Youth Gladiators of Ogun State Politics

One constant denominator in the politics of Southern Nigeria is that there has been just 3 people that attained that enviable status of being bestowed with the National honour of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR) and all of them are not just from Ogun State but Abeokuta. In fact, all of them are from the same local government area - Abeokuta North Local Government Area. We are familiar with their names but for the samke of non-Nigerians they are President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chiefs Earnest Shonekan Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. Only 2 people have been governor of the state from Ogun Central Senatorial District - Chief Olusegun Osoba and Senator Ibikunle Amosun - and they both also from that very LGA mentioned earlier. This is a pointer to the fact the people of Abeokuta North LGA must be doing something right. And that is what drew our attention, as political researchers. What we found out will shock even mere onlookers.

Those that are marvelling at the sheer dominance of national politics by people of Ogun State especially from Abeokuta North should prepare their minds down as another wave of youthful politicians are already shaking grounds. It is only a matter of time before their names start dominating national politics, that is if they have not started already. This work is in series and it shall be picking on what we call Youth Gladiators of Ogun State Politics. There are many of them but this first publication is centred on the most dominant one among them - Honourable Akeem Oluseye - HAO.

Just like his predecessors Abiola and Shonekan, Honourable Akeem Oladapo Oluseye hails from Ago-Ika area of Abeokuta. That is the ward 7 of Abeokuta North LGA. At just above 40, he is already a household name in the politics of the LGA as he's a former aspirant for both LGA Chairmanship position and House of Assembly. His influence in the politics of the LGA cannot downplayed. When the name first filtered into our hearing, coupled with his political and philanthropical exploits in the LGA we had thought it is one aged person. That we were shocked is nothing but a reflection of average Nigerian mind that you must be advanced in age before delving into politics. 

Oluseye, or HAO as he's fondling called by his large followers, represents a deviation from what has become the norms in Nigerian politics. He's very young yet very experienced in both private and public administration.

He has been actively involved in politics from his school days. Though there was a lull in his political activism when he travelled out of the country for further studies, he has since returned to frontline politics. In his own words, "I have been politician right from my school days. When I went for further studies I reduced my political activities for premium concentration on my studies. I have since returned to active politics since around 2018. From then till now I have not just contested for positions withing our great party but have been made member of different committees due to my activeness."

When asked what his political philosophy is, he answered "I'm moved by the need to engender an egalitarian society. I just hate it when a section of the society swimms in affluence while the other section lives in abject poverty. It is not possible to make everyone equal but thee is the need to close the gap between the haves and have-nots and I believe I can do that. To achieve this, I need to get into position of power first.

Without getting to position of power yet, Oluseye's philanthropical exploits is loud enough even for the deaf to hear and the blind to see. He doles out largesse to the needy in the society without blinking eyes. His reason for such benevolence might not be too far from his political philosophy of equal wealth distribution. There is hardly any quarter in the LGA that Oluseye' hand has not reached.

In another interview with a group of researcher led by Jibola Olatoye, Oluseye lamented what he calls lack of youthful participation in politics. He said "the future belongs to the youth but it (the future) looks bleak as the youths are not participating enough to take over mantle of leadership now in preparation for the future." Reminded that there are many youthful politicians in his LGA, Oluseye said "we need more, the more the merrier. Abeokuta North is not the only LGA in the country, I want a situation where the youths will start taking pole positions in their 30s and 40s. By the time they clock 50 they would have garnered enough experience. The country needs us."

He said: "Due to my exposure to what obtains elsewhere, I will say youths are well involved in politics in my state, especially in my LGA. That is vis-a-vis what obtains elsewhere in the country. But when you place it side-by-side with what obtains beyond the shores of the country I will say we need more youths in politics. France president became president in his 30s. So what are we saying?.

While highlighting some of his contributions to Ogun State politics, the business mogul and IT Expert said "I have served on some committees, this alone is enough contribution to political developments of the state. Besides serving in the committees, I have organised several programmes that empower our people especially the youths. Just as I have executed some contracts for both state and local government which I ensured our people benefitted from".

Article by a group of researchers led by the Osun State-Based journalist, Yusuf Oketola

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