Dotun Babayemi’s Benevolence

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PEOPLE

Blessed and willingly, he has been touching the lives of the poor people in his Osun West Senatorial District. Femi Ogbonnikan writes on various life-touching programmes of Omo Oba Dotun Babayemi

Loved by all and sundry for his magnanimity, Omo Oba Dotun Babayemi stands out from the pack. He has demonstrated his love for the poor, especially the indigent students, from primary to tertiary institutions, the sick and aged, in ten local governments and 14 cities in Osun West Senatorial District of Osun State. Dotun, as he is fondly being called, began his life-touching programme, when he established Favour, Kindness and Grace (FKG), foundation.

Babayemi subsequently distinguished himself as a selfless leader and one with a heart for the less privileged, with various empowerment programmes. Brilliant students from poor homes have benefited from his scholarship programme, with well over 400 students graduating from various higher institution of learning over the last eight years.

Dotun has also driven the expansion of businesses belonging to Osun indigenes, leveraging resources available to him locally and internationally.

His foundation has over the last five years conducted Annual Health Fair (free tests, diagnosis and free medication) across his senatorial district. The last edition of the health fair in November 2017 saw 27,000 people checked and treated free by senior consultants from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Teaching Hospital across 15 locations in the 10 local governments that make up Osun West Senatorial District.

There were 121 post-fair surgeries and 203 post-fair glaucoma and cataract surgeries at the Eye Foundation Clinic in Ijebu Mushin. In the last five years, the foundation has provided over 18,000 pairs of medicated prescription glasses to the people of Osun West Senatorial district with sight impairment. Dotun has also sponsored multiple surgeries to treat life-threatening medical problems across the state for the poor citizens.

His bosom friends pat him on the back for his benevolence to mankind. One of them, Olumide Taiwo, his secondary school classmate at St Patrick Grammar School, Ibadan, Oyo State, and Ogun State University (now, Olabisi Onabanjo University), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, described Dotun as a dependable ally.

Taiwo said: “I have known Dotun for well over 40 years ago. We have been together since our secondary school days and we both got admitted at Ogun State University (OSU) in 1985. He is a good person, very reliable and dependable. It is when you are down that you will know him. He is a good motivator. He is kind-hearted, and he is not elitist because he mixes with everybody. He does not like seeing people around him suffering or groaning. Once he knows or sees that, he takes up your problem, like his own, and he will come to the rescue. Also, he cherishes developing innate abilities in youths and he engages them positively. In a nutshell, he creates opportunities for youths and ensures they are gainfully employed to prevent them from joining bad gangs.”

To avoid leaving the political space to only political jobbers and their cronies, Dotun ventured into partisan politics in order to contribute his own quota to improving the lots of the less privileged in his state and beyond.

Babayemi is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his active participation in partisan politics predated the emergence of the then defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), which later metamorphosed into Action Congress (AC), subsequently to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and to the current APC, for almost two decades. In no small measure, he has contributed his quota towards the development of the party, both at the local and national levels.

Babayemi voluntarily designed and implemented intelligence capability for security decision making in Osun State in 2013/2014. He was also a key driver in the design, development and implementation of electronic voting monitoring platform for the 2014 governorship election in Osun State. He was a lead in the implementation of the election monitoring platform for the 2015 Nigerian Presidential, National Assembly and Lagos State gubernatorial election for the APC.

This philanthropist participated in all the political activities that took place in all the nooks and crannies of Osun State, leading to the successful re-election of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in August 2014, sponsoring members of his senatorial district to the rallies and providing financial assistance at the ward, local, senatorial, state and federal levels to ensure Ogbeni was re-elected.

Babayemi was born in 1966 in Gbongan, in Ayedaade Local Government Area of Osun state to the family of late Oba Solomon Babayemi, the (Akinrinola 1), the Olufi of Gbongan. His late father, the immediate past monarch of Gbongan, played a pivotal role in the creation of Osun State.

In order to bring government closer to his people by representing them at the federal level, in May 2017, Omooba Babayemi threw his hat into the political ring and obtained the APC form for the bye election to represent Osun West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, but the party opted for another candidate. Unperturbed, Dotun still supported the APC candidate.

Driven by his desire to touch the lives of his people in Osun State, Dotun returned to Nigeria in 2007 with his family and joined Celtel Nigeria Ltd as Director of Strategy and thereafter as Group General Manager for Northern Nigeria. He left the organization in 2009 to set up his own group of companies with interests in security solutions, telecommunications and mining.

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