In this interview with ODUDUWA NEWS, a Political Affairs Analyst and stalwart of All Progressives Congress APC, Oyo State Chapter gave account of his political sojourn and glimpse of childhood.
INTERVIEWER : How would you describe your childhood?
INTERVIEWEE: I was born and grew up as a Muslim at 5, Ajayi Ologidan and 3, Mayaka street, off Sebiotimo street, Idi-mangoro, Agege, Lagos State, where I attended Community primary School on Sebiotimo street, off Capitol road, Agege, Lagos State but, I am from Ajegunle, Saki West LG in Okeogun zone of Oyo State.
It was intresting , adventurous, growing up in a cosmopolitan environment of Lagos State, as it’s diverse nature is symbolic as mini Nigeria. Ethnic intergration with food, dressing and Religion tolerance was at it’s best. For instance, my first 14 formulative years was among the, Igbo’s of Orlu in Imo State, Nnewi in Anambra State, Aba in Abia State and they are majorly Catholic’s. We did Bible fellowship together as teenager’s, attended Christmas Carol services, New Year cross-over at St Sabina’s Church on Old Abeokuta road via Ile-Zik in Agege. Funny enough, our Idi-Mangoro Jumat Central Mosque, built by Nawardeen Society of Nigeria share peremeter fence till today with St. Sabina Church and Hospital since 1962 even before, I was born in Agege. All these are pointer to the peaceful co-habitation that shaped one world view about human beings of diverse stock. I spoke Igbo language early in life until later that, I forgot but, I still speak Hausa Language till today like my mum and two of my siblings because, I grew up with the Hausa’s too in Mangoro and Markaz Agege.
The Ebira people from Okene, Lokoja, Adavi were also closed friends in the neighborhood, the Ebira’s has their unique white groundnut called ‘gorigo’ . We had family friends from Edo State, one is from Auchi, Etsakwo, the Afemai people, others are from Benin , Esan Land.
INTERVIEWER: Can you still recollect some of your childhood Igbo and other tribe’s names?
INTERVIEWEE: Laughs. Of course , yes. Chigozie Ejiofor, Kelechi Mbonu, The Onyebuchi’s at Ajayi Compound, Emeka, Nnmadi, Ayanwu Chidi, we had Twins of Chidi and China , their Dad had Chemist shop on our street then, we used to got treated wherever we had injury in street football competition, both of them, talented footballer’s, their house was 1, Ajayi Ologidan street, owned by an Ijebu Igbo Man, Alhaji Olalere Agbomeji, Tawa Agbomeji Father. It was fun I must admit , without sounding immodest, we were all very brilliant in our mini capacities.
At a tender age, I was aware of many places in Nigeria because of the cosmopolitan environment Lagos provided. Is a good education entirely on it’s own apart from classroom.
INTERVIEWER: When did you get married ?
INTERVIEWEE: Almost a decade ago.
INTERVIEWER: How many wives do you have?
INTERVIEWEE: One for now.
INTERVIEWER: Why did you say for now?
INTERVIEWEE: Of course ,I am a Muslim and it is permissible for me to have four wives if I have the capacity as enshrined in the holy Qur’an, Suratul Nisahi.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think your wife, a lawyer would tolerate you marrying another wife?
INTERVIEWEE: It is not about my wife being a Lawyer tolerating me. She is a Muslimat too from a very rich Islamic background, as she is from Iwo, Osun State, she doubles as a Princess of Lamuye Ogunmodede Ande Ruling house in Iwo and you know Royal families are large family.
It’s better to fear Allah because, fornication is a sin. Only Allah knows how many strokes of cane most of us have committed. Laughs.
More Importantly, It’s about what Almighty Allah says that, if a man has the means and not just money per se but, capacity , in-terms of Intelligence. A man that, wants to practice polygamy must be Intelligent, must be fit because ,it requires energy to serve them round, must be a just person that, would be fair to them not perfect so, the indices are encompassing that, time would not permit me to be more explicit here as it’s a deep discourse to avoid misconception of those that, doesn’t have deep knowledge about what Qur’an liazim says.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think Polygamy is the best system of marriage?
