•Why He Wants To GoBack 15 Years After He Left The SENATE
In Ogun State right now, all eyes are on Gov. Ibikunle Amosun who is planning big politically. He wants to run on the platform of APC for Senate. He wants to be the next Ogun Central Senator. He plans to make Pres. Buhari win a minimum of 25% votes in Ogun State. He plans to campaign for his Boys, who have moved to APM and make them win their various seats. And he plans to work against the Ogun APC governorship candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, to ensure he losses whilst he plans to ensure victory for his own governorship candidate, Hon. Abdulkabir Adekunle Akinlade (Tripple A) who is running in APM. How he plans to emerge victorious in these many battles is what many people are waiting to see.
He flagged off his campaign for the Ogun Central senatorial seat, under the platform of (APC).
Addressing a mammoth crowd, which included royal fathers, Igbo and Hausa community leaders as well as representatives of student unions, youth and women groups, he promised to give quality representation in the Senate, if elected.
“Nobody can come and dictate to us in Ogun State and we must not allow them to come and take us captive”, he said.
According to him, the people of the state are enlightened and well educated, and so know what is right for them.
He promised to leverage on his wealth of experience, contacts and goodwill, for the betterment of the people of the district, adding that he would not abandon his constituency.
The governor, who vigorously campaigned for the second term electon of President Muhammadu Buhari, enjoined the people of the state to vote massively for the re-election of the president, to enable him finish the good works he started in the areas of infrastructure, anti-corruption and the economy.
The state Chairman of the APC, Chief Derin Adebiyi, while presenting the party’s flag to the governor, enjoined the people to vote massively for him, assuring that he will not disappoint them.
Amosun had earlier visited the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egba land, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, in his palace, to pay homage to the traditional council, where he said “we are here to inform you that I will be running for the senate.”
Responding, Gbadebo thanked and appreciated the governor for the developmental projects he embarked upon in the state.
He noted that Amosun is well suited for the Senate, judging by his wealth of experience.
It was in September, he announced his decision to run for Senate. Many of those close to him say he believes that he will not only get the Ogun APC ticket, he will also win the elections hands down.
City People gathered that in wanting to run, Amosun believes that his phenomenal transformation of Ogun Central senatorial district in the last 8 years will make him win the election. He feels with what he has been able to do all over egbaland, there is no way he won’t be voted for, considering all the infrastructural developments visible in the state.
The political story of Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, is an interesting one. He started off with the Senate, moved on to be a Governor and he is now going back to the Senate. He once explained that he stepped into the political space with the singular aim of giving back to humanity what he has been endowed with by God. He was first elected into the Senate, the upper chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, in April, 2003, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District. While in the Senate between 2003 and 2007, he served in the following capacities: •Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, •Member, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, •Member, Senate Committee on Appropriation, •Member, Senate Committee on Privatization, •Member, Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence.
While in the Senate, Amosun moved several motions and sponsored many bills on issues that touched on the day-to-day lives of not only members of his immediate constituency, but also Ogun State.
He was particularly instrumental to some of the landmark reforms of the era, especially in Telecommunications, Customs and excise and other strategic sectors of the Nigerian economy. Some of these bills include: •Local Content Solid Minerals Development Bill, 2005, •Fire Service Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2005; andm Income Tax Relief Bill for Sports Development, 2005.
SIA believes that the provision of amenities and social development cannot be left to government alone. He therefore instituted a scholarship scheme in 1986, several years before venturing into politics, which he later institutionalized by setting up the Senator Ibikunle Amosun Scholarship Foundation (SIASF) on Thursday, 7 July 2005. He has awarded scholarships to over 1,000 students of Ogun State origin, in various institutions of higher learning. Senator Amosun’s generosity and quest to uplift others transcend the award of scholarships.
He has instituted various other subsisting empowerment initiatives for trade groups, artisans, communities, women and other vulnerable groups in the society. His alma maters – African Church Grammar School, Abeokuta and Ogun State Polytechnic (now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic), also in Abeokuta – have benefitted from his generous disposition to give back to the society. He built and commissioned the Administrative Block at African Church Grammar School, among other similar gestures.
Why did he go into politics in year 2000?
“I decided to delve into public service, as I realised that while I was able to do things for the under-privileged in my private capacity and had been doing so for many years, the most veritable tool to reach out and touch people across all cadres of society is through active partisan politics. What may be a subject of intense debate would be how to realise this vision, given the challenge of what many would describe as the corrosive and corroding political environment. And that was the crux of the matter – the challenge. “To this end, I joined the PDP, contested for and won a seat in the Senate, representing Ogun Central Senatorial District in 2003. Perhaps, I have presented my successful contest into the Senate as a piece of the cake – nothing could be far from the reality. Prior to my involvement in politics, my primary calling, my professional practice, has clearly defined rules of engagement. So, you could easily predict what the outcome would be, given the input and the standardised processes and procedures. After all, the principle of double entry, in accounting, remains the same, every time, everywhere. However, I found that unlike the accounting profession, the rules of engagement in politics do not largely follow any standard. Indeed, the rules of engagement may as well be defined as absence of any codified, nay sacrosanct, rules. Those who coined the phrase “political expediency” perhaps had this in mind. For a professional with little or no prior engagement in politics, I found the environment for my new calling, to put it mildly, challenging and intriguing. Accounting is about numbers and inanimate objects. Politics is about people, who have emotions, who could decide to be rational or irrational, who have interests and nurse ambitions – all of which may align or be at cross purposes with those of others. Friendship is not permanent in politics. Interests are constantly shifting and the measure of time and space is different.
The goodwill I had garnered growing up in Abeokuta – the heart of Ogun Central Senatorial District – stood me in very good stead to have a relatively easy win of the Senate seat. As in every endeavour, the timing of the contest also helped a great deal in the success. The parliament provides a good platform to make laws, nudges the executive in a particular direction and generally has a feel in the governance of the country. However, the real day-to-day running of government lies with the executive. So, I realised that to power my vision, I needed to work with others to have the. mandate of the people to lead our State at the Executive arm of government. So, in 2007, I contested for the position of Governor of Ogun State on the platform of the ANPP. By now, old friends had become implacable foes, some foes became friends, old alliances had become impracticable to maintain, while new ones had to be formed. Those who had their hands on the political levers of the State and those who wielded even higher political powers were rallied against my ambition. I kept two things paramount: my faith in God and my ability-cum-focus on the people – the real essence of my being in politics.”
“We went into the elections and the umpire declared my opponent a winner. Of course, I went to the tribunal to challenge the outcome, which I and a significant number of people believed were at variance with the will of the good People of Ogun State as expressed through the ballot boxes. In all, I traversed all the courts in the land for three years (April 2007 to March 2010) – from the election tribunal, Federal High Court, through the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. These efforts were not fueled by ambition to be Governor at all cost. I was just determined to challenge, on one hand, the impunity that characterised the 2007 general elections, defend the tenets of democracy, and, on the other, justify the confidence the electorate reposed in me. The court endorsed the results as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). As a democrat, I respected the verdict even though I thought otherwise till today. The 2007 experience did not discourage me from taking another shot again in 2011, that time, on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). I did. I won. INEC confirmed and I was so returned as the winner. I guess I am here today speaking to this August audience because of that victory. Again, the unseen hands in the affairs of men prevailed. As they say, winners don’t quit, quitters don’t win. Faith triumphs.”