THE scramble for the number one man in Oyo State has started and a lot of contenders are throwing their hats into the ring for the contest. Though many are yet to declare their intentions but already, there are about 30 aspirants in the race from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) while PDP and other parties too have a good numbers of aspirants.
In a time like this, both pretenders and serious contenders will be moving round to convince people, pasting posters and seeking people’s support, but unarguably, only one person will emerge. And I wish the next governor is distinguish Senator Abdulfatai Omotayo Buhari.
My choice of Abdulfatai Buhari as a preferred candidate and the most competent man to succeed the incubent Governor Abiola Ajimobi is buoyed by the fact that he has demonstrated his genuine passion in serving the people; he has been tested and trusted, and it won’t be out of place to entrust him with the number one position in the state because his precedence shows that he will do well.
Apart from making adequate representations, and his huge contributions on the floor of the house as a member of the the National Assembly, Buhari while at the lower chamber of the National Assembly set an unprecedented record of achievements in Nigeria politics through some of his activities which includes: donation of cars for commercial purposes to 47 members of his constituency and organizations, payment of WAEC for students in all secondary schools in Ogbomoso, South and Oriire Federal constituency, provision of loan facilities for petty traders and business women, donation of educational supports for students and Bursary award to students in tertiary institution, secure Federal Job for many members of his constituency at the and many others.
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His tenure at the Ministry of Water Resources where he served as Special Adviser to the Governor and Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy matter where he served as a commissioner also witness some levels of improvements. As a commissioner, he ensured that payment of primary school teachers’ salary did not exceed 26th of every month. He made this possible by arranging with banks to release the fund for payment of salary as and when due and retrieve it as soon as the allocation from the Federal Government is released for the state. Many council chairmen, politicians and even technocrats will not forget his contributions to their success stories through prompt response to their demands and supports for their respective council.
Fatai Buhari score card at the Senate in the last three years is another fantastic attestation to his credibility as a politician who is passionate about the welfare of his people and the development of Nigeria at large. He is one of the 10 Senators with the highest numbers of motions and bills. His intellectual contributions to issues at the plenary are always apt and given adequate consideration, an instance is the motion on public debate for president, and governors, which would go a long way in reshaping the political development in Nigeria. Another significant bill which is ongoing is that of Establishment of University of Agricultural Technology in Oke Ogun. The bill, if sailed through, will hasten the development of the region and make Oyo State another food basket of the nation. He is also working on making Ikere Gorge dam functional to his capacity, rehabilitation of Oyo-Iseyin road, Okeho-Iseyin road, and many others.
His two major empowerment programmes are not only the best in term of numbers of items distributed but there are also an empowerment programme with the largest number of beneficiaries in the history of Nigeria. No fewer than 2,000 people benefited at each programme. This asides the one he has been doing without making noise. For instance, in November 2017, the lawmaker paid WAEC fees of about 6,000 students of secondary schools in his constituents; he donated bus for the Federation of Oyo State Student Union and built ICT centers in the schools across the 13 local government areas in Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun. He has facilitated training, skill acquisition and financial over 3,000 artisans and school leavers and job seekers.
The lawmaker is humble and highly principled. He doesn’t underrate anybody. He is a man loved by the people, and his humility and kindness were attested to by many traditional rulers, civil servants and many others. Senator Aiimobi last month, during the empowerment program held at the NYSC camp in Iseyin, confirmed the progressive strides of Senator Buhari, when he said: “Since I have been meeting people as a governor, I have never seen a humble man like Fatai Buhari: he is humble and hardworking.” THe governor said further that “It will not be out of place to say Senator Buhari is the best Senator Oyo State ever produced. I was once a senator too, but I never did something like this while at the Senate.”
Ajimobi’s statement could be best described is an automatic endorsement for Senator Buhari’s gubernatorial ambition. Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of APC, Chief Akin Oke, and other stakeholders who spoke at the program also joined Ajimobi in eulogizing and commending the efforts of Senator Buhari in alleviating the suffering of the masses and contributing to the development of the state. All these statements testify to the claim that the Ogbomoso-born Senator is a competent person who will not betray the confidence reposed in him by the electorate.
During his visit to the APC secretariat in November 2017 to declare his intention, he was commended by the party echelon for his support for the party, saying: “Apart from his regular donations to the party, he is also responsive to any request from us. This shows he is a party man and the party is enjoying him and I believe will enjoy him better if given the opportunity to serve in a higher position, ” said one of the party chiefs in his comment.
Apart from his wealth of experience and entrepreneurial background, the Senator is highly connected at the National level and he has a blueprint for the development of Oyo State. Part of his agenda includes, qualitative education, good health care delivery, infrastructural development, youth empowerment and job creations, and many others.
I want to concluded by urging the people of Oyo State to consider Senator Buhari as the next governor of the state: he is a selfless leader, a defender of the masses who has demonstrated his genuine intention to move the state forward and an highly connected politician who will use his contact and link both within and outside Nigeria to develop human capacity, hasten infrastructural development and promote unity and progress in Oyo State.
*Abdulwahab Adegoke, writes from Saki, Oyo State