INTERVIEWEE: Yes. To larger extent. Let me be honest with you, most men, we are hypocrites when comes to monogamy and polygamy debate especially educated mind’s.
Women are more faithful in marriages than men, this is a fact, i am a social researcher.
Allah knows us better than ourselves. Most men are pretender’s, at least, 80percent of those men that, claim to have one wife are father of secret child if not children outside, especially, those Elite’s. I don’t want to be mentioning names, high profile in our society alive and some dead. And those men that, doesn’t have children outside with many girlfriend’s they parade resort to abortions, which is a big sin, those that, are lucky not to impregnate their side babe’s , has minimum of three and maximum of 8 girlfriend’s with their one wife at home. So, who is fooling who? You cannot cheat nature and 90 percent of men, we are Polygamist in nature because, men love varieties in everything. I am a realist.
Reasons, in the Qur’an Suratul Nisahi, it was explicit that, a man has choice to choose 4 varieties in women specie, if you have fat one as first , if it is
Slim you feel like having, go for it, if it’s tall you want again as 3rd, go for it and if you want yellow as 4th, go for it, by then, you are ok except a man that is naturally a flirt or not responsible.
If a man knows he has no capacity or wherewithal, he should revert at one wife. Is a complete Tafsir-quran , some other time ,I shall attempt further explanation on this to avoid misconception.
INTERVIEWER: How many Children do you have ?
INTERVIEWEE: I have many children.
INTERVIEWER: How many to be precise?
INTERVIEWEE: In Yorubaland, we don’t count children for the owner, is traditional or customary not a sin though to count it. I am blessed with children. I seize this medium to pray for all those that, are looking for children since their marriages, the good Almighty Allah shall answer them with lovely kid’s, ameen. Because is not our wisdom or by might, is rare mercy from Almighty Allah.
INTERVIEWER: When are you marrying second wife?
On a serious note, Qur’an did not say a man must marry four wives for marrying sake if he doesn’t have the means because all hands are not equal.
I can’t just marry second wife for marrying sake. I must have been sure ,I love the girl or lady or woman in question, she must have possesses features that, suit’s my preference in a girl or lady or woman. I don’t care if, she is a widow, divorcee or older than me, in as much as she is not 15years older than me. The basic quality i look forward to in a woman, is for a woman to have fear of Allah, faith in Allah, a woman who has coscience, this is the bedrock then, Intellectual not necessarily brilliant, because, there is different between being brilliant and being Intelligent.
However, am not looking for one now, if one is looking for me, I don’t know and if I have found one in Ilorin or UK I cannot tell. Laughs. There is no timeline. May Almighty Allah guide us right.
INTERVIEWER: It seems you love your wife alot, how can you describe her?
INTERVIEWEE: Why won’t I love my wife alot? I married her, i did all necessary things required according to Islamic Sharia and yoruba custom’s, Infact, we had Akidu Nikah ( mini wedding) then, months later in September same year , we did Introduction, Engagement and our Wolimat Nikah ( Elaborate wedding) and my In-laws were very supportive when we wanted to get married here in Ibadan at Abal Hall, Akobo Estate especially my father In-law, Alhaji Tayo Hassan-Lamuye , he retired as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of lands, Oshogbo, Osun State. My wife siblings are wonderful and my Mother In-law too because, it’s better for a man have stubborn wife but, good In-law, if reverse is the case , the marriage won’t last.
I don’t have any other wife for now and even if I do later which is subjective, I cannot hate my first wife. Most men got this wrong where they abadon their first wife.
My wife, Ruqoyah Hassan-Azeez Adesokan Esq, has been there for me when I needed her most that, supposed not to say, we don’t have issues, we have our challenges like many couple’s but, like I said earlier on, is good to have good In-law, is key in marriages.
There is no perfect marriage all-over the world but, perfect understanding in marriages.
She is a Productive Wife, Enterprising, a fast thinker, a well-wisher, above all, she has the fear of Allah.
