In The Ongoing OSUN Governorship Race
The Story Of Alhaji GBOYEGA OYETOLA
There is one governorship aspirant right now in Osun APC who is enjoying a lot of goodwill from both the old and young in his bid to run for governorship. He is Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, the Chief of Staff to Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, the governor of the State of Osun.
Oyetola is a man generally agreed and described by all to be an Omoluabi. Everywhere, he is usually described, in glowing terms, as a man imbued with uncommon vision, having an amiable character and unassuming disposition. He is humble and simple to a fault. For the past 8 years, he has played a very crucial role as a stabilising factor in the cabinet of Gov. Aregbesola.
According to insiders, many like him because he is a good listener, who after listening promptly acts on the complaints made to him. He is also hardworking and focused and he is good at working behind the scene to achieve overall success for the APC government in Osun. Because he has always chosen to be a back room person, many really do not know the sterner stuff he is made of. He is a deep thinker and a technocrat who has a rare capacity for work. His job in the last 8 years has been a very difficult one because he combines Strategic thinking with an uncommon Administrative acumen. For the past 8 years, it has been his job to make sure that the governor gets it right. He must think, reflect and then act. He must constantly generate ideas for his principal all the time. And in the last 8 years he has done a good job so much so that his boss has repeatedly commended him.
So, when the party chieftains began to consider who to field in Osun for governorship, his name kept popping up. They believe he has the requisite qualification and experience and he has taken time to study leadership at close quarters. He has also been commended for having the calmness that governance requires. By nature, he is very calm and calculating. He is also very strategic. He is a technocrat who speaks the language of business. For years, before coming to public office, he had been in corporate business. He also has a rich pedigree.
Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola is from Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area of the State of Osun. That is where he was born on 29th September, 1954 into the family of Alhaji Hammed Oyetola, the current Chief Imam of Egbeda, Iragbiji and late Alhaja Wulemot Oyetola (Iyalaje Adinni of Iragbiji).
He attended Ife Oluwa Grammar School, Osogbo from 1968 to 1972 where he completed his secondary education with West African School Certificate in Grade II.
He then proceeded to the University of Lagos where he bagged a B. Sc. degree in Insurance in 1978.
He did his compulsory one year NYSC programme at the Management Staff Training Centre Potiskun in the present day Borno State where he lectured between 1978 and 1979.
He began his real professional career in 1980 when he joined the services of Leadway Assurance Company Limited as Assistant Manager at the Head Office in Kaduna. He had a successful career at Leadway where he held various management positions and rose to become Area Manager until 1986 when he left to take up higher responsibility in the Insurance industry.
Thus, from 1986-1989, he became the Underwriting Manager at Crusader Insurance Company Limited. He also had a brief stint with the Alliance and General Insurance Nigeria Limited as Controller (Technical) from 1989-1990.
Thereafter, he left in 1990 and set up his own Insurance Broking firm, the Silvertrust Insurance Brokers Limited where he was the Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer until 2010.
Through diligence and sound professional management, he was able to nurture the company to become one of the leading registered insurance broking firms in Nigeria today.
In 2005 he became Executive Vice Chairman, Paragon Group of Companies, with interest in Oil and Gas, Real Estate, Stock Broking, Chairman Ebony Properties, Director of Pyramid Securities Limited and Director of Crip Pension Fund Administrator Limited, to mention but a few. He was widely travelled business executive.
Following the change of baton in the administration of the State of Osun on November 26, 2010, he was appointed by Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola as the Chief of Staff in January 2011.
He has transited from the private sector to become an astute public servant within the shortest time imaginable.
Since he took up the mantle of political leadership, he has been a strong supportive pillar and a silent driving force in keeping the engine of development of the state running under the able leadership of his principal.
In the last 8 years of his active political leadership, he has remained a silent and energetic mobilizer and a rallying point for both the young and old.
When he turned 60, (four years ago) his political leader in APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu revealed a lot about him. “I am proud to count Gboyega as one of the exceptionally principled and dedicated progressives who are in the service of the people, toiling day and night, supporting an indefatigable Governor and showing uncommon dedication to the business of the State of Osun, in particular, and the progressive cause, in general, wrote Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“Gboyega is not only a comrade in the Nigerian struggle, but also a longstanding brother who has remained a loyal partner in the struggle. Having known him for about 5 decades out of the 6 now being celebrated, I am not surprised by the dedication and passion he has brought to bear on his latest assignment as the Chief of Staff to the Governor of the State of Osun. He has always been a consistently principled, focused, insightful and loyal friend and comrade.
“In his earlier years, he was always persistent in achieving success. No wonder in his service to the good people of the State of Osun, he has shown himself as one of the flag-bearers who are not unmindful of the heavy burden, responsibility and huge expectations of our people, young and old, man and woman, able and disabled. He has shown himself as not unmindful of the misery and poverty that the generality of our people have had to endure over the years and, in line with the commands of the prophets of old, he has demonstrated his commitment to join the Governor of the State of Osun to lessen the burden of our people and to alleviate poverty by providing jobs for our youths, houses, secure homes, water, good roads and creating efficient mass transportation system, industrial development and providing life more abundant for our people. Adegboyega Oyetola is the quintessential Chief of Staff.
