The race for the Ogun Central Senatorial seat is hotting up by the day. That is the senatorial zone of many Egba bigwigs The big news is that Senator Gbenga Obadara who used to represent that zone before the incumbent, Senator Lanre Tejuoso took over has joined the race for the senatorial zone. For those who don’t know, Jeremiah Olugbenga Onaolapo Obadara was the Senator representing Ogun Central Constituency in Ogun State, on the platform of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Obadara is the son of the first Chairman of Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State. He is half Yewa and half Egba. He began work as a Grade II teacher in Ota, but later entered the telecommunications business, becoming Managing Director of Imperial Communications. His company pioneered pre-paid call cards in Nigeria and introduced electronic directories. In 2006, Obadara competed in the Action Congress party primaries for the 2007 senatorial elections, but did not win the nomination.
In the April 2011 elections Obadara ran for election as Senator for Ogun Central and gained 102,389 votes, defeating the incumbent Senator Iyabo Obasanjo Bello of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 56,312.
“ I only worked for 18 months before I became an Entrepreneur in the U.K.”, Obadara once explained. “When I returned back to Nigeria in 1998 God has already blessed me with the knowledge of daring the odds and capability of being able to manage men and resources. I established my first company 28 years ago and it has been fantastic experience. I am the pioneer of pre-paid calling cards in Nigeria and abroad. I established the first and only electronic equal directors in West Africa. In U.K I happen to be the first Nigeria to have established a Telecom Company and a Prepaid Calling Card Services. I was the first Nigerian to start stocking African food-stuffs in the United States; I have been so blessed by the lord.
Many people do not know that he is one of those who stepped down for Senator Ibikunle Amosun to become Governor.
“At that time, the former Governor, Akinrogun Olusegun Osoba prevailed on us to accept Senator Ibikunle Amosun” he once explained. At that time, Senator Ibikunle Amosun was imposed on us. Osoba prevailed on us to work with Amosun. We did because he was considered to be a good person who will veritably carry the flag of the party. “When Senator Ibikunle Amosun was enthroned as a Governor, we supported him with everything. When I say we, I mean those of us he met in the party. I mean we supported him with everything. I personally supported Senator Ibikunle Amosun. Whether he invited me or not I was always with him. He was once a Senator like I am now and he knows that Senators are honourable men. I supported Senator all the way until January 16th 2014 when my life was threatened by Amosuns men.
When I was faced with what could have possibly terminated my life and I was in many ways brutalised. I have nothing personal against the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And I do tell people, that Senator Ibikunle Amosun remains my friend, my brother, but politically, we are not together because he does not represent what I think is in the best interest of the down trodden and I do not in any way see myself supporting him.
Not many people know that he once run for the governorship of Ogun State. At that time he erected billboards all over the state capital. Why did he drop his ambition then?
I dropped it through negotiations, in the interest of the party believing that Senator Ibikunle Amosun will be a team player. Let it be on record that in 2003, I came out to be a Senator, I won the primaries to be a Senator but to God be the glory.
In December 26, 2006, when we were about to start the race I wanted to run for Senate but I was prevailed upon to stand down and which I did as a party person.
In the case of Gov. Ibikunle Amosun give it to him, he contested in 2007, having the experience and what it takes. He was allowed to be the flagbearer of our party in 2011.
On the 14th of January, he was given the slot. I came out wanting to be Governor as far back as 2009, running into 2 years. But no one has given the slot. I came out. And it was in 2011 Amosun was made flagbearer of the party.
The following week, I was made the flagbearer for Ogun Central Secretarial District and as today, to God be the glory, because if you look at the way we won the election, myself with almost 102,000 to my next candidate who was 57,000. You will see how credible the election was.
I said, I remain a committed ACN member then, and I remain a party person. But one thing I will not in any way jeopardise is the interest of my people. That is where I stand.