Hon. Ifedayo Olugbenga Akinsoyinu is of the Labour Party extraction representing Ondo West Constituency II at the Ondo State House of Assembly for a record of third term, where he holds the position of Majority Leader.
Having won election under the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1999 and later contested under the platform of Labour Party in 2007 and 2011 also winning on both occasion, he is one of the most experienced in the hallowed legislative chamber of Ondo State House of Assembly and in this special encounter with Olusiji Balogun and Egbodofo Olu Johnson, he spoke on several issues surrounding the 2nd term of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, declaring that the people will be better for it.
- From your experience as a third term legislator under different administrations in Ondo State briefly do an analysis of the administrations in Ondo State since 1999.
Well, from 1999, you will agree with me that we were coming from a badly and highly militarized background and that impinged so much on the performances of those in administration between 1999 and 2003. At that time we were still adjusting we were just acclimatizing to new democratic environment, democratic values and all the rest.
2003 was a major improvement on that of 1999 dispensation, 2007 further improvement and 2011 better and further improvement and accomplishment.
What I am saying in essence is that our democracy can only be pictured using a scenario of an aircraft trying to take off in 1999, gathering momentum to take a flight. In 2003, it took that flight and tried to reach its highest altitude in 2007, and in 2011 it tried to stabilize and go for its full cruise to its destination.
Taking generally especially in Ondo State here, we have come of age. We have tried to learn fast, tried to adjust fast, regardless of the fact that our psyche was badly militarized in the past. I think we have not faired badly at all. We are progressing democratically.
- What is your overview assessment of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s first four years in office as governor of Ondo State?
Thank you so much. Let me put it the way lawyers will put it in legal parlance “Res Ipsa Loquitur” meaning “the thing itself speaks”. For someone like me to assess the administration of Dr. Mimiko would look like pontification but the truth of the matter is that when something is good it has no other name than good and when something is bad it has no other name than bad.
Come to think of it, the present government in Ondo State emplaced a lot of transformational policies to attract unprecedented achievements in the area of health, in the area of education, in the area of sports, in agriculture and in the area of community development. Just think of it.
Taking for example the issue of maternal and infant mortality was very high and the government came up with the idea of Abiye safe motherhood programme which culminated into the construction of Mother and Child Hospital. Since then people have been visiting this facility. Since then we have not had casualties arisen from child birth to such an extent that Mr. Governor was invited by the UN to address that August gathering on how he was able to come up with the idea and he was able to run the programme successfully.
As a matter of fact the programme is taking the form of global benchmark in reducing maternal mortality. I remembered vividly when the governor was talking to us about the programme, he said one of his professors back then in school told them that the shortest distance to the grave is the distance between the navel and the pelvic of a woman during pregnancy and that was what informed the successful Abiye programme. So far, in this area of health he’s been able to reposition Ondo State even on the world map in such a way that people all over the world are asking where is Ondo State? because miracles are happening here and for your information the good things that have been happening in Ondo State within the last four years have no historical antecedent in the state and I can authoritatively say this because I have been involved in government since 1990 in this State when I started my career in politics as a councilor under SDP.
So I have been part of every successive administration since then, so I am in a vantage position to assess this government. In the last four years, this government has been able to take Ondo State to a greater height beyond the imagination of the voters.
Do we talk about education? It is during this government that students of the State started excelling in national examinations both WAEC and NECO a result of the activities of the newly established outfit called QEAD, Quality Education Assurance Agency with inspectors going round the schools to monitor and even encourage both students and teachers. Talk about community development that adopted the bottom top approach in taking development to the grassroots. A departure from what obtains in the past when government decides which project a community gets or not. This time around the governor commissioned his commissioner, Engr. Faboyede to go to far flunged communities within the nooks and crannies of Ondo State, assemble the people of the community and ask them what they need from government based on their priority. That is democracy because this government in the last four years is what people call ‘our government not their government.’
The man had a vision before becoming the governor and this he has demonstrated through his leadership in the past four years and in simple word it has been fantastic. What we are witnessing now in this State has never happened before when it comes to development and peaceful coexistence.
- What has been the contribution of the House of Assembly to all these positive and giant strides?
The primary duty of the House of Assembly is to make laws and so far we have been able to make so many laws to support the present administration like the issue of maternal mortality we passed a law brought by the executive that for every death that occurs while a pregnant woman tries to deliver a baby must be recorded for every death that occurs in any maternity home, in any church, in any traditionalist house, in any maternity centre be it private or public it must be recorded. It doesn’t have to do with prosecution but with the objective to have a database for proper planning.
