By Femi Salako
The battle to succeed Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State ahead of the 2019 elections is on.
One out of the many aspirants that distinctly stands taller than others is Chief Tolu Odebiyi.
The Iboro born political tactician and the Chief of Staff to the incumbent governor clearly possesses the requisite qualifications and leadership experience to take over the mantle of governance from Amosun.
Odebiyi, from Ogun West, had his senatorial ambition sidestepped in 2015 by the leadership of his party, APC. His father, Chief Jonathan Odebiyi, was the Minority Leader in the Second Republic Senate on platform of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria.
The Chief of Staff is obviously a result-oriented professional.
He strengths include over 25 years of international and domestic real estate management experience.
Odebiyi holds a B.Sc degree in building construction and engineering technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston Massachusetts. He also holds Associate Degree in engineering technology from University of Massachusetts, Lowell Campus.
His working career spans several real estate development projects both in the United States and Nigeria. He was at a time responsible for the generation and brokerage of commercial and residential transactions in excess of $150million in the United States and once won the award of top Producing Broker in three consecutive years at Long and Foster Real Estate in Columbia, MD, USA for closing transactions in excess of $15million.
Prior to his appointment as the Chief of Staff to Governor Amosun, Odebiyi was the Managing Director of a real estate company. He had also served as the Managing Director of Agbara Industries.
While still serving as Chief of Staff, Odebiyi sits on the board of good number of companies which include Travant Real Estate, Structuracasa Nigeria Limited, Travfirst Nigeria Limited, Tre-Con Construction Company, Healthpro and Eyinni Farms Nigeria Limited.
Odebiyi was also responsible for closing several big ticket deals for the firm with market leaders that included banks, oil and gas, and diversified conglomerates.
The 54-yr-old politician has done quite a lot to affect and uplift the people of his Ogun West. He has been a consistent sponsor and mentor of the less privileged students in his home town of Iboro. He is also the founder of a micro credit scheme for women.
Odubiyi is a man of extreme compassion and cares genuinely for the downtrodden. He is very concerned about economic challenges of the masses. This is one of the many attributes he has in common with Governor Amosun.
The duo have overreached themselves in their determination to make a difference in the lives of the masses. Passion for transformation of Ogun is another distinct attribute of Odebiyi that he also has in common with Amosun. The zeal to ensure that Ogun stands out in the comity of other states is easily noticeable in Odebiyi. Tolu is indeed a man of faith and a very spiritual person. He rarely takes any decision without first laying it before God for direction and guidance. The attribute of exceptional hard work is another quality that Odebiyi possesses in common with Amosun.
Tolu is indeed a hands-on person just like Amosun. Despite his workaholic nature, he still faces the challenge of managing Amosun because the governor wants to get the job done and he is readily disposed to getting things done by himself.
Odebiyi had won several honours of performance and competence in Nigeria and abroad. He was honoured with the Top Producer $1 to $3 Million Sales in 1997 at Long & Foster in USA. He was also honoured with the Executive Club Member, Sales in Excess of $5 million in 1998 at Long & Foster, USA. He was also honoured with the Director Club Member for two consecutive years in 1999 and 2000 at Long & Foster, USA.
Odebiyi encapsulates an embodiment of character quality, competence, integrity, love and care. The people of Ogun could not have wished for a better person as their governor in 2019. He also has the advantage of being a home bred and grassroots politician whose political activities has no drop of external pollution.
This trustworthy individual with untainted integrity represents a glimmer of hope and performance who can readily sustain and build on the wonderful legacies of Governor Amosun.
- Salako is based in Ilaro, Ogun State.