“You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: Intelligence, Energy, and Integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two… ” – Warren Buffet.
Warren Buffet is a world-renowned investor and a billionaire. Without a doubt, during his life, he has met different shades of men and women which made the above quote from him a matter that should be taken seriously, when dealing with humans.
On 18th day of July, 2022 was a special day for the people of Oke Ogun. It was the day that our son, His Excellency, Chief Bayo Lawal, was sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Oyo state. Whilst the generality of Oyo citizens hailed the appointment, the anger and bitterness of the government’s enemies, over the appointment, was so palpable that they could literally taste it. Everyone knew that the haters would not waste time before lashing out. And by jove, we were all right on the money! It is most amusing to see how they are not letting up. They definitely won’t, lest they choke on all that bile within them. Thus far, we have seen all manner of puerile attacks from enemy-politicians, the opposition party and sundry other unknown quantities with fictitious names, monickers and sobriquets.
One of these people, going by the name of “Engr Bello Abdulrazakq from Abuja ” also got in on the act recently. In a lengthy rant titled “Spotlight On The Smuggled Deputy Governor Bayo Lawal”, the person vacuously tried to impugn the integrity of the Deputy Governor and his widely acclaimed appointment. The attempt, at the end, was an epic fail. As I noted, nobody is surprised. One is only amused at how any self-respecting ” Engineer” would append his name as the author of such a pathetic piece. However, some mothers do have them.
Such mischievous attacks are as hilarious as they come and most people read them for the amusement factor and mere sport of it. Nonetheless, it would be injurious to the reputation of eminent men, if one does not issue a riposte, especially in the minds of the non-discerning who could easily be influenced by ” forwarded-many-times” Social Media shares.
To the above extent, as a true son of Oke Ogun, I will proceed to rejoin on the accusations of “Engr. Abdulrazak” against our eminent Deputy Governor. For starters, credit to him, he did reference the outstanding performance of Chief Bayo Lawal as the erstwhile Chairman of the Oyo state Housing Corporation, albeit with mischievous intent. Whatever his intent though, he was right. Chief Bayo Lawal’s performance at his last post of service was simply exceptional and the records are there for all to cross-check.
Engr Lawal attacked the Deputy Governor, accusing him of reaping where he did not sow, by drawing comparison with how the impeached Engr Rauf Olaniyan delivered his Igboho township. This attack falls flat in the face of reason. As far as the principle of sowing and reaping goes, Engr Olaniyan is a rather poor example. The very same Engr Olaniyan who “delivered” Igboho to the PDP would later proceed to decamp to the party which he “defeated” whilst still in PDP ! What was the value of that “victory” to the party at the end of the day ? Who was he sowing for in the first place, pray tell ? Do loyal party men approbate and reprobate in such a manner ? The writer unwittingly did serious damage to the image of his paymaster, Olaniyan, via that allegation. He succeeded in branding Olaniyan as useless to the party on whose structure he “delivered” his Igboho hometown and useful to the party which he “defeated”. Besides, what did he sow in PDP, if one may ask? Makinde had already done all the hard work before Olaniyan was invited to be his deputy. Olaniyan is the one who actually reaped where he did not sow.
For the avoidance of doubt, Olaniyan’s ouster from government was self-inflicted and has nothing to do with Chief Bayo Lawal. You can not sow the wind and not expect to the reap the whirlwind. Everyone knows that from the get-go, upon their swearing-in, Engr Olaniyan had proven himself to be a disloyal Deputy. He had, times without number, spread mischief with the aim of casting his principal in bad light. Matter of fact, it was because Governor Makinde is an easygoing person that was why he put up with Olaniyan’s subterranean shenanigans as deputy for a long time. With other governors, retribution is swift.
Continuing, the writer asserted, quite hilariously, that Governor Makinde ” pretended ” to hand over the reins of government before proceeding on vacation. He called it a ruse and drew parallels with the Olaniyan situation wherein no such privilege was ever accorded his principal. For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Seyi Makinde, legally and fully transmitted power to Chief Bayo Lawal. The governor has implicit confidence in the ability of his deputy to hold the fort while he is away. One can understand how this move is especially painful to the writer and Olaniyan. It became clear to everyone that the governor can indeed hand over full control of government to someone. That this was not the case with Olaniyan is telling. First of all, it speaks volume of the fact that there are question marks about Olaniyan’s capabilities and integrity. Also, show us the governor in Nigeria who would hand over control of government to an enemy within. You can hate Governor Makinde all you want, however, one thing you can not take away from him is his uncanny ability to read people. His not ever transmitting responsibilities to Olaniyan might have been curious to a lot of people. However, when Olaniyan eventually outed himself as an enemy within, the governor’s stance on not according him any meaningful responsibilities all that time became clear to everyone.
