With the influence of his billionaire father and his performance in the House of Representatives, Oladipupo Adebutu is carving a niche for himself in Ogun politics and he leaves no one in doubt of his readiness to occupy Oke Mosan Government House in 2019, writes Ademola Babalola
Few weeks ago, former President Olusegun Obasanjo caused a stir at a political rally in Ogun State. Thousands of members and supporters of the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had gathered at a rally that took place in an open space within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, to drum support for Oladipupo Adebutu as the race to pick the gubernatorial ticket of the opposition PDP gets underway in the Gateway State.
Obasanjo who dressed in a white kaftan walked briskly into the political rally and waved to the party members. He was not done, as typical of him, he cracked jokes that were later described as tacit endorsement of Oladipupo whose father, Chief Adebutu Kessington, had been his long term friend and in-law.
The former President who was handed over the microphone mounted the podium and he wished the party and Oladipupo Adebutu success in 2019.
”Whether it is a play or a real game, they will know. I saw you here and I came to play with you,” Obaaanjo who spoke in Yoruba said.
2019 election is few months away and politicians are making their political game plans and calculations. Ogun State is witnessing different aspirations from different people who believe they have the capacity to run the affairs of the state on different political platforms.
Among these aspirants is Adebutu, who is seeking to actualise his dream on the platform of PDP.
Passionate about real developments of Ogun State, Adebutu said he decided to join the gubernatorial race in order to enhance good governance and ensure delivery of democracy dividend to the grassroots in the state.
He said unless good governance was provided by the leadership at all levels, people in exalted positions and wealth will also be affected by consequences of bad governance.
“The high and mighty fences or trenches could hardly secure but would just entrap one in an environment of poor governance.
“I will ensure good governance, because it would bring genuine growth and development to the people and curb corruption.
“With proper orientation, fear of God and compassion for others, a leader would be able to shun corruption. And if one has the compassion for others at heart, it would be difficult for one to appropriate collective wealth for personal benefits”, Adedibu maintained at the rally.
Adebutu, who hails from Iperu Remo and Odogbolu in Ogun East Senatorial district of Ogun State, is a graduate of Analytical Chemistry but turned farmer. His interest in farming came when he decided to do something different from the usual white collar jobs which appeal to every young graduate.
His educational background began with the completion of his secondary education at the popular Igbobi College, Yaba Lagos. He later travelled abroad where he studied at the St. Columbas College, Rathfarnham, Dublin and obtained the Irish Leaving Certificate in 1980. He had his tertiary education at the National Institute of Higher Education, Limerick, Republic of Ireland. He also attended the Regional Technical College at Athlone and Carlow in the Republic of Ireland between 1981 and 1984.
After his service to the nation in 1988 under the National Youth Service Corps scheme and two years of working with Kessington Industries, Iperu Remo, he established a multi-million-naira farm named after his grandfather – Solomon Kesington Agro Allied Limited.
Ladi Adebutu’s farm is arguably the largest individually owned piggery farm in sub Saharan Africa. The farm has a monthly production of 40 tons of pigs for sale, an average monthly birth put at 1,200 piglets, a sounder of swine numbering 20,000 pigs, herds of over 1000 cattle and hundreds of other different animals.
The growth of the farm since 1991 till today has proven the charismatic leadership, managerial acumen and capability of Hon. Adebutu who has created job opportunities for thousands of indigenes of the state. He has a total number of 3,420 staff in all the subsidiaries of his establishment in Ogun State with over 60% of the current staff as pioneer staff.
His journey to eyeing the seat of the number one citizen of Ogun State began in 2015 when he caught the vision of a “Better Ogun State and One Nigeria”. Since then, he has been seen moving in the path of progress and making life more meaningful for the citizens of the state particularly when it was obvious the present government was not responsive to the real needs of the people. Out of his benevolence and sincere desire to contribute meaningfully to the society, he founded Ladi Adebutu Democratic Organisation (LADO).
LADO as an Organisation solely sponsored by Hon. Adebutu has donated over 170 transformers of 500KVA each to 135 communities in the last one year. Part of this donations was done within the last six months when he visited the 20 Local Governments in Ogun State on a “Familiarisation Visit.” He plans to donate at least one transformer to each of the 236 wards in the state. LADO is also constructing a bridge along Ajibode-Konifewo Road in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government area in Ogun West Senatorial District.
His party’s faithful and democracy lovers in their numbers converged on the town centres and party secretariats in each Local Government in the course of this familiarisation visit to cheer their preferred aspirant. Adebutu at each of these visits emphasised that he was not visiting to campaign but to meet with his people and share ideas on how Ogun State can be better managed to the benefits of all and sundry. He claimed that living most of his entire life in Ogun State has given him the opportunity to know the issues affecting the progress and people in the state.
The people in turn expressed their confidence in his ability to lead the state to the promised land. They made known their resolve and determination to support his aspiration in 2019 considering his credibility and personality as a compassionate man whose welfare agenda for the people is real and borne out of a sincere heart.
An intelligent and pragmatic representative of his constituency at the Federal House of Representatives, he has sponsored several bills and motions on the Floor of the House calling attention to some critical areas where legislative action is required in Remo Federal constituency.
Some of these bills have gone through the first and second reading while he has successfully been able to get approval of the Federal Government to rehabilitate and construct the Sagamu- Ogijo – Mosimi-Ikorodu Road, a 25-km Federal Highway linking Ogun and Lagos States, which hosts several economically- strategic installations such as the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC).
On giving back to his constituency, Hon. Adebutu has built blocks of classrooms in four different schools (Ode Remo, Sagamu) well equipped with chairs and tables, provided motorised boreholes, solar powered street lights, construction of drainages and culverts to support roads he rehabilitated in Ogijo and Simawa.
Through the Ladi Adebutu Democratic Organisation, the lawmaker has empowered tens of thousands with skills acquisition programmes and take off grants of minimum of 50,000 per person. The empowerment programme also featured raffle draw which over 400 people benefited from with various items ranging from tricycles, motorcycles, refrigerators and other essential items. In the Ogun West District of Ogun State, LADO also established a vocational centre where people can learn, at no cost, any trade of their choice and graduate with a take off grant to start their own businesses. Most political pundits are of the view that Hon. Adebutu’s track record makes him a strong contender in the governorship race.