- How many times have the assembly attempted to impeach the governor. A practice which has almost become a norm in our democracy?
You only try to impeach a governor that has committed an impeachable offence or offences but with what I’ve been talking about that kind of situation is far from us. Somebody came to government to ensure the well being of his subjects, to inject transformational agenda, to elevate the state, to make the state a cynosure of all eyes and also make his policies and achievements benchmark for the entire world and some people will think of impeachment. It is not possible. Is that how to reward hard work? He is doing more than enough, as a matter of fact, if the constitution has given the House of Assembly the power to amend the law, in such a way that the governor should go for third term we should give him. It is not flattery, things are speaking for themselves.
- How sure are you that after securing the second term mandate, the good works would be sustained?
They would be definitely sustained. For people who don’t have a particular mission, people who are not driven by mission to serve, after first four years they mess up the next four years which is their last tenure. That is for those without mission and vision.
But for someone driven by passion to serve, driven by that passion of patriotism to make the state one of the best as a matter of fact his vision is not to make Ondo State the best administered state in Nigeria, he wants to make Ondo State one of the best administered states in Africa and the world in general. All I have to say is that for someone who has this type of patriotic vision like Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, we have just started. The people of the state have just started witnessing giant developmental strides. I can assure you that the next four years would be a remarkable improvement on the previous four years.
He has a long way to go. He is not ending his career as a governor after the next four years. No! He is still moving higher. For someone who still has more than four years in his career as a politician, he is bound to do more for his people.
- Given any opportunity to serve at the national level after his four years, do you see him making any positive contribution at that level with the present political situation?
If you remember the parable of the master who gave talents to his workers, then you will agree with the judgement of the master that “for you have been faithful with a little you should be given more”. The analogy is very simple for him to have done well at this micro level, he will surely do well at the national level which is macro once given the opportunity. He is not new to the national politics or national service in the first instance; don’t forget he once served meritoriously as a minister of the Federal Republic. Based on his antecedents if given higher assignments I’m confident he will excel.
A Phenomenon at 50
Hitting the age of 50 is a landmark and a milestone to be celebrated. Fifty years and still counting, Aremo Olusiji Balogun, is a phenomenon and a case study in humanity.
He is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria among others. He is the Founder of Ase Youth Association and several other organisations.
His company Promec Innovative Concepts was a child of necessity when his attempt to register Prince Royal Media Concept (Promec) at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) met a brick wall.
Olusiji Balogun is a media guru and an organizational growth and business development expert with adaptable skills. He is able to use own initiative or work as part of a team. An efficient and effective Human Resources Manager, community worker, excellent communicator at all levels within and outside organizations; he has good problem solving and analytical skills with pioneering spirit.
Olusij’s specific interests include teaching and learning for new product development, business development, participatory social activities, keen insight into the needs of others and with high energy, initiative and focus, proven leadership skills including managing and motivating others to achieve objectives.
An effective community and social worker, he is fluent with information technology and capable of handling executive assignments and leadership. His other qualities include being positive with potential ideas, he has the ability to work with anyone under any condition or situation and contribute greatly to achieving the best goals of the establishment.
Oluwasijibomi Gideon Balogun was born on the 8th September, 1972 in Ondo town to the family of Samuel Olusegun Balogun and Mrs Grace Remilekun Balogun of Ase Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State. Both parents are retired Civil Servants. Olusiji was raised up with strong Christian virtue.
He had his early education at St. Luke’s Primary School, Akure but finished at Muslim Primary School, Ikaram Akoko, all in Ondo State, where he obtained the First School Leaving Certificate. He subsequently earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1990 after attending Omoluorogbo Grammar School, Akure before proceeding to Ala Community Comprehensive High School, Ala-Elefosan, Idanre Local Government Area of Ondo State.
He also attended the Institute of Journalism and Nigerian Institute of Journalism, (NIJ), Akure Campus for his Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations, after a sojourn at Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) briefly in the Institute of Science Laboratory Technology. He also went to Akwa-Ibom State Polytechnic, for his Higher National Diploma in Business Administration.
He later proceeded to the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State for his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration.
He is a Member of various professional bodies.
After leaving school, Olusiji started working as a freelance Journalist and Printer. He started Eminent Leaders Magazine in 1996 and registered Prince Royal Media Concepts with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), in 1999 which he upgraded to Eminent Leaders World Communications Limited publisher of Eminent Leaders magazine.
