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Afenifere Leader, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi
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Afenifere Leader, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi @ 86: The Leader That I know

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By AWA Bamiji

I always count myself as a very lucky Person or should we call it destiny instead, because as a young, brilliant, ever conscious and ever focused Activist, I graduated from one of the leading Universities in Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile – Ife, in the year 2001, into the midst of first Class Political Leaders in the Southwest Region and beyond, one of whom is our Celebrant today and my Political father, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi.

As a megaphone of the progressive Nigerian Youths over the past 2 decades, on behalf of millions of these ever progressive and ever conscious and ever dynamic Nigerian Youths, I celebrate you today, my Mentor, Teacher, Leader and Political Encyclopedia, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, OON, a former Commissioner, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, during the military administration of Brigadier General Olagunsoye Oyinlola, (Rtd) in Lagos State, which was the Executive Position, apart from being a Councillor at age of 26 in the Lagos Town Council, 1962, and the Legislator in the Lower Legislative arm of the National Assembly, Federal House of Representatives, 1979 – 1983, during which our Late Afenifere Leader, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, of blessed memory, became a Senator from defunct Ondo North Senatorial District, old Ondo State, having lost the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) Gubernatorial ticket in the State to another late Afenifere Leader, Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, of blessed memory.

Each time I had the opportunity to visit my Late Leader and former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lam Adeshina, Majiyagbe I, in his house at Felele, Challenge, Ibadan, he would ask of Prince Olusi and Senator Ayo Fasanmi. Why?

Without asking him the reason why he did single out these two Leaders of Afenifere, he would freely go further to explain that Senator Ayo Fasanmi was in the Senate 1979 – 1983, in Lagos, during which today’s Leader of Afenifere, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, and himself were in the Federal House of Representatives, Lagos.

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Apart from being his ardent follower as far as Politics of Oyo State and Southwest were concerned, he saw me as someone who took the right direction in the Politics of Yorubaland by being loyal and very close to the noble families of our Progressive Leaders in the Region, including these two closet associates of his.

On several occasions, just like other key Leaders of Afenifere, all of whom I serve diligently, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, would vouch for me without my knowledge. As a Youth rallying point, I was able to combine training from Yoruba Political Leaders, Senator Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige, Senator Ayo Fasanmi, Senator Biyi Durojaiye, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, Alhaji Lam Adeshina, Pa Emmanuel Alayande, Justice Kayode Esho, Justice Adewale Thompson (Rtd), Prof Wole Soyinka, Prof O. O. Akinkungbe, Amb Segun Olusola, Comrade Baba Omojola, Pa Alfred Ilenre and several others in Yorubaland.

I could remember vividly, the Lagos delegates in the Southwest Alliance for Democracy (AD) meetings, led by former Governor of Lagos, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his Deputy, Mr Femi Pedro; Speaker, Rt (Hon) Olorunnimbe Mamora, former Minister of State for Health and now Minister of Science and Technology; Party Chairman, Prince Biodun Ogunleye, who later became Deputy Governor of Lagos State, late Alhaji (later became Oba) Olatunji Hamzat, father of the present Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, Otunba Dele Ajomale, Hon Omotilewa Aro – Lambo, Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Hon Mutiu Are, Hon Abike Dabiri, Hon Wunmi Bewaji, AD Caucus Leader in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Kola Oseni, Mr Dele Alake, Dr Leke Pitan, and notable Others.

Then, I was assisting the Southwest Secretariat of the Party, under the leadership of Senator Ayo Fasanmi, while Mr Dapo Adeniran was his Personal Assistant. This position drew my closer to the Six Governors of the Southwest Region, their Deputies, Speakers of Houses of Assembly and other members, both in the Executive and Legislative arms of the Government.

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Reverend Tunji Adebiyi and Hon Lasun Adebunmi were the Zonal and Oyo State Secretaries respectively. Chief David Adesola was Oyo State Chairman of the Party, while late Hon Yemi Yussuf was the Admin Secretary, Oyo State Chapter of the Party, Alliance for Democracy (AD).

This period, the Zonal meetings were being held in rotation among the 6 Southwest States, with their respective Governors being the Hosts of the meetings in their individual States.

We had, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Lagos State: Aremo Segun Osoba, Ogun State; Alhaji Lam Adeshina, Oyo State; Chief Bisi Akande, Osun State; Chief Adebayo Adefarati, Ondo State and Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Ekiti State.

In Oyo State, we had this line – up of delegates, Governor Lam Adeshina, Chief Iyiola Oladokun Deputy Governor, Rt (Hon) Asimiyu Alarape, Speaker House of Assembly, who took over from Rt (Hon) Kehinde Ayoola, the late Commissioner of Environment, under Governor Seyi Makinde, late Prof Bayo Olateju, former Commissioner for Agriculture, Barrister Bayo Lawal, Commissioner for Justice and now the present Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Hon Babatunde Oduyoye, now Political Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Chief Pekun Adeshokan, from Fiditi, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs ,Dr Gbola Adetunji, Commissioner for Health and key others.

Senator Ayo Fasanmi later handed over to late Alhaji (Oba) Olatunji Hamzat, father of the present Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, who later handed over to Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, before late Senator James Kolawole from Ekiti State took over from him and passed the baton over to Chief Pius Akinyelure, Ondo State, now the Southwest Representative in the NNPC Board, former Governor Segun Oni, took over from him and handed over to Otunba Niyi Adebayo after whom Pastor Bankole Oluwaja, Ondo State, joined the queue. The latter handed over recently to Barrister Isaac Kekemeke, former Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ondo State.

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Today, you are the Chairman, Lagos Council of Elders as well as Chairman, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), All Progressives’ Congress, the highest Decision Making Body, in the Party, Lagos State, with numerous Political Sons and Daughters across the Southwest Zone, including, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Senator Olufemi Tinubu, Rt (Hon) Femi Gbajabiamila and several Others.

Your blood Sons and Daughters including Grand Children are equally making you proud as a father, Prominent among them are my two close Brothers, Prince Adetoyese Olusi, present Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government and Prince Sola Olusi, Special Assistant to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Local Government affairs. No wonder Yoruba says “Ilesanmi dun ju Oye lo”, “To be comfortable at home is better than being a Chief in the Palace”.

Your contested to take after your father, Sanusi, in your Royal family House of Olusi, as Oba of Lagos, after the death of Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II, by contesting alongside Olowo – Eko, Oba Rilwan Akiolu I, but “man proposes, God disposes”. Today in Yorubaland, you are the Leader of Majority Afenifere with vast Political experience and multitude of followers across the Region. “Bo l’omo Ogun, bo l’omo Ogun, Olusi weyin re wo”, Agbalagbi, toju Agbalagba lo, “moyo fun e, moyo funra mi”.

As your Political Son, who have covered a lot of ground politically in the past decades to your credit and if from 2001 till date, we are still enjoying good father and son relationship, it calls for celebration.

Olusi, Oke Agba logun yi o, komo gbodo baje o. Igba Odun, Odun Kan!

Comrade AWA Bamiji is the Executive President of the Bola Ige Centre for Justice; President – General, Grand Council of Yoruba Youths and National Coordinator, Coalition for A Better Nigeria.

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