She is a good cook, I love food alot because, I don’t drink alcohol from childhood, she look after my kid’s though, I personally bath for my kid’s daily, drop them off in school except am not in town, I do these to complement her voluntrily. I believe women are not slaves.
And it is to my advantage as I have covalent bond with my kids, if I don’t get home by 9pm, they won’t sleep, my kid’s will be calling me via their mum phone, where are you? Especially, the girl, Rahma.
My wife is my co-prayer warrior with my mum, she is most of the time fasting on Monday’s and Thursday’s as Sunnah and her intentions is for my protection because, I swims in a very difficult ocean of life endeavor, which is Politics.
As a husband, one need lot of divine maturity and magnanimity to deal with women. Women are very funny characters, they are naturally selfish, bias and domineering if allowed. My wife is Godly, observes her salat ( daily prayers) but, canterkerous, nevertheless, a woman would always be a woman. A husband must tolerate his wife or wives for peace in the matrimonial home.
I don’t dwell in negative past. I let bygone be bygone.
INTERVIEWER: Can you share memory of your parent especially, your mum whom I suspect you have close affinity with ?
INTERVIEWEE: Alhamdulilah. My Dad, Azeez Akanbi Adesokan from Balogun Compound, Idi- Ose, Otun in Saki, his late now, died at the age of 86 years on March 23rd, 2012 in Saki, Oyo State.
He was a Baptist, before he converted to a Muslim in Kumasi, Ghana at the age of 17years. My Grandfather , Amos Adesokan whom I like his name was, one of the Founder’s of First Baptist Church in Saki, My Perternal Grandmother name was Racheal Abebi from Iyalode Compound, near Okere of Saki Palace, she is also related in Irawo, ATISBO LG, Kisi in Irepo LG and Igboho in Oorelope LG, all in Okeogun zone of Oyo State.
My Dad was a Polygamist, A community man, Staunch Muslim and a very principled person with core values. He encouraged and supported his rich nephew, Late Alhaji Yinusa Olanrewaju in 1989 to become first Aare Musulumi of Saki, Okeogun. He loves Late Obafemi Awolowo and SL Akintola to a fault, not educated, he used to tell me about SL Akintola oratory nature and use of Yoruba Language with idiomatic expressions. He was a very deep man but, of short words. He was bold but, detest lies.
INTERVIEWER: What about memories of your mum?
INTERVIEWEE: My Mum is alive, I and her are very close till today, she is full of native Intelligence despite not lettered, she value education alot and gave us all we wanted to excell in our academic life as a trader.
She was born in Burkina Faso
capital of Ouagadougou, 8 decade’s ago, but, she is from Oje-Owode in Saki East LG of Okeogun zone in Oyo State.
Saki, Okeogun people second home is Burkina Faso, Lome, Benin Republic, Niamey, Abidjan, Bamako e.t.c.
She speaks French fluently till today, two out of indegenous languages of Burkina Faso, Jula, Mosi and Hausa Language as trans-border trader for 40years , she got married there and had her first three children in 1960, 1963 and 1970 before she finally settled back to Agege, Lagos, Nigeria in 1972. Her Dad ( my maternal grandfather) was a rich trader in Burkina Faso in the 40’s , he was Olori omo Yoruba there but, from Oje-Owode in Saki East LG.
For metaphysical security, I won’t like to mention her name.
My mum is my master piece of nature, so precious to me and everything I made of in life is her. All my primary School mates and Secondary knew my mum because, she would always bring food to me at Community primary School, though, 200meters away from our home in Idi-Mangoro, Agege and later Jibril Martin High School, (JMHS), Humani Street, Oniwaya road, Dopemu, Agege. Laughs.
She had already given me money to school in the morning so, I had to protest for her to stop bringing me food when I was in SS2 because, I was already among the School Acting prefects as Sanitation Prefect, Our Senior Prefect then, Ahmed Auwalu, Hausa boy who lived in Markaz area, from Sokoto State, now a Medical Doctor was my closed friend till today. I was also MSSN General Secretary, JET’s CLUB Project Coordinator, I was actively involved in Lagos State Secondary Schools Science Students Competition, University of Lagos Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), secondary School science quiz Competition and many other’s.
