By Oluwafemi Ojo
One outstanding attribute of few proximate political actors in a political clime such as ours that is in short supply is what the Yorubas in Nigeria and diaspora generally refer to as “Omoluabi”. An ‘omoluabi’ title is a term in Yoruba land, that connotes a well cultured, respectful, honesty, humble and conservative person. This term ‘omoluabi’, I must say, is not a free for all title, only a few are qualified in character and behavior to be so addressed with such an honourific title. To be called an ‘omoluabi’ therefore is a very rare privilege and it means that the bearer must have demonstrated a high degree of socially acceptable and cultural valued behavior that is unusual of a typical Nigerian politician.
So, in Nigeria’s contemporary political clime with high flux in governmental affairs, only few people actually meet the requirements for such an honourific title that the Yorubas reverence so much. But in this scarcity of a bearer of an ‘omoluabi’, is a short man with a tall dream and whose demanor, behavior, character and respect for humanity and passion for the development of Oyo politics in particular and Nigeria at large cannot be easily ignored. Senator Abdulfatai Buhari Omotayo is by no doubt, an ‘omoluabi’ in politics; whose behavior and character reflects the characteristics of a typical cultured Yoruba man.
I have intentionally waited for so long and studied him from afar and so, after many years of intentional waiting, sometimes last week, I put a call through to establish my first contact with Senator Abdulfatai Buhari Omotayo, the senator representing Oyo North in the current National Assembly in Nigeria. Unlike many political jobbers with the usual rush for familiarization with Nigerian politicans and highly influential individuals by all means through various methods like, the usual letters of congratulations and good wishes from sycophants, contractors, friends, schoolmates and relations, I took my time to establish contact with the distinguished senator. My call to him was not based on what I can benefit personally or what he can do but the basis for contacting the distinguished senator was altruistically laden…on a media project that I am well convinced will add value to consolidating the way the man is delivering democratic dividends in Oyo North in particular, and in the National Assembly in general. It is a project dear to my heart and which I have made up my mind not only to commit my time and resources to but which will also cost me some thousands of naira without firstly looking for any form of compensation or financial gains from the amiable senator.
Before I put a call through, I had been duly informed by one of his foot soldiers, my very own egbon Tunji Alabi whom had facilitated my contact with the senator, that Senator Buhari Fatai is very humble to a fault and egbon Tunji further testified that the distinguished Senator is a man of good manners and behavior. Egbon Tunji just told me this “ Femi, I think you need to put a call through, Senator Fatai Buhari, he is a true representative of his people, he represents you in the National Assembly and he will be glad to hear what you have to say” It was these words that inspired my audacity to find out for myself, if Senator Buhari is all what my egbon Tunji had said. To be candid, all what egbon Tunji said, I can confirm are all true about Senator Buhari. Senator Fatai Buhari’s conversation with me on the phone was humility personified, the manner of his conversation with me, an ordinary unknown constituent member living in far away Lagos, confirmed that he is truly what the people of Oyo North senatorial district describe him as “ The Peoples’ Senator and Ojulowo Omoluabi ”.
Senator Abdulfatai Buhari’ strategic asset in solving some of the social problems in Oyo North senatorial district through empowerment of the indigent people of this constituency is worthy of note of his ‘omoluabi’s’ approach to legislative duties. It is worthy to say that, the senator since 2015 that he was voted has contributed immensely to alleviating poverty in Oyo North senatorial districts through provision of skills and empowerment trainings, provision of free economic tools for artisans and unemployed youths. It is to Senator Buhari’s credit that the largely unemployed youths in the agrarian constituency of Oyo North were given employments in government establishments and other private sectors. He is a man who is passionate about prosperity of his people.
Beyond being a champion of economic empowerment of Oyo North senatorial district, Senator Fatai Buhari is a man who is passionate about sports and youths development. He is a strong supporter of the only Football Club in Oyo North senatorial district that plays in the Nigerian Football League and it is well known that he does not only expend his financial resources on the club but spends time to motivate and watch them play anytime he is not too busy with legislative duties at the upper chamber. It is difficult not to give Senator Buhari any credit when Crown Football Club is mentioned in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Senator Fatai Buhari’s love for education is another attribute that qualifies him as an ‘omoluabi’. Since 2015 that he was voted as senator representing Oyo North in the National Assembly he has not failed every year to foot the WAEC/NECO examinations bills of senior secondary school students of all the local government areas that made up Oyo North. It is to his credit again that all the secondary school principals in Oyo North recently gathered at Ogbomoso Town Hall to receive cheques on behalf of their students for WAEC fees issued by Senator Fatai Buhari. Also, the tertiary students are not left out of senator Buhari’s gestures too, on many occasions he has supported them financially and morally. He has donated buses and other facilities for the tertiary students from Oyo North and always ready to support them any time they call on him. This is why he has been decorated and awarded variously by tertiary students bodies from Oyo North at many times.
For the peasants, farmers and artisans in Oyo North, Senator Fatai Buhari has equally touched these classes of people positively by bringing succor and relief to them by way of financial empowerment, skills acquisition trainings and facilitation of infrastructural projects that enable a conducive environment for economic growth and productions. He believes that all the classes of people in Oyo North must be impacted with good governance and so through his office he ensures that the Agbe Koyas, the artisans and other proletariat groups feel the positive impact of his representation at the grassroots. To these classes of people, Senator Fatai Buhari is not only ‘omoluabi’ but he represents hope.
In many senses, Senator Abdulfatai Buhari is a true Omoluabi, a renaissance man, a thinking man of the world, exuding spontaneous bon homie expected of an original ‘omoluabi’, a free spirit, a believer in the power of the people to change the world for good and above all he is a man with sophisticated humour, an attribute that crowns his ‘omoluabi’ politics.
Happy birthday to an Omoluabi!
Femi Ojo is a media communications strategist, a blogger, an aspiring public intellectual and he is from Oyo State, Nigeria.