By Afolabi Orekoya

As the 2023 general elections draw near, clear indications and results of independent surveys have revealed that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State, Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu, remained the best choice of the people to occupy the number one political office in the state.

The outcome of the surveys was attributed to selfless, hardworking and focused leadership of Adebutu as well as the clamour for a change in governance.

From the survey conducted, it was clear that the entire Gateway state has been pervaded with insecurity, bad roads, inadequate social services and poverty. This situation has led to many of the social vices like kidnappings and killings by various cultist groups, capital flight caused by relocation of many industries from the state.

According to one of the community leaders in Ijemo area of Abeokuta South Local Government, Alhaji Ganiu Bankole said “for an individual to have used his personal resources to make life meaningful for the people, how much more will he do if he is in government.

“Today, signs of relief come with the mentioning of the name of Hon. Oladipupo Adebutu’s interest to wrestle power from the APC’s unpopular and inefficient government because of his credibility, integrity and most importantly the good experience of the people of Ogun State from his philanthropic activities ranging from donation of 500 KVA transformers to over 200 communities across Ogun State, provision of qualitative healthcare services, building and renovation of schools; scholarships, support for sports development among the youth, to mention a few.”

Political pundits opined that if recent events within Ogun State are anything to go by, Adebutu is on his way to becoming the new czar as his financial war chest which he had deployed in providing selfless services to the people over the years was indisputable.

Not a few in Ogun state today are appreciative of the remarkable contributions of Adebutu who has lived most of his life among his people. He has also steered his party through tempestuous moments and positioned it as a formidable political platform.

Very importantly, a quick peep into the ancestry and pedigree of Hon. Adebutu would suffice at this point. On 25th February, 1962, he was born into the family of Sir Kesington Adebukunola Adebutu and Dame Caroline Oladunni Adebutu from the renowned Adebutu family of Eti-Obale in Iperu Remo, Ikenne Local Government of Ogun State.

His father, a billionaire business magnate and philanthropist, is the third and current Odole-Oodua of the Yoruba Source Ile-Ife; the Balogun and Baba Oba of Iperu Remo, Akogun of Remoland, the Olotu as well as the Asoju Oba of Lagos. His mother hails from the Jaiyesimi Okuwa family of Odogbolu and is also the Yeyemode of Iperu Remo, Apesin of Lagos as well as Yeye Oba of Odogbolu.

The scion of the Adebutu dynasty started his elementary education at the International Day Nursery School, Oke-Ira, Ebute-Metta in Lagos. He later proceeded to Igbobi College, Yaba, where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1978.

In 1980, he obtained the Irish Leaving Certificate (equivalent of A’ Levels Certificate) at the St. Columbas College, Rathfarnham Dublin, and thereafter commenced his tertiary education at the National Institute of Higher Education Limerick, Republic of Ireland.

Adebutu proceeded to Regional Technical Colleges of Carlow and Athlone. There he obtained the Irish National Certificate and the Irish National Diploma in 1983 and 1984 respectively being the B.Sc. equivalent in Analytical Chemistry.

On his return to Nigeria, Adebutu served the mandatory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Biu, Borno State in 1987. He then had a stint at Kesington Industries in Iperu Remo between 1988 and 1990. He has since grown his distinct brand and leads as one of the largest livestock farmers in the country at Solomon Kesington Agro Allied Limited (SKAAL).

In addition, he serves on the board of Premier Lotto Limited as a Director. He is also the Chairman/CEO of Kesington Real Estate and Tourism Limited while also acting as the Chairman of Citadel Construction Ltd.

His foray into politics started at a very young age. Adebutu became a National Assembly member, first, in 1992 when he represented Ikenne Federal Constituency on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). His advancement was halted as a result of the military coup that truncated civilian administration owing to the June 12, 1993 crisis.

Adebutu was a Senatorial aspirant under the defunct United National Congress Party (UNCP) in 1998. In 2003, 2007 and 2011, he was PDP House of Representatives aspirant but his bids on those three occasions were unsuccessful. He was appointed as Full-Time Commissioner II in the Ogun State Local Government Service Commission in September 2007.

In October 2007, he was upgraded to Full-Time Commissioner I within a space of one month due to the passion he brought to the job. During his stint at the Local Government Service Commission, he was instrumental to the appointment, promotion, conversion, upgrading and training of Local Government employees across the state.

However, Adebutu returned to the 8th National Assembly when he was elected into the House of Representatives during the March 28, 2015 elections on the platform of PDP to represent Remo Federal Constituency, comprising Ikenne, Sagamu and Remo North Local Government Areas of Ogun State. At the Green Chamber, he became the Chairman, House Committee on Rural Development where he exhibited his passion and love for people at the grassroots.

Adebutu has successfully pursued his vision of providing job opportunities for the unemployed youth as well as ensuring food security for Ogun State and Nigeria through his 30,000-animal capacity farm at Solomon Kesington Agro Allied Limited. A multi-billion naira meat processing factory designed to supply meat for local and export consumption has also berthed in Iperu-Remo due to his vision and business acumen. The meat processing plant is reputed as one of the biggest in Africa.

Similarly, in the exploration of other agricultural value chain, it is worthy to state that Adebutu’s effort in setting up cash crop farming as business empowerment opportunities for the youth is yielding the desired result. By providing millions of naira for able-bodied youths to invest in cucumber farming, an appreciable number of the teeming youth have been lifted out of poverty by turning them to agripreneurs.

Hon. Adebutu’s philanthropic tendency and generosity is hereditary. His benevolence transcends the borders, the reason he’s often referred to as “Mr. Transformer” – a sobriquet earned for the hundreds of transformers he has donated to various communities in Ogun State.

The involvement of this consummate politician, down-to-earth socialite and compassionate community mobilizer in grassroots development has not been taken for granted, and this is why he has at one time or the other been honoured with several chieftancy titles among which are the Okanlomo of Iperu Remo, Otun Ajagungbade of Remo land, Otunba Nawo Ola of Odogbolu, Lisa Aje of Egbaland, Lisa Aje Ota-Awori land and the Otun-Odole of Yoruba land. He was also recently installed as the Seriki of Iperu Akesan land.

This frontline PDP governorship hopeful is an honorary member of the Lions Club (Abeokuta Metropolitan Chapter). He is also a member and Vice Patron of Abeokuta Sports Club with similar membership of the Akesan Club, Remo Club 1937 and several others.

In 2018, Hon. Adebutu bagged Honorary Doctorate Degree from the Ekiti State University. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria.

He is happily married to Erelu Adenike Adebutu and blessed with children.

Adebutu had at various fora vowed to restore the lost glory of PDP, by winning the state back for the opposition party. He emerged the PDP gubernatorial candidate recognised by the party’s national leadership for the 2019 election but through court order, he could not participate in the election.

Probably, 2019 was not God’s appointed time. But for the 2023 polls, the horizon looks bright. The good people of OGUN State will not hesitate to support and choose Hon. (Dr) Oladipupo Adebutu as the main man to unseat the ruling party’s flagbearer in next year’s epic elections.

Orekoya is the Media Director, Adebutu Campaign Organization

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