Ogun 2019: Why we support Odebiyi’s governorship ambition —Adeniji
It’s all about rallying support for Governor Ibikunle Amosun whom we believed has done so much to develop Ogun State like no other since the state came into being in 1976. He has really been exceptional and pursued with gusto and rare courage his mission to rebuild the state from ruins of yesteryear. His road projects are world-class. In fact, the state of the capital city is now getting comparable to Abuja. Yes, he may not have done all but he has challenged the norm and proved that with little resources so much could be done. Each time I pass through Akarigbo Road, my soul prays for the governor. You don’t even see the governor making so much noise or hassles about his achievements. I am of the opinion that Senator Amosun has really set the standard for good governance in the state and anybody taking over from him will surely continue from where he will have stopped.
What is your take on Yewa Agenda as far as the next governorship race is concerned?
I am absolutely on the same page with the governor on this crucial assignment. Look, which part of this state has not produced the governor since its creation? Ogun East and Ogun Central Senatorial districts have thrice produced the governor, leaving out Ogun West. In the spirit of equity, justice and fairness, every progressive must queue behind the Yewa people to also have a shot at the governorship. Just as many other people are thinking too, I and my group also believe that our dear brother and friend, Chief Tolu Odebiyi, the Chief of Staff to the governor and worthy son of Yewa land, has all it takes to continue the good work of the governor beyond 2019. Aside being part of the success story of the governor in the last six years, he is also an accomplished engineer and industrialist whose father, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, represented Ogun West at the Senate under Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s party, the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Second Republic. He has got a good family background and possesses sufficient experience to further make the state the toast of all, he should therefore be given the opportunity to serve the state. It is inclusiveness and diversity that can help us to develop. We must really be careful not to allow fair agitations like this to get out of hand, just as we have the militancy in the Niger Delta. Let’s learn to listen to the concerns of one another. This is our hallmark in Yorubaland.
How true is the information doing the rounds that you are keen on representing Remo Federal Constituency in 2019?
I am just an obedient and loyal member of the ruling party, APC. However, I believe that all the brilliant minds in the corporate world should stop taking the back seat in the affairs of the Nigerian politics. We should all come on board to make the big difference and stop leaving the affairs of the country for incompetent people to manage. On this note, as a true son of Sagamu and with sufficient knowledge in the corporate world, having served in the oil and gas industry for 26 years, I am eminently qualified to represent my people in any capacity. My ambition will, however, be determined by God, the governor and my leaders. I have never shied away from responsibility. I once served as the global president of Ex-Mays as well as the President of Exxon Mobil Cooperative, the largest in Africa. So, I humbly believe I have all it takes to give my people in Remo exemplary representation. It’s not a do-or-die affair anyway. Yes, people are clamouring for it, but I am only particular about helping the governor to finish well his second term and to, of course, leave a worthy successor behind in Chief Tolu Odebiyi, if the governor and my leaders then say I should come and run for the House of Representatives ticket, I will gladly embrace the opportunity.
COULD you let us into how your background and how why you decided to embrace farming after retiring from the oil industry?
I was born and bred in Sagamu, Remo division of Ogun State. I had my secondary school education at Mayflower School, Ikenne and then proceeded to University of Lagos where I studied Chemical Engineering. I later joined ExxonMobil Oil and put in 26 years of meritorious service until last year when I retired. I am now into farming, playing my own quiet role in the government’s call for diversification of the economy. I however, strongly desire that our government should do more to support using agriculture to combat unemployment among the youths. The government can do this through the provision of soft loan and most importantly the revitalisation or revamping the farm settlements we have all over the country. I am into animal husbandry and I can tell you that feed poses a great problem. The government will be doing us a lot of good if it can encourage investors to set up a world-class feed mill here in Nigeria rather than relying on imported feeds. We will all be doing ourselves a lot of good if government can really increase its support for agriculture business in Nigeria. The government must not only increase its support but must also ensure that those interventions really get to the farmers and not hijacked by some people along the way.