Truth Of The Matter with
The visitors were waiting in the lobby, with few others. They had come from Apomu, in Isokan Local Government in the State. They were soon ushered into his presence. Mother and son had come all the way to seek government assistance for a terminal ailment which mother has been nursing for quite some time. And they had heard of this benevolent government in which this “Sif of Staff” is a prominent figure. They had heard from sources that if only they could “see Alhaji”, their problem will disappear.
In less than thirty minutes of their arrival in Abere Governor’s Office, which also houses the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, mother and son were ushered into his presence. He apologized, and this was the first point of surprise to both. Mother looked back above her shoulders to be sure if this Man of Power was actually apologizing to her and her son for waiting for “just” thirty-something minutes before seeing him. As if that was not enough, he even told them his reason for keeping that late…he was observing his Zur, (early afternoon) prayers. They narrated their reason for coming, and after few minutes of telephone chat to one Mrs Cecilia Olajide who works closely with the Governor, mother and son heaved sighs of relieve after having their problems solved: good and free medical reference as well as enough cash to take care of immediate needs. This is just one of the numerous ways the government of Osun, unannounced, through Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola, has been touching lives of the ordinary people in the State and reportedly even beyond.
Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola, born on September 29, 1954 in Iragbiji, State of Osun, is a certified insurance broker, entrepreneur and politician. He served in Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s eight-year-administration as Chief of Staff. Unknown to many political observers outside Osun state, Oyetola has been achieving political feats without attracting attention to himself since 1997.
Despite the enormous influence he wields, he is reticent, humble and unassuming. Although he is perceived as the major pillar behind the Rauf Aregbesola administration, he has never displayed the peculiar trait of a political gladiator. He is loyal, non-combative and goal-oriented.
Unlike some chiefs of staff in other states who have earned public condemnation, in time of crises, Oyetola has handled government/union relations successfully, thereby earning the applause of political leaders and civil servants in the State of Osun.
Oyetola is said to be among prominent Nigerians who founded Alliance for Democracy, AD, in 1998. The politician had remained a notable figure in the political party in Osun so much that when the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, birthed, he was one of the party’s notable chieftains.
Adegboyega Oyetola is a pronounced Technocrat as well as a progressive politician. His ideals of transformative leadership as a tool of service for the greater good drew him into politics. His great courage remains a source of admiration and his political sagacity is well acknowledged across all political divides. As once analysed, “he is one of the few repositories of knowledge and a fountain of wisdom from which many emerging and existing politicians drink to their own benefits or whom they can only ignore to their eternal damnation.”
Gboyega believes that grassroots politics is the surest way of making the elected leaders listen to the needs, aspirations and problems of their people and take practical steps to meeting these needs. He remains a champion of grassroots politics with a continuous track record till date. His influence in local levels has become a major and popular yardstick for measuring the success of his contemporaries.
Quiet generosity is the capstone to Gboyega Oyetola remarkable life.
Philanthropy remains his “second act,” a role through which he has helped thousands of people who never had the pleasure of knowing him except through his personal giving. Many of his gestures are geared towards empowering young people for sustainable livelihood. He is also known for giving scholarships to students to acquire tertiary education. In the last 25 years, not less than 400 students have benefitted from his scholarship grants.
He is near perfectionist in words, conduct, appearance and actions. Indeed, a man of very few words but astonishingly cerebral, technically and administratively equipped with needed information and applied knowledge on the skills and mastery of creative and inventive governance of this age and time. He has served and is still serving actively to the philosophy and ideals of democratic tenets and principles towards ensuring that the greatest good in terms of deliverables and dividends of democracy is centred around the people to the service of the human race.
He is an enigma whose intellectual wizardry is equally legendary.
Gboyega holds a Bachelors degree (B.Sc.) in Insurance from the prestigious University of Lagos, (1975-1978), He obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration from the same University of Lagos in 1990. He had his mandatory one year National Youth Service between 1978 and 1979, at Potiskum, in the present day Yobe State, where he lectured at the Staff Training Centre. Ever since then, his passion for public service and the welfare of the general public remain endless.
Unlike those whose pedigree are either in dancing away their destinies, those who take to public eating of corn, or that rebel that suddenly took to unearned religious title as gang-song slogan to hoodwink unsuspecting masses, every nation or human community has a way of producing men and women whose courage and selfless service inspire their people in their darkest hours or trying moments. Such are the people who etch their ideas and their entire being on the hearts of their people by speaking words of courage and acting out in total conviction those things they believe in. Gboyega Oyetola has been such a man.