I know that a Chief of Staff must be trust worthy, able to be relied on as honest or truthful. This is who Gboyega is. A dutiful official who has shown himself as reliable, dependable, honest, honorable, upright, principled, true, truthful, ethical, virtuous, incorruptible, unimpeachable and above suspicion.
“I also know that a good Chief of Staff must be astute, having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations and people and turn this to the advantage of the State. In Gboyega, the Governor of the State of Osun has found a shrewd, adroit, intuitive, perceptive, insightful, incisive, sagacious and wise counselor.
Also, an effective Chief of Staff must be consummate, showing a high degree of skill and flair. In this regard, Gboyega has proven himself accomplished, proficient, skillful, skilled, masterly, talented, gifted, polished, and practiced in the art of governance and human relations”.
“Adegboyega Oyetola embodies the vision of the progressives that leadership is not about the spoils of office or ethnic loyalties but about ideas, the prime idea being that democratic governance must be transparently fair and must deliver tangible benefits to the people. In his disposition and official pursuits, one sees in Gboyega a progressive who is committed to our vision of the promotion of leaders whose democratic credentials are unimpeachable and to the elevation to leadership of persons who are not men of mere words but men who have toiled in office for the sake of the people and who have performed so exceptionally well that they can raise their heads up high and walk confidently among the people of this country.”
“Gboyega belongs to that class and generation of leaders that the citizens admire for being exceptionally dedicated and passionate about building their country against all odds; for facing various challenges with bravery and for infecting their colleagues and countrymen with action, commitment, enthusiasm, integrity and eternal optimism.”
“Gboyega belongs to that breed of leaders who work quietly and behind the scenes to bring positive and tangible changes to the people and to the political system and the society at large without engaging in loud and meaningless rhetoric.
He is that high officer who respects the people’s true cultural and religious differences while promoting mutual and peaceful co-existence in an atmosphere providing for the protection of rights and attainment of justice; he is that adviser who promotes the provision of caring governance, effective leadership and exemplary deeds of integrity in office while always being on the move for new, modern and positive ideas from all quarters.”
One of the APC national leaders, Chief Bisi Akande (a former governor of Osun State) also praised him. “Gboyega, (as I always call Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola) has been one of the Osun State assets attracted back to the scene of governance in Osun State by the emergence of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. He is one of the crops of patriots nick-named ‘Osun Abroads’ by certain uninitiated political charlatans.”
“I had known Gboyega as a business motivator in Lagos before he was invited to the government of State of Osun as Chief of Staff to the Governor. And since he came to State of Osun, he has always been most modest and unassuming in his dealings with people generally”.
Gov. Rauf Aregbesola described Gboyega Oyetola to be a very calm person with a cool demeanor and focused vision. The brilliance he has brought to his office as Chief of Staff is remarkable”.
The King of his home town, the Oba of Iragbiji, Oba Rasheed Ayotunde Olabomi, Iragbiji Land revealed that the Oyetola that Iragbiji and it’s people know has unparalleled credentials which no doubt has made one to conclude that he is our pride. He is our own beloved son in whom we are well pleased”.
He revealed Oyetola’s parental influence. “Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola’s lovely mother (now deceased) and his father who is the current Chief Imam of Egbeda, Iragbiji are known to be community leaders whose positive influence in their immediate environment and Iragbiji as a whole is tremendous”.
“Aside from this, they were/are highly pious Muslims who exhibit the best ideals of Islam. They are gentle, intelligent, virtuous and possess great leadership attributes. His mother was a mother for all. Her sterling qualities made the entire Muslim community of Iragbiji conferred the chieftaincy title of Iyalaje Adini on her. His parents are change agents and one is not left in any doubt that he is equally a man whose life positively influences others”.
“He said he is a community man for more than 30 years, Oyetola has maintained the status of a son whose contributions to human capital development has remained unequal. He sponsored many sons and daughters in institutions of higher learning and secured gainful employment for teeming mass of our sons and daughters and many others who cared to meet him for assistance.
Indeed his community spirit has placed him heads and shoulders above others. Talk of passion and total commitment to identify with and lift Iragbiji’s name high, Oyetola stands tall. He is free and relates well with his people. He sustains kinship relationships and plays great roles in the funding of community projects.
“When his mother was installed as the Iyalaje Adini by the Muslim Ummah in Iragbiji, he pooled together all the monetary donations from his friends and associates for the renovation of the Iragbiji Central Mosque and the imprint is still there till today.
He also commended him for being a philantropist Oyetola is not boastful and does not believe in being loud in rendering assistance. He is a cheerful giver who often refrains from being thanked for all his acts of goodness to others. He has hundreds of students assisted financially in tertiary institutions and has helped many to overcome health challenges which might otherwise have claimed their lives.”
“In 2012, he spent a whooping sum of N3 million to sponsor about 700 people in Iragbiji and other neighboring towns that have sight problems for various treatments and surgeries. He has affected so many lives while we continue counting as his determination to make life better for others keep growing”.
He described him as a selfless man of destiny. “Oyetola is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, amiable, understanding, cool and calculated but not noisy.” “He is deep and a deep thinker. He is not flippant and does not tell lies. You also find in Oyetola a trustworthy and dependable gentleman who relates with others with warmth”.