By Goke Awoyemi
That Babajide Christopher Omoworare, the Senator representing Osun East Senatorial District is a loyalist to the core is stating the obvious. He is not only loyal to the party and leadership but also loyal to his constituency and abhors nomadic politics as he has never been seen dumping one political platform for another in the course of his political career because of inordinate ambition. Thus, he is resolute, focused and determined to succeed. More instructive is the fact that his personal life is rancor-free and this has culminating effect on his political life which is not only devoid of rancor but also devoid of violence and controversy.
Born to a family with a deep history of nationalism, politics and public service about 49 years ago, his father late Chief Joseph Larewaju Omoworare was a school principal and Councilor in Ile-Ife during his lifetime. His mother late Princess Teniade Areoye Omoworare (Nee Aderemi) was the daughter of Ooni Adesoji Tadenikawo Aderemi, who during his peaceful reign as Ooni of Ife for over 50 years, was the first Black African Governor and facilitated the establishment of University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife). His paternal grandfather Pa Daniel Omoworare was a founding member of Egbe Agba Afenifere in those good old days when patriotism, loyalty, determination and dedication were the yardstick for holding public office and not pecuniary gains.
Senator Omoworare, a legal practitioner and consultant of about 27 years was elected on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) to represent Ifako-Ijaiye Constituency in Lagos State House of Assembly between 1999 and 2007. He chaired various Committees including Committees on Judiciary, Ethics and Privileges, Human Rights and Public Petitions and ultimately Majority Leader during which he influenced so many developmental projects to his constituency. At the formative stage of Action Congress (AC), he escaped death by the whiskers when Alhaji Hassan Olajokun was killed at Gbongan junction. The assailants pointed assault rifles in his head in the presence of his then 4-years-old daughter, kidnapped him, stole his car and threw him off a moving vehicle at Awe, Oyo State. That experience, rather than deter him only served to reinforce his resolve to progressive ideals. In 2011, contesting under the platform of ACN, he defeated Senator Iyiola Omisore to represent Osun East in the Senate.
Today, he is one of the leading and most active member of the Senate. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and inter-governmental Affairs in the 7th Assembly and was Chairman Rules and Business and currently Chairman of Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance among other Committees he serves as members. In rare display of exemplary act of integrity and loyalty to the nation, in 2013, as a member of Senate Committee on Sports, he was unable to travel to Kenya for a Super Eagles qualifier as a result of Opon Imo launch in Osun, rather than keep the travelling expenses (estacode), he promptly returned the money with an accompanying letter of apology to the Ministry of Sports. This Omoluabi ethos was to become the hallmark of his service in the National Assembly. In the heady days of President Jonathan bazaar, he called for a probe of the petroleum subsidy regime, vehemently opposed the fraudulent African First Ladies Peace Mission House in the FCT budget.
Back home, he has been instrumental to the construction of skills acquisition centres in Ile-Ife and Ilesa, construction of blocks of classrooms and health centres and boreholes. It is also on record that he facilitated the injection of power station and provision of thirty-five 300 and 500KVA transformers in addition to solar powered lights to communities. As a lawmaker accountable to his people, deployed all his constituency project fund to the construction of the multi-billion naira Ipetu-Jesa water works. He single-handedly renovated the Enuwa City Hall to the tune of 15 million naira and saw to the resurfacing and regrading of Hezekiel Oluwasanmi (Road 7) leading to the Obafemi Awolowo University.
When the battle for whom to succeed Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the outgoing Governor of the State started, he indicated interest in the race by making declaration at the APC Secretariat in Oshogbo on June 20, 2018. However, immediately he realized that the interest of the leadership of the party was tilted towards Gboyega Oyetola’s candidacy, he announced his withdrawal from the race in order to enhance party cohesion. He didn’t only drop his ambition for the Governor-elect, but erected billboards in Oyetola’s name across the nooks and crannies of Osun. He also drafted his men to the field and campaign vigorously for the Governor-elect. It is therefore time for the party to compensate and reward the vibrant young man to continue his good work in the upper Chamber, so that the good people of Ile-Ife could have a sense of belonging in government.
- Goke Awoyemi, Social Commentator and Media Consultant sent this piece from Lagos