Governor Seyi Makinde is a big time player in Nigeria’s politics as we have it today. All political watchers know that the reason for his trip to London and Paris has nothing to do with his 2023 re-election but everything to do with the current PDP presidential impasse and how to resolve it. The depth of the writer’s delusion is mind boggling, to say the least, if he truly believes that Governor Makinde embarked on those foreign trips in order to brighten his re-election chances. By the grace of God and the votes of Oyo electorate, after having done excellently in his first tenure, governor Makinde will be re-elected governor of Oyo state. That ship has long sailed.
Engr Olaniyan would do well to advise his paid ghost writers never to talk about his ” financial muscle” as giving him the edge or bragging right over anybody. Exactly how did Engr Olaniyan become a stupendously wealthy man? He was a civil servant all his life, was he not ? If what he has been accused of by the contractor handling the Deputy Governor’s lodge is anything to go by, then we need not imagine how he came about his “enormous wealth”. Olaniyan and his paid dogs should know that if you live in a glass house you don’t throw stones.
The choice of Chief Bayo Lawal as Deputy Governor of the state, as I earlier mentioned, has nothing to do with whittling down what the writer curiously termed the”Olaniyan effect” in our Oke Ogun. The term is as ridiculous as it is non-existent. Whatever little electoral cum political value that Olaniyan wielded have gone up in smoke, and the writer should quit overrating him. If Olaniyan would be truthful to himself, he is struggling to remain relevant and that article is at best a distant cry from the political wilderness and no-mans-land that he has found himself. It’s a shame how a once-influential political figure has been reduced to zilch.
In Oke-Ogun, where the writer hypes Rauf Olaniyan’s electoral value, there was scant voices of dissent against his impeachment. Not even amongst the people of Oorelope Local Government, his own backyard, let alone the whole of Oke Ogun. Conversely, once Barrister Bayo Lawal was announced as his replacement, Oke Ogun and the entire state was in a celebratory mood such that what appeared to be unprecedented occurred. The traditional Council of Oke Ogun which comprise all the Obas paid him a congratulatory visit, including the three from Oorelope where Olaniyan hails from.
The leagues of Imams and Alfas and also several other pressure groups also paid him a congratulatory visit and expressing deep gratitude for his appointment.
For the avoidance of doubt, Chief Bayo Lawal never lobbied to be deputy governor of Oyo state. What transpired was simply divine providence helped by his outstanding track records in his political and private life. He is an eminent lawyer who has held sensitive positions before now in private and public sectors in Nigeria.
He was appointed as a board member of TCTC many years ago. He was also appointed a member of both Oyo State Boundary Commission and Population Committee of Oyo State. He served as Vice Chairman of Oyo State Judicial Service Commission between 1999 and 2003. He also served on several panels of enquiries established between 1999 and 2003.
Chief Bayo Lawal was appointed the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice between 1999 and 2003. Under his watch, several innovative steps were taken leading to the establishment of additional divisions of High Court at Ogbomoso, Iseyin, and Kishi. At the National level, he was appointed a member of the Body of Benchers and Council of Legal Education of Nigeria among others. Politically he has worked with notable politicians within and outside Oyo state that has earned him enormous respect.
Razak was obviously paid to write highly of Olaniyan and his exceptional experience and attributes. These might not be in doubt and one will not go down the same lane to malign him same way he paid the writer to do the Deputy Governor. He has the intelligence and possibly the energy. However, the man is lacking in integrity and loyalty.
Like Warren Buffet noted, when a man is lacking integrity the other attributes become useless.
“Engr AbdulRazak”, nay Rauf Olaniyan and his posse, would do well to work at redeeming his battered image rather than continue the campaign of calumny against the administration of Seyi Makinde. But then again, as I said, we don’t expect they would stop anytime soon.
However, I and the good people of Oke Ogun, will keep countering their onslaughts. God Himself elevated Barrister Bayo Lawal and no man born of woman can bring him down.
Seyi Bayo again in 2023.
Dr. Fatai Kamorudeen writes from Iseyin local government, Oyo state.