Engr. Dotun Sanusi, chief executive officer of Ilaji Hotels and Sports Resorts, has delivered not only his polling unit but his local government of Ona Ara to Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Sanusi delivered his ward and local government where the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate, Sen. Teslim Folarin, hails from.
Makinde’s last minutes’ reconciliation with Sanusi was one of the things he needed to recording a landslide across the state.
Ilaji, as Dotun has become to be popularly known, has become a force to be reckoned with as his philanthropic gesture within and outside Ibadan has made him a go-to person for people, especially politicians.
An elated Sanusi, who has been receiving visitors in his resorts for the victory, thanked everyone who, in any way or the other, contributed to the victory, tasking the governor not to forget his promise to the people.
”I want to thank the High Chief Tajudeen Ajibola, Ibadan Mogajis and Baales and others who contributed to this. I will not take your love for granted.
Few days to the polls, Makinde had visited the most sought after hospitality destination in the state, where Sanusi had gathered market men and women associations in the state, traders and artisans, the Nigerian Union of Teachers and Youth groups.
The leaders of the different groups declared that their decisions were based on the interventions by the Ilaji Resort chairman, whom they said had made it clear that he was supporting the governor’s re-election bid.
Sanusi, who gave a short address to welcome the visitors, said that he was supporting Makinde’s re-election after the governor had mobilized support for the election of Nigeria’s President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in penultimate Saturday’s presidential election.
Makinde, in his response, had appreciated Sanusi, whom he described as his friend and colleague from the Oil and Gas Industry, stating that he has learnt many lessons with regards to stakeholders’ engagement and that things would be better off when he is re-elected.
The governor also used the occasion to reiterate that upon his re-election, he would complete the Beere-Akanran-Dagbolu Road, adding that the road will greatly impact on the economy of axis.
He said: “I want to thank my brother, Engr. Dotun Sanusi. Just like he said, I am from the Oil and Gas Industry, and I came out in 2007 to contest for the first time. But I didn’t care whether or not I won the election, as I just wanted to participate.
“One unique thing about where I was coming from is that it is all about your focus, your bottom-line. You assume your stakeholders are behind your common goal, and that is exactly how Oil and Gas industry is.
“I have never held any political position. My first public service is the position of governor, which I am currently occupying, and I had to learn. I came in and focused on the goals to achieve the set targets and ensure I deliver on them. Where I was coming from, I assumed that the stakeholders and I are after the same target. But in the past three plus years, I have come to understand that one has to pay attention to stakeholders’ engagement.”
The governor equally clarified that insinuations that he had issues with the Ilaji Resort chairman were untrue.
“Some people are insinuating that I don’t like my brother, Sanusi, and that that is why I have not fixed the road leading to Ilaji Resort. I came here after I became governor more than two times and I know the impact the road will have on the economy of Oyo State but there are constraints.
“The road coming from Beere through Akanran to Dagbolu was awarded before I came into government and we were managing the contractor, because 30 per cent had already been paid to the contractor, who has not done up to 10 per cent. I didn’t want Oyo State to lose any money. So, we looked at the matter to see if he could execute the projects he was paid for, but it took almost two years. In the end, I had to terminate the project.
“I am sure you would have seen the bridge they are constructing at Olorunsogo, which is being handled by a new contractor because we had to pay twice. There is another road we are constructing from Ajia junction with a spur to Amuloko and we had this place in mind.
Similarly, the President of Association of Mogajis in Ibadanland, Mogaji Asimiyu Ariori, hailed Mogaji Sanusi for the role he played in ending the street wars in Ibadan, while also commending the governor for the great part his administration played in bringing stability to the city through the setting up of committees to address gang wars and land-grabbing.
The Ologbere of Ogbere, who is also the head of Part II Chiefs in Ibadanland and the Oniladuntan of Laduntan, had said that “We also appreciate Ilaji [Dotun Sanusi]. He is our Arisekola in Ona Ara and Ibadanland and we assure you, the governor, on behalf of Ilaji, that we will deliver the votes.”
The Babaloja-General of Oyo State, Alhaji Y.K. Abass, Iyaloja Saratu Aduke, president of Oyo State Traders and Artisans, president of Oyo State Cow Sellers and the state chairman of the NUT all commended the governor’s good works in the last four years. They unanimously declared that since Mogaji Sanusi has declared his support for the governor, their individual associations, some of which have Sanusi as patron or have been receiving his support over the years, will support Governor Makinde to consolidate on the good works he started.