The Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who was hitherto the only Labour Party (LP) governor may decide to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the conclusion of his nationwide consultation. Hints of this political movement have however begun to affect the political equation of Ondo State, the Southwest and indeed the nation-Nigeria.
Recall that Dr. Olusegun Mimiko grew through the political ladder from youth leader to Secretary to Local Government, two terms State Commissioner, Secretary to State Government, Federal Minister before ascending the position of Governor though after a protracted legal battle.
In all these he has continued to muster political energy devoid of any political vulture. This has also allowed him to know and understand the political structures and gladiators throughout the nooks and crannies of Ondo State in particular. Dr. Mimiko, contributed immensely in installing all his predecessors who became governors through the ballot. No wonder he was Commissioner under Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua and late Chief Adebayo Adefarati and later Secretary to the State Government under late Dr. Segun Agagu.
If Dr. Mimiko finally decided to re-join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he earlier joined in 2003 after his over six years sojourn in the Labour Party (LP), the entry or may be re-entry could only be described as triumphant for him and a game changer for several others. It must not be overemphasized that he will be joining the party not only with all the political gladiators in the state but also with all the apparatus of government in the state.
The question now is that what does this portend for the people of Ondo State? First, the movement would have returned Ondo State to the mainstream of Nigerian politics. This will further strengthen the already cordial relationship existing between the state and the federal government as led by President Goodluck Jonathan. Secondly, it will afford Mimiko the opportunity to wholeheartedly work for the re election of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, which majority of the people of the state have signify their support for. Thirdly, this will lead the PDP to becoming the only dominant party in Ondo State.
Another angle to the whole story would be “What will be the effect of this fusion to the 2015 general election in Ondo State? If Mimiko led the Labour Party (LP) on a winning spree since 2009, House of Assembly bye election in Akure North and Ilaje Constituency 2, House of Representative bye election in Akoko South East/Akoko South West, three senatorial seats in 2011, eight out of nine House of representative in 2011, twenty five out of twenty six House of Assembly seat in 2011 and the governorship election in 2012, then joining hand with the hitherto major opposition party in the state will have sealed victory for the state mega party, what some people refers to as the “new Ondo PDP” even before the polls.
Political analysts, watchers and even party followers and faithful’s have continued to argue that Mimiko’s joining the PDP will ultimately determine who succeeds him as governor in 2017. Analysts argued that the political goodwill which Dr. Mimiko have garnered and enjoyed over the years will be leaned upon to present a credible successor. This piece also subscribes to this position that Dr. Mimiko will be a major determining factor in deciding who govern Ondo State from 2017.
The template for the selection will now have to put a lot of things into consideration if the governor finally decides to join the PDP. One, there will be a larger pool of aspirants that will jostle for the position; some from the present PDP, some from the present LP and some who at present may not belong to any of the two but may decide to run on such a strong platform.
Before now, the PDP is seen to be stronger in the Southern Senatorial district of the state. This may be due to the fact that since 1999, the governorship candidate of the party have always emerged from the district. If this strength will cornered the governorship slot for the district, then it will be the fight among political titans such as Chief Olusola Oke, Chief Sola Ebiseni, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi and Chief Jimoh Ibrahim who has been in out of the governorship race since 2003 on different political platforms.
Chief Oke, a former member of the House of Representatives who represented Ondo state on the pioneer NDDC board and later Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) may enjoy the sympathy of being the former flag bearer of the party.
Chief Sola Ebiseni, a former Chairman of Ilaje/Ese Odo local government and the Ondo State Law Commission as well as being a three time Commissioner for Environment in the state, he is a confidant of the incumbent governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and late Chief Adebayo Adefarati. His perceived loyalty to whoever he has worked with may earn him the ticket of the party.
However, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi who has being an ally of Dr. Mimiko for years may beat all other contenders to the governorship ticket in the district if he decides to run on the ground he is perceived to be the person being groomed for the plum job by Dr. Mimiko.
If zoning is anything to go by, it will be right that the Central Senatorial district where the incumbent governor is from will be excluded from or take the back seat in the 2017 governorship race. But the Akure people have continued to argue that it is their turn to be at the Alagbaka Government house in 2017. Their argument hinges on the fact that out of the then five division that make up the Ondo State, only Akure division has not been elected as governor.