He worked with several organisations where he left indelible footprints of punctuality, hard work and professionalism. He worked with Mentors Communications, Abuja in different capacities. At Mentors Communications, he was the pioneer Editor of Rootswatch Magazine. He was Technical Assistant to the Managing Director of Quarry Managers Company in Abuja, headed by the late Abdulhakeem Amao. He was Special Event Manager with ITAD/MotMacdonald/PWC in Calabar and Water Supply and Sanitation Reform Programme (WSSRP) in Abuja. Both projects under the Integrated Water Resource Management European Commission.
He also had a stint with Hatlab Delight as a Business Development Manager and Head of Administration, O.T. Otis Engineering Limited. He resigned his appointment with Successory Nigeria Limited, Abuja, as Head of Project Management, in year 2019 to move his outfit forward.
Olusiji Balogun experience in politics is vast. His team helped installed Olusegun Agagu and Olusegun Mimiko as Ondo State Governors. He was the nucleus of Olusegun Mimiko Campaign Organisation for his second term when he was Editor of Grassroots Vanguard Newspaper of Grassroots Network.
He attempted to contest for the coveted seat of Ondo State Governor in 2020.
His experience in administration is versed as he is an Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), Full Member Institute of Professional Administrators and Managers (IPMA) and many other professional bodies. He is a partner in many companies and Chief Executive Officer of Promec Innovative Entrepreneurship and Science Academy (PIESA) and several other firms.
He currently has his hand in farming as he started Ase Farms Nigeria Limited, asefarms.com.ng.
His hobby includes travelling, reading, surfing the internet and adventures.
Ambassador Bayo Lawal Appointed American Diplomatic Representative in Brazil Ambassador Bayo Lawal, is truly a chip off the block. Born in Osogbo, Osun State of Nigeria, into the royal house of Olumodi Oyipiloye and Asuni Compound (Maternal) Osogbo. Bayo Lawal has become the first Nigerian to receive an American diplomatic status in Brazil. At a diplomatic ceremony held on the 17th of December, 2021 in the executive auditorium of the State Legislative Council, Saopaulo , Brazil, the American Government, through its Diplomatic Mission of International Relations (ADMIR) sworn In Ambassador Bayo Lukman Lawal as one of its appointed diplomatic representatives of the American diplomatic mission in Brazil. The humanitarian and diplomatic mission , which for the first time, included a Nigerian living in Brazil, inaugurated other important personalties in Brazil as members of its humanitarian project scheduled for Africa and Europe in the year 2022. Bayo Lawal is from a royal and polygamous house where hardwork is the hallmark. Though born by a successful business man popularly known as “Were Nise Oluwa”, Bayo Lawal has been a focused, hard-working and persevering youngman. His stint with the Osun State Board of Internal Revenue after his days at The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, set him in a progress pedestal. At the Board of Internal Revenue, his hardworking nature, made him a darling of all. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, before leaving the shores of Nigeria, originated the idea of honouring women in Nigerian society in 1999, tagged “Women Entrepreneur Merit Award” organised by Spotlight Media Ventures. He was then the PRO and Reporter for the firm. Ambassador Bayo Lawal and other personalities like the notable former Brazilian football captain, Capitão Cafu , the Saopaulo State First Lady, Mrs. Bia Doria, the Director of Federal Police, the Honorable speaker of the House of Assembly in Saopaulo , Representatives from several African and European countries witnessed the event. According to the President of the mission in Brazil, Dr. Fernando Navarro, the principal function of the American diplomatic mission of International relations is simple, it is humanitarian, it is helping to make the world a better place to live, he said the mission is to combat hunger and help the needy. Ambassador Bayo Lawal, who has lived in Brazil for over twenty years has worked in different functions in the international relations, he is an administrator who has led his team of excellent professionals within and outside Brazil. He is the presently the CEO of Mab Consulting Services, an International Trade and Business Development company with spread in the South America, Africa, China, USA, Europe and UAE. Bayo Lawal, who served as a Business Consultant at Grupo Empresarial Costa Negocios, taught courses in several English Schools in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was Business English Teacher For Executives between 1999 – 2014. He worked at the Costa Negocios Group, FGV Projetos, Bimex Comercial Ltda., and many others. In his interview with Heritage news, Ambassador Lawal said “I am dedicating my achievements in Brazil to the Almighty God and also to my late parents, Prince Yekeen Lawal and Mrs. Bolanle Lawal. I also owe this success to my family in Brazil , my friends and colleagues who are always by me.” Ambassador Bayo Lawal said he is ready to work with all humanitarian organizations in Nigeria and overseas, using his office as an ambassador to help better the standards of every Nigerian, African immigrants in Brazil and around the world. He promised to lead projects of housing estates to Osogbo and other necessary locals in Nigeria.Ambassador Bayo Lawal is married to an Italian descendant Brazilian, Mrs. Sara Guerino Lawal and blessed with three children; Nathalie Mariam Oyenike Lawal, Derick Afeez Oyewale Lawal and Allan Khalil Babatunde Lawal.
