- Cash Madam’s Son, Otunba ABAYOMI ODUNOWO
Otunba Abayomi Odunowo is the son of Cash Madam, Chief Mrs. Bisi Edionseri. But Otunba Abayomi has also built for himself a solid reputation as a businessman. He is the MD/CEO of Community Power Solution.
In 2011, he contested for the governorship seat but was not voted into power. After that he became a Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, in the Ministry of Environment. While serving as a senior Special Assistant, he resigned to contest for Senate in 2015.
His contribution to Telecoms and Power sector can not be underated, as his company was the first in Africa to start Network and banking on wheels.
In this recent interview, with City People’s Society Reporter, Titilope Ogunleye, he spoke on what drives his passion in politics despite being shot thrice in 2011, and why he is running for governorship again in 2019.
Where are exactly from sir?
I am a blend of Ijebu and Yewa. My father is from Ijebu and my mum is from Yewa.
How true is the assertion or rumour that you are contesting again as a gubernatorial candidate?
Ok, coming from me, it is true. I am joining the guber-race for 2019 in Ogun State.
Which political platform are you representing for the gubernatorial election?
I have seen what PDP has done in 16 years I was not satisfied, and the last three years in APC has been war, 80 I am going with a new party with fresh ideologies and system and I will unfold it in due time.
How long have you been in politics?
I have been in politics for 23 years and it has been very challenging I must say, but things are improving. The level of awareness and consciousness of the youth has improved tremendously and hopefully, we might be taking right decisions in the kind of leadership we deserve in this country.
What are those political seat that you have tried to occupy in the past years?
I contested for senate in 2015 and governorship in 2011.
Would you say that you are the best candidate for Ogun State in 2019?
Sighs, I never said that I am the best. I would not be fair on myself, what would be the criteria of evaluating the best.
I believe I am a human being who is compassionate and feel the pains of the masses and I also have commitment to social contract.
Why Governorship, why not other portfolios?
Other portfolios like legislative can not really do anything because you are suppose to be legislating laws to be executed by the executives, but in order for me to impact the ideas I have in my mind, I have to be in an executive position.
What are those ideas sir?
That will be telling.
Can you please tell us a little about your background?
I had a very wonderful childhood that is not questionable. My father was in the public service till he retired, he use too be the General Manager. My mother was an accomplished business woman that everybody knows, Alhaja Adebisi a.k.a cash madam. I went to different schools. I went to Mayflower, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a University in London. Nigeria was good when I was growing up. It is not like what it is for you people.
We have so many challenges in the country as we speak, so how do you intend bringing back that change we so much desire?
It is a desire and I have a blueprint that I have written in the last 10 years and I will constantly update it as things unfold. There is no way you can solve problem when we don’t know what the problem is. In Nigeria today, the federal government do not known the number of houses they have in Festac, so tell how are they going to know how to solve the problems there. Details of school, teachers, workers are not known. If you cannot measure, then you cannot manage.
There is no need building castles in the air, we need the involvement of every community from the stand point of the challenges in such area. The issue of education, drainages, primary health care cannot be underestimated.
If the youth are educated, they be gainfully employed in that community. Every community needs to be self sustained. We have cases of rural migration where people leave their communities to the cities because nothing is working in those communities and the cities do not have enough infrastructure. When we have communities that are self sustained, they will be able to solve their immediate problems and the excesses they take out.
How do intending developing the rural area?
We need to create industries there, and small scale business. You use the resources around such communities to create job and structure for the place. Health services, education jobs, entertainment to mention a few.
You are so passionate about rural development. What are those things you have done to help the people of Ogun State?
Numerous, I cant count them. In the last 25 years, I have sent countless numbers of people through school. I don’t know them and I don’t need them to do anything in return for me.
We are going to open leadership school for boys and girls very soon and it is all expense paid.
We need to grow new sets of leaders in Nigeria with new ideologies. Unfortunately, our leaders have a syndrome called the poverty of the mind. It does not have a cure and we must take all those things out. How can you have 25 unused cars in your house. Who are you trying to impress?
What makes you stand out among all the candidate running for governorship in Ogun in 2019?
I standout because I am a solution provider in everything I do. In my business environment, I have created solutions that never existed in Nigeria. Our company is the first Africa company that built network on wheels, banking on wheels amongst so many. We have introduced a solution called one card which can be used to pay for electricity, subscription, recharge cards, transfer e.t.c. I just love innovations. The greatest asset we have in Nigeria is human resources but we are killing it.
Who are your god fathers in politics?
I don’t have godfathers but I have mentors and they are Olusegun Osoba, late Alhaji Rokeeb… e.t.c.
What happens after the election, whether you win or loose?
Politics for me is not a do or die thing. I was shut thrice in 2011 and I will say let the best man win. Nobody gets to a position of authority except God wants it so. So life continues.
You left PDP for APC and now you are moving to another party, why are you taking such decision?
PDP and APC have their structures and you cannot change anything there. They have a way of doing things and you are just one person out of many. So I choose a new political party where ideas can be appreciated.