. Otunba Daniel demonstrated a commitment to revamping health care delivery, a development that tremendously improved the health indices of the state. To meet the Millennium Development Goals and ensure that the health of the people is well taken care of, the Daniel administration invested heavily in providing facilities for the sector.

In addition to this, Otunba Daniel’s administration established the first ever university of education in Nigeria and Africa known as Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) which is located in Ijagun in Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State. The good people of Ogun East believe in the capacity, experience and political sagacity of Otunba Gbenga Daniel (OGD) to represent us in the National Assembly as a Senator and turn things positively for the people of Ogun East. OGD is a blessing to our generation, and with him in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly, many Federal institutions/opportunities will surely flow the ways of Ogun East and our situations will never remain the same.

  • What relationship did you say exist between you and Senator Adeola representing Ogun West Senatorial District?

Well, I always admire Senator Adeola Solomon Olamilekan popularly called Yayi because of his altruistic posture as far as politics is concerned. Sen Adeola represents true leadership, and I’m glad he is back home to replicate the good work he did in Lagos. Actually, I was a pioneer member of the Yayi group prior to the 2019 primary elections within my federal constituency. The core supporters will testify to my contributions towards his aspiration prior to his departure back to Lagos. The slogan at our political ward meeting was ‘Yayi ni Jenriyi joo’ at the time, sadly those dreams didn’t come to reality due to irreconciliable differences between the incumbent governor at the time and Senator Yayi. To cut the long story short, Senator Solomon Adeola is not a new person to me, I have always known him as a politician and a leader, who devoted his time to selfless service to his people, and by extension our great country. We both share a lot in common from a political standpoint, and I appreciate his effort. Senator Yayi has a track record, and you can go back to the archives right from his days in Lagos, as two term member of Lagos State House of Assembly, House of Representatives member, representing Lagos West twice in the Senate and now the Senator representing Ogun West, and it’s not surprising that he was elected at every stage, which is unusual in developing countries, particularly Nigeria.

Though, Senator Adeola’s inroads into Ogun State politics just as in the book of Blair Eric, fondly known as George Orwell of Animal Farm fame, the road is bumpy, full of red earth, like an untarred road to hell. This instance is captured from his book, ‘Road to Catalonia’. Orwell paints the grim picture of undue paranoia, bellicosity, bile, hate, and all the stuff against a man with good intentions, against a politically savvy and purposeful politician. Such was the tale of Senator Adeola, aka Yayi, as per his intention to come back to his root in Ogun State to see what difference he could make with his leadership gift.

As can be recalled, Yayi is the first politician in Nigeria to have had the unbroken record of being elected consecutively from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives and ultimately to the Senate, especially in a state like Lagos with many political Gurus, intellectuals and competing interest. Clearly, you must have done so well to have such a record. It’s like going from the eaglets to flying Eagles and then Super Eagles, which is uncommon. Sometimes in 2017, during the build to 2019 general elections, Ogun elders in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met and felt that people in the Yewa axis of the state had never emerged as Governor. They concluded that it was time to let the Ogun West indigines have a sense of belonging, afterall we’re all brothers and sisters. However, during the process, the elders reasoned that the best aspirant should be put forward to contest the race. Senator Yayi, who was already preparing for his second term campaign in Lagos, was advised to come home and contest for the governorship of Ogun State. Though surprised, after great contemplation and due consultations, Yayi yielded to the call and began the gubernatorial campaign in his home state. While he received wide acceptance across the state, the then incumbent governor, Sen. Amosun, was strongly opposed to Yayi, probably because he had his preferred candidate. Following the hostility by the incumbent at the time, Senator Yayi felt politics should not be a do or die affair and human life is more important than any political aspiration, which has always been his core values, and guiding principle since his days as a member of the state congress and later at the federal level. Yayi, a peace-loving man, pleaded to be excused, and he returned to Lagos, where again was re-elected to represent Lagos West in the Senate. Having built up strong political structures, however, he handed over the structures to Prince Dapo Abiodun, who later won the governorship race. However, due to public pressure in 2023 elections, Adeola returned to Ogun State where he won the senatorial seat of Ogun West, in what has been classified as “West to West” the rest is history.

The truth however remains that the coming of Senator Adeola to Ogun West signifies a new beginning for the people of Yewa/Awori area with the unprecedented leadership the Senator has provided, a shift in paradigm but also a change in narrative for the Yewa people. Just recently towards the end of January, Senator Adeola took the people by whirlwind when he gave bursary awards of N100,000 to 1000 students of higher institutions from the five local governments in the senatorial district while another set of 600 students got between N200,000 to N150,000 totally over N200m. On the heels of this kind gesture was another N250m empowerment for the traders during when 5000 of these conscientious traders got N50,000 each to boost their trade.

Also, Senator Yayi’s mega empowerment programme in which over 15,000 residents of Ogun West senatorial district benefitted. Cash grant ranging from N80,000 to N150,000 totalling N1bn was disbursed to those that have been trained in one vocational skills or the other. This was in addition to working tools like dryers, sewing machines, freezers, gas cookers, among others, that were given to these artisans. The second part of this empowerment programme said to have cost the Senator N2bn are provision of 50 tricycles, 30 shuttle buses for use in some selected higher institutions in the state, two brand new 18-seater buses for the Federal Polytechnic Ilaro and Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Igbesa as well as three brand new Hilux patrol vehicles for three Area Command of the Nigeria Police in the senatorial district. I mean, the records are there in the public domain for doubting thomas.

All of these are in addition to numerous road projects, and classrooms the Senator has facilitated to the senatorial district less than 365 days in office. Can you imagine how life would be made more comfortable for our people if all of us in politics could take a cue from what Yayi has been doing with his political participation? What I am saying is that the political class needs to lead by example for upcoming generation, rather than abuse of public office for private gain or business and profit mentality, we must always prioritize our people above personal glory and self agrandizement, we should always look for the opportunity to better the lives of our people, and continue with the legacy of our founding fathers like late sage Awo.

  • What is your message to Nigerians, given the time we are in, most especially in the face of the biting economic situation ?

We are all feeling the heat, but I have the assurance that President Bola Tinubu is not sleeping over all of these heartfelt pains of Nigerians. He is a grassroots politician to the core, so I am sure he is getting the feedback and I have the confidence and faith in his agenda, and by the special grace of God, Nigeria will be great again.

END

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here