Iyalaje Tolulola Olajibike Bayode was born in Akure and hails from Oba-Ile. She’s the daughter of Chief Joseph Bayode and Pastor Mrs Bayode.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, RN, BSN, MD, is a trained medical professional but with an unusual passion for the well-being of the less privileged. Having travelled far and wide,Tolulola share an uncanny obsession of giving abandoned children and widows another shot at life,employing both her professional training and God given resources in assisting the less privileged at will leading her to initiating Dorian Home for Displaced Children & Mothers Initiative.
The African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council appointed this Akure born philanthropist Dr. Tolulola Bayode as Head, Social Affairs and Health Cluster Committee. The job description entails implementing the overall goals of the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio in line with the AU Agenda 2063, Sets annual performance targets for the Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development portfolio and report on annual progress to Specialized Technical Committees and AU Policy Organs.
In 2009, Dr.Bayode established Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development as a Non-governmental Organization (NGO). She’s the CEO/ President. Her personal encounter and experience in the course of discharging her professional duties, most especially in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) Camps, Community/Rural Medical Outreach programs, just to mention a few, afforded her a first-hand and comprehensive understanding of the plethora of unsavoury plights of women and children in our society.
Dorian Home is the biggest orphanage home in Africa, consisting of 700 homes for children,500-capacity skill acquisition centre for women, large hall for events, modern clinic and a worship centre. Dorian Home for Charity and Social Development is situated at Akure, the Ondo State capital.
Described as the biggest orphanage home in Africa, the ultramodern facility worth $5million and was finally commissioned on the 14th of October 2021.
Dorian Home is not limited to taking care of just abandoned babies and widows but also focused on research, training, empowerment and mobilize women towards self-emancipation. A glamorous persona imbued with the philosophy of giving hope to the hopeless, creating a better living condition for the abandoned, Tolulola is in the forefront of Safe Haven Law in Nigeria – the leaving of unharmed infants with statutorily designated private persons so that the child becomes a ward of the state with proper upbringing.
At the commissioning of the home, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice-President of Nigeria, called for the provision of adequate welfare for vulnerable children and women in the society. The vice president commended Bayode for making provision of the basic needs of homeless children and women her passion. He said that about nine per cent of Nigerian children were homeless; a figure Osinbajo said seems to be growing rapidly. The vice president, however, called on well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the government to provide adequate care for the homeless children, saying that government alone could not do it. Osinbajo described the laudable project as one that would stand the test of time for the less privileged and empowerment for women in society.
During her speech, the Founder and President of Dorian Home, Dr Tolulola Bayode, said that vision of the project was about leaving a legacy of hope for the orphaned children, widows and less privileged women in the society. According to Bayode, reality dawned on her after the shocking demise of her elder brother, the purpose of man on earth is to touch life and uplift humanity. Bayode said the covenant she had with God to have the home was based on her love for humanity, widow, indigent and displaced children to live a better life. She also appealed to the government to provide adequate security checkpoints along Akure/Idanre Road, adding that the future of any child should not be toiled with. She emphasised that not that she has the resources but has a heart of giving.
Represented at the ocassion, was the governor of Ondo State represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Ayadatiwa, who said that the project compliment the administration’s REDEEM agenda of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He commended the Founder of the home for her initiative. Akeredolu described the project as unique because it focus on the neglected section of the society. Akeredolu said the project would receive the support and patronage of the state government. He said the state government would continue to support the social initiative programmes of the Dorian Home.
Also, speaking at the ocassion, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, urged people to emulate the kind gesture that counts for the good of humanity by trying to make the society a better place for humanity. Alasoadura said that Nigeria would be a better place, if everyone tried to provide a home like heaven on Earth, especially for the displaced and indigent children, just as the orphanage.
Tolulola Olajibike Bayode, as a natural social and talented care giver has continually provided training, education and health consultations in the non-profit entrepreneurial sector to youths in different parts of the world and has successfully maneuvered the delicate balance between dedication to mission in a wide range of settings. Aside her passion for the creating a better living for commoners, she has years of extensive managerial experience in the non-profit sector, with outstanding records in getting initiatives off the ground and flourishing.
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