I was a big boy then in my own right and won’t want girl’s to be seeing as still being a baby. Laughs. So, such a mother merit my love. When entered Uniabuja Gwagwalada FCT, was sure the distance wont afforded her to come and when I was away in Benin Republic for study too.
INTERVIEWER: Some of us do follow you on Fresh FM Radio every Wednesday’s Newspaper’s headline analysis, sometimes on LAGELU FM, IBR FM, RADIO NIGERIA DUGBE, NAIJA FM, BCOS TV BEAT FM, INSPIRATION FM and others in Ibadan, your political philosophy and understanding of the terrain is rich and always interesting with historical back up. How dId you become a Politician?
INTERVIEWEE: It was never by accident. Apart from football game that, I was crazy about at childhood day’s, I had flair for reading anything found especially, Newspaper’s alot then.
Fortunately for me, on 2, Mayaka street, Idi-Mangoro Agege, my Dad Older lettered friend, A Cow-horn merchant ( Baba Oniwo), a very rich man, he was an Ogbomoso man, Late Pa Lateef Adeyemo from ARUBIEWE COMPOUND, ISALE OJA IGBO , near Soun’s palace in Ogbomoso was my mentor, he saw the potentials in me and developed my political interest. This was a very old man, many people wondered what, I was enjoying beside him with old talk’s but, I would always be at his house wherever time permits. Daily Times, Punch, Guardian, Tribune, Sketch, Concord, Tell Magazine, and Newswatch were in Vogue then, that, he usually bought to read. No Thisday Newspaper, The Nation, The Sun and co.
The man was born on February 15, 1920, he was an Awoist but, later dumped Action Group as he was not happy the manner in which Awolowo political lieutenant’s and Late Awolowo himself mismanaged Ladoke Akintola. So, he followed his kinsman, late Erudite, Orator , Legal Luminary, SL AKINTOLA, Fmr Premier Western Region out of AG. The man gave me first-hand experience account of event between Visionary Late Sage Obafemi Awolowo vs Aare Ona Kankanfo SL Akintola as he was already over 40 years during the Western Region crisis of 1962.
He was a very honest and objective narrator, and my association with him at a tender age provoked my interest in politics early in Life. Unfortunately, he would later become a chieftain of NRC in 1992 election, I was still a young boy , I couldn’t cast my vote but, I had my political bias towards SDP where MKO ABIOLA was the Presidential Candidate.
It was political fun then because, it was open ballot system, majority of eligible voter’s then in Idi-Mangoro, Agege, qued behind MKO ABIOLA of SDP poster while he and very few other’s were for BASHIR TOFA of NRC.
So, My maternal Uncle, Late Pa Adio wife, Alhaja ‘Oni moin moin’ too was a very political sagacious women leader in Ward A ( Idi-Mangoro) but, she was for SDP/ Dapo Sarumi Primrose caucus that , produced Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Anthony Adefuye as Senator’s for Lagos West and East now linked me up with Tinubu Super Delegate, Late Chief Micheal Alade at Olaiya street off Dopemu road, Agbotikuyo/Funlayo area near Danjuma Cinema in Markaz Agege.
Tinubu was drafted from Lagos Central senatorial to Lagos West because, he was unknown Politician , fresh from ExxonMobil, he can’t compete with Late Wahab Dosunmu.
Tinubu rented apartment on Coker street, Mulero bus stop to have residential address to fill in INEC form because, he built his house in Ikoyi, has no house in Agege. Late Chief Abanikanda from Lagun, Ibadan and Awori man, Adaranijo were SDP Ward Chairman and Secretary respectfully that, produced Tinubu from Chief Dapo Sarumi/MKO ABIOLA/SDP caucus.
Though, Tinubu was a regular visitor to Markaz Agege alongside Chief MKO ABIOLA. Tinubu is a nice man and very appreciative personality,he duely compensated Late Abanik and Adaranijo Politically for their 1992 gestures. Taofik Adaranijo served as Orile Agege LCDA chairman for 10years and Member House of Representatives Abuja for Agege Federal Constituency for four years.
