Senator Olorunmibe Mamora is one of Nigeria’s finest Senators, whose impact was well felt when he held sway in the Senate. Even after 6 years, his goodwill is still working for him as many people thought he is still in the Senate. The over 60-year-old politician started his political carreer several years ago in his university days when he contested and won as one of the leaders of the student union government at the then University of Ife,now Obafemi Awolowo University.
He read medicine and after qualifying as a medical doctor, he practised for many years and now runs one of the best hospitals in Lagos. His interest in politics resulted in his election as the Lagos State Speaker and from there he became a Senator. Six years after leaving public office, at his hometown in Ijebu Ife,he declared his ambition to be the next governor of Ogun State.
The two-term Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and a former Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District in the Red Chamber, has declared interest to contest Ogun State governorship in 2019 last Tuesday.The official declaration, which took place at his family house in Isapodo, Ijebu Ife in Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State had in attendance politicians across Ijebu East, especially from Ijebu Ife Ward 1&2.
Among them were: High Chief Segun Osibote (Aloran of Ijebu Ife), Mr Wale Adedayo (former CPS to OGD, Mr Tayo Mabeweje and a host of others were also present at the event. Loyalists from APC, Yayi Movement and SIA Group who are from Ijebu Ife Ward 1&2 stormed the event in a large number to pay loyalty to one of their own as the son of the soil.
A chieftain of APC, Mr Elepe, while speaking urged Sen Mamora to appoint someone who is trustworthy in the local government area to be his Liason Officer and to also make himself accessible to people. Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora, born 16 February 1953 was elected Senator for the Lagos East constituency of Lagos State He obtained a B.Sc, Health Sciences, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) University of Ife, Ile-Ife and became a Health Practitioner. He was a Medical Director of a Medical Centre and a Company Medical Adviser .Mamora was a National Delegate for the National Republican Convention (NRC) in 1990, and Secretary, Lagos East of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in 1998. He was elected to the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999 and was appointed Speaker. He was Chairman of the Conference of Speakers (2000 – 2001).
Mamora was elected to the Senate in April 2003 and reelected in 2007. He was also a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament (2003 – 2006). In 2003, he was appointed Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.
After resuming his seat in the Senate in 2007, he was appointed to committees on Upstream Petroleum Resources, Selection Committee, Health and Federal Character & Inter-Government Affairs. Mamora was described as a master of parliamentary procedures. Before his declaration, City People’s Society Editor, TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI, caught up with him where he shared his political ambition as well as life experience. Excerpt.
How fulfilling has it been as a senator in Nigeria, serving for those long years?
For me I think it is a privilege for you to be given an opportunity to serve people because there are millions out there, looking for such an opportunity and did not get it, so for me it is a privilege and it is something that I cherish much and I also hold it sacred because being in a public office is holding trust as it were, public office is public trust for the people and I give God all the glory.I left the Senate as a public officer in 2011, that is over 6 years ago, but to the glory of God, many people still believe I am still there until I even tell them that, I left 6 years ago.
The goodwill still remains anywhere and everywhere I go, so I thank God and that gives me the joy that while it lasted I tried to do my best and had I not done my best ,the goodwill would not be there so it is a thing of joy, honour and privilege. I don’t take it for granted, I also thank the people who believed in me, who continue to encourage me, who continue to wish me well and who continue to pray for me as well.
How did politics start for you?
Well, my interest in politics dates back to my childhood because my late dad was a leader of Action Group (AG) and way back then in Ijebu East local government, even though he was a teacher, a principal of a technical college institution,so that interest started and fortunately in my secondary school years, I was also privileged to be given positions of responsibility, as deputy head boy, house prefect and all that. So, of course in such positions, you are managing people sort of, so to speak. So in the university again, I was also involved in the student union politics and I was elected official union of the government in my days at the then university of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo university.
It was an opportunity for me then to really go out there and be part of it, so while I was there, I practised actively. Of course, I started having overtures to go out there to seek elective office and by the grace of God in 1999,I was elected into the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Kosofe Constituency 1 under the auspicese of Alliance for Democracy (AD) and from there, I was subsequently elected the Speaker of state House of Assembly. So, I was Speaker between 1999-2003.
In 2003, I was also privileged to have been elected into the Senate, I served in the Senate between 2003 and 2011 for 2 terms and, of course, I have been in it so to speak, and my status quo is hanging for now, though my hospital is still there, running very well, but I am not active in practice again, but I am in politics now and my next move is under wraps.
Are you still going to vie for any elective or appointed post since you still have some political plans?
So far, I will be giving back to humanity, it is what I love to do, so anytime, God’s willing, He is still taking me higher. Being an instrument of change to my society is key and so far, the energy is still there, the ambition continues.
What is your relationship with Asiwaju Tinubu when you served as a speaker of the House during his governorship in Lagos?
Very cordial, he is my leader, I was the speaker when he was governor, that was between, 1999-2003 even though he was governor for 2 terms. So, I left in 2003, but I was part and parcel of laying the foundation in terms of what he did then, because I was the head of the legislature, and we had to provide the framework for all those things that one can easily refer to now as the Bola Tinubu Legacy, he is the architect of modern Lagos.
Why did you study medicine in school when you have always loved to be a politician since your childhood days?
First and foremost, my father wanted me to be a doctor, it was later I aspired to be one. And you know what was common in those days was for parents wanting their child to either become a doctor or a lawyer. Infact, my brother was brought up to be a lawyer and that is what he is now. And for that reason, my father had always been calling me a doctor since I was young.
So, I went to read medicine, graduated and practised for about 18 years before I was elected Lagos Speaker in 1999. So, at the same time, my late father, Chief Kolawole Adebowale Mamora, was a teacher and one of the leaders of the then AG group and since that time too, I had always looked forward to being one, to render service to humanity.
I left school and participated in many political set up which led to my election victory in Lagos. While in school, I contested and won the post of the financial secretary of student union government.
Are you still in active medical practice?
Not actively because of politics, I left active practice in 1999 and I did it since I graduated. I practised for 18 years. The name of the hospital is Nimbus medical centre and it is still running till today.
As a busy Senator, you had friends across the social zones, how did you balance things up with attending many functions?
For me it is just a matter of having a balanced life, a balancing act because naturally many people will look forward to seeing you because of one relationship or the other when they hold functions and when you are invited, so you want to make yourself available and be part of the other peoples’ joy, so I just try to balance it up. My wife too is also available to fit in for me, sometimes I might not be there, my wife will be there to represent the family, so to speak, but as I said, I have always known how to balance things up.