If this sentiment receives the support of the people of Ondo State with respect to the 2017 governorship, then Eyitayo Jegede SAN may spring surprises as he has been described as a member of the kitchen cabinet of Dr. Mimiko.
Prior to the 2012 governorship election, what was described as “Akoko Agenda” took several people out of the LP including Senator Ajayi Boroffice, Saka Lawal, Dr. Olaiya Oni, Prince Sola Amodeni etc. The 2017 may reenact the clamour for an Akoko governor even as the Owo people are strategizing to outsmart the Akokos if the governorship is finally zoned to the Northern Senatorial district.
In a situation where the “new PDP” ticket is exclusively domiciled in the Northern Senatorial district, the party will have an array of aspirants to choose from. The body language of Dr. Mimiko who definitely will be interested in who succeeds him may finally be relied upon in selecting the party’s candidate.
In Owo area of the Northern Senatorial district, two allies of Dr. Mimiko have signified their intention to run for the governorship of the state. Mr. Tokunbo Modupe aka TPT, a close confidant of Dr. Mimiko, from Ose Local Government and the convener of the Orange Family Initiative (OFI) is said to have concluded arrangement to run for governor.
Also a third republic Senator, Remi Okunrinboye who is from Owo, is said to be networking across the nooks and crannies of Ondo State to ensure that he clinch the ticket to pursue an ambition of decades. However, cross sections of the people consider him too old for the job.
It has also been rumoured that a former Presidential Aspirant in the Third Republic, Senator (Dr.) Bode Olajumoke who is also from Ose local government is also strategizing to emerge the candidate of the new PDP.
From the Akoko end of the Northern Senatorial district, they are avalanche of would be governor who are also planning to leverage on the proposed fusion to ride to the Alagbaka government house.
A former Minister of defence, Tokunbo Kayode SAN who would ordinarily have emerged as the candidate of the new party because of his cordial relationship with Dr. Mimiko is said to have lost favour with the Presidency. Also, his colleagues in the PDP have continued to accuse him of betraying the party in the 2011 general election. They have always boasted that such action will not cease hunting him.
Dr. Olu Agunloye popularly called Omoluabi from the same local government with Tokunbo Kayode has a very pleasant relationship with Dr. Mimiko and this would have earned him the ticket to occupy the Ondo Government house from 2017 but for his growing age. He may however have settled to go to the Senate in 2015.
For the incumbent Director General of the National Sports Commission and a former member of the House of Representative, Gbenga Elegbeleye he seems to have been enjoying the support of the younger elements in the political circle across Ondo State. The support base of this former Chairman of Akoko North East local government and Ondo State Waste Management Board is said to shore up since the rumoured defection of Dr. Mimiko and the entire Ondo State LP to the PDP. The successes recorded by the country in sports since his assumption of office may be the x-factor he needs judging by the fact that Nigerians are sports loving people, Ondo State not excluded. He (Elegbeleye) was said to have strongly supported Dr. Mimiko in the October 2012 election. This may therefore be his payback time.
The PDP deputy governorship candidate in the October 2012 election Mr. Saka Lawal, a former political aide of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who had hitherto laid claim to the PDP governorship ticket by ascendency is said to be jittery as his former boss is joining the PDP. His fear is that Dr. Mimiko may deliberately work against his emergence. But this may be far from the truth because Dr. Mimiko is a leader with a large heart who believes that only God anoints leaders. This fear may however limit Saka Lawal’s chances.
The list of aspirants from the north also includes a former Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Victor Olabimtan who is presently a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission. Olabimtan who was also considered for the PDP Deputy Governorship candidate in 2012 and could not make it because of the fear of the unknown, may still chicken out from the governorship race, as feelers have it that he is working to be Deputy Governor to another aspirant. The former speaker was said to have use his position to favour several indigene of the state particularly from the Akoko area. This would have added value to his aspiration only if he has the heart to take the big risk.
Notwithstanding all these, the political development that will emerge in Ondo state in the nearest future including the 2015 general election and the 2017 governorship election will radiate around the final decision of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko to join or not to join the PDP.
Olu Johnson Egbodofo is a Public Analyst and presently Special Assistant to Ondo State Governor on OSOPADEC email: [email protected]
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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