INTERVIEWER: What is your view about Oyo State Politically and your assessment of Governor Seyi Makinde so far ?
INTERVIEWEE: There is lopsidity in the Oyo State political demography, the way it was constituted, no thanks to the military. The so call restructuring needs to start from the basics.
For instance, that, Ibadan 11 LG are divided to be in two Senatorial district’s of the state is a political fraud. The 11 LG of Ibadanland ought to have been at one Senatorial district of Oyo South, the 4 LG of Oyo zone, 5 LG of Ogbomoso zone making 9 should have been designated in Oyo Central then, Okeogun zone 10 LG and three LG of Ibarapaland should have been designated to be in Oyo North.
This would have naturally checked political inbalance, domineering tendency of a particular zone over other’s and it would provoke sense of belonging and playdown political agitations.
However, we need to do with what has been unjustly thrusted upon us.
The same inbalance is witness at State House of Assembly Constituency, Iseyin and Itesiwaju LG are being represented by one person at OYHA, same in Irepo/Olorunsogo of Kisi and Igbeti, same in Saki East/Atisbo , same in Oyo East/Oyo West, same in Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere, Eruwa and Lanlate too. I gathered during Late Ajimobi era there were moves by INEC for delination to correct this political anormaly but, the political establishment frustrated the idea for sense of political insecurity that, Okeogun zone would have three more, Oyo zone , one more, Ibarapa one more and Ogbomoso zone, one more at OYHA.
I must add Oluyole LG too deserve one more house of Assembly then may be Egbeda LG.
Okeogun zone has always been a political magnanimity zone, Okeogun people, we allowed Performing Senator Fatai Buhari from Ogbmoso zone of three LG to represent Oyo North at the Senate for two terms of 8years by 2023. We had senator Brimo Yusuf of AD from Ogbomoso also in 1999 to 2003.
We are very political liberal minded people, Ibarapaland of three LG last produced Senator for Oyo South in 2003. My narrative is to explain myself that, indeed, there is lopsidity in Oyo State political demography.
INTERVIEWER: Do you think APC would win gubernatorial election in 2023?
INTERVIEWEE: Of most important for we to pray to Almighty Allah to spare our lives beyond 2023. God is the giver of life and good health.
However, it is still Politically premature to say emphatically APC would win in 2023 because, heaven helps those who helps themselves. Is sad that, I have to talk this way but, I am realist, I hate being fooled or fooling myself.
The Political climate is Oyo State APC especially is very cloudy and dangerous ahead of 2023.
INTERVIEWER: Who do you think can be given APC guber ticket that, the party can defeat Governor Seyi Makinde?
INTERVIEWEE: The party APC is not well intact for now, we are not being strategic as opposition. Governor Seyi Makinde had committed lot’s of errors but, we are sleeping only individuals are engaging the Government and that’s not the way to go in Politics.
The party institution is not agile for now in Oyo State and is counter-productuve.
With all due respect, APC Governorship Aspirants are not Politically strategic too. To defeat an Incumbent Governor like Seyi Makinde needs critical thinking and political seriousness not gate-crash political approach most of them are adopting.
INTERVIEWER: Is Bayo Adelabu FCA your guber candidate or Issac Omodewu, or Soji Eniade, or Akeem Agbaje Esq, or Joseph Tegbe FCA, or Professor Adeolu Akande, or Ayodeji Ismail Karim or Senator Folarin or Niyi Akintola SAN, or Mr Sunday Dare, or Dr Azeez Adedutan ?
INTERVIEWEE: I have relationship with almost all the names mentioned as we are all member’s of the same party. Like I said earlier, the issue of candidature is not the matter but, the party platform in which all of them aspiring to contest on. There is no room for Independent candidacy yet in electoral act or Nigeria Constitution hence, the need for Oyo State APC to get serious as time is fast spent.
I am a very optimistic person but, a realist, the party is not strategic in opposition to PDP government.
In Nigeria Political context, Elections are won on election day, reasons, I took it upon myself in my mini way to have started APC crusade immediately we lost election in March 2019, at a period it was suicidal to do so on radio, television and online news medium.
INTERVIEWER: What do you suggest as way out as a committed member of APC?
INTERVIEWEE: If APC stateholders can be truthful to themselves, they should look for who to succeed Baba Akin Oke as Baba won’t be contesting again, because, Chief Akin Oke applied lots of wisdom in affairs of the party so, we would need someone that, is broad, versatile, who has character not anyone that will sold off his conscience and the party for crumbs. Also , Secretary of the party is very important, we need a very productive State women Leader of elegance like Lagos State APC women leader, Jumoke Okoya-Thomas , former two term house of Representatives Abuja member.
When we get dedicated , passionate Personalities to run affairs of the state APC in coming Congress, our half problem is solved.
INTERVIEWER: Can’t you also contest for elective position of the party or general election in 2023?
INTERVIEWEE: My political philosophy is not all about contesting for elections either party level.or general election. Only those who see political participation as a must for them to contest rock boat of the party.
My political interest is results not necessarily me filling a position. Am not a desperate person on anything.
I laugh at some of our guy’s in Oyo State APC, they are not committed to the party, if their preferred Guber Aspirants didn’t get the ticket at the primary, they will float of.
I respect people alot, but, I am a Politician, I am not in APC because of Bayo Adelabu FCA guber ambition or Ayodeji Karim, Joseph Tegbe FCA, Senator Teslim Folarin and likes ambition. I am in APC for myself and my family like them too.
Politics is about interest not emotions.
INTERVIEWER: But, if the party leader’s decides not hold guber party primary in 2023 ?
INTERVIEWEE: Politically suicidal. Everyone of them should be allow to test their popularity at the primary. I will step aside Politically if APC fail to hold primary for all elective positions in 2023. I won’t leave the party but, will take back seat. I can never be part of imposition. However, consensus is fine if is ok by all but, if one out 100 says, he or she doesn’t want consensus, then will go for primary.
If I am part of the state APC Excecutive, my position would be that, everyone should go to field. This will straighten the party, supporters of various Aspirants would be happy even if their preferred choice didn’t win at the primary. They won’t be bitter and join hands with whoever wins at the general election.
INTERVIEWER: Who are supporting for president in 2023 in APC?
INTERVIEWEE: How many Presidential Aspirants do we have already? We don’t have any get officially declared.
INTERVIEWER: But, Senator Sanni Yerima has declared, Governor Kayode Fayemi is showing interest, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu too, Governor Kaduna State also. Are you aware ?
INTERVIEWEE: I don’t have much to say about this but, all I know for sure , APC would win back Aso Rock if only tendencies in our party are magnanimous to unite.
Is not all about Presidential Candidate , is all about uniformity of political purpose of major tendencies in APC at the Federal level.
INTERVIEWER: Who are the promoter’s of those tendencies in APC ?
INTERVIEWEE: It is not for public consumption, is our internal political headache that, would be resolved.
INTERVIEWER: How do you relax ?
INTERVIEWEE: I am a boring person, I play draft alot right from my childhood days and when on campus till today. I love football alot too and travelling, *because, I don’t drink alcohol at all.
INTERVIEWER: But, you womanise ?
INTERVIEWEE: Nobody is a saint.
INTERVIEWER: Who are your role models ?
INTERVIEWEE: In general life, It’s Sheikh Adam Abdullah Al-Ilory of Markaz Agege,he was a phenomenal human.
Politically, my role models are just five. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, MKO ABIOLA, Former President of Ghana, Kwameh Nkrumah, Former President of Singapore Lee Kwan Yu and Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
INTERVIEWER: Congratulations Mr Adesokan on your birthday.
INTERVIEWEE: I am very greatful to you all, It’s my pleasure.
INTERVIEWER: Where are you celebrating your birthday ?
INTERVIEWEE: The mood of the nation and that, of Oyo suggest otherwise. Insecurity, Covid pandemic are worrisome developments.
I will just observe it as normal day then , go and play draft among the locals.