With 113 days to go into the election on September 22, this week, we are focusing on the son of a prominent first republic parliamentarian and minister as well as a boardroom guru who wants to introduce Corporate Game Theory strategies into the running of the economy of the state.
Saka-Layonu: Chip Of The Old Block In The Race
Dr. Ismail Abiodun Ishola Layonu SAN, FCIArb, brilliant scholar, erudite lawyer and seasoned administrator was born shortly after Nigeria gained her independence from the British imperialists, precisely on 24th of December, in the ancient city of Ibadan.
He hails from the famousApena quarters in Ede, one of the historical towns in Osun to the family of late Chief Honourable Saka Layonu who was a parliamentarian and Minister in the Western Region during the First Republic.
His academic journey has taken him to various reputable institutions both within and beyond the shores of this country. His elementary education which began at Children Boarding School, Osogbo in 1966 took him to Baptist Day School, Idikan, Ibadan from 1967 to 1971. For his secondary education, Dr Saka-Layonu attended the prestigious Olivet Baptist High School, Olivet Heights, Oyo between 1972 and 1976, where he obtained the West African School Certificate with Grade One.
Though he had a stint at the Polytechnic, Ibadan in 1976, for a year of A Levels, through dint of hard work, he however gained admission into the great ObafemiAwolowo University (then the great University of Ife) to pursue his dream course in Law in 1977, graduating in flying colours with 2nd Class Upper both from the University and the Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1981 and 1982 respectively.
Not resting on his oars, young Ismail Abiodun continued his academic sojourn after the compulsory one year National Youth Service at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (now Bank of Industry). The journey this time took him to the famous London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London where he also distinguished himself as a brilliant scholar with Masters in Law (LL.M) with a mark of distinction in Principles of Civil Litigation in 1984.
The remarkable record he left at the University of London earned him an opportunity to return two years later to pursue his Doctorate degree in Law which he completed meritoriously in 1989.
Having equipped himself academically, Dr Saka-Layonu worked briefly as a part-time Law lecturer at Willesden College of Technology and as a Principal Legal Officer, London Borough of Southwark both in London between 1989 and 1990. On his return to Nigeria, he joined the firm of Kusamotu, Olojo& Co., before eventually setting up his own practice. He has remained in active legal practice and is the Principal Partner of Abiodun Layonu& Co. established in Lagos and Abuja.
Today, with working experience and professional activities spanning close to four decades, Layonu proudly wears the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) which was conferred on him in 2009 in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession.He is also a Fellow and former President of Business Recovery and Insolvency Practitioners of Nigeria (BRIPAN), an Insolvency, Recovery and Business Turn-Around Association, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria, and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK [Nigerian Branch].
However, Dr. Layonu’s life did not revolve around private and professional accomplishments alone. He has also made significant impacts in the public domain. He was a member of the Vision 20:20 Committee. He also served on several statutory commissions both in Oyo and Osun States and is currently, the Chairman, Governing Council, WaziriUmaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State. He is happily married with wonderful children.
Osun, the Land of the Virtuous or Abode of the ‘Omoluabi’ as it is fondly called, has always fascinated the world for many good things. It is the cradle of the Yoruba people whose historical culture has transcended geographical boundaries. It is an abode to many cultural artifacts which have continued to attract foreign and local scholars and tourists. It has an official population figure of about 3.5 million people and is blessed with numerous yet-to-be tapped natural resources, the development of which can lift the State with a quantum leap into the top league of States with serious economic activities.
The current leadership of our State under Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in the last eight years has laid the required foundation by succeeding in delivering the state from economic depression, insecurity and turmoil thereby bringing about result oriented governance. Thousands of youths have been encouraged to leave the streets and positively engaged under the O’YES programme. Thousands more of our children were attracted back to public schools under O’SCHOOLS as parents took advantage of the revolutionary transformation that Ogbeni initiated in the education sector.
We marvel at Aregbesola’s achievements which include great and visible infrastructural development through road networks, state-of-the-art public schools, well-structured bridges, local government reforms, increase in allocation for pensions and gratuity for pensioners and retirees, incentives to farmers, healthcare delivery and developmental projects.
The responsibility for sustaining these numerous progressive feats will now rest on whoever succeeds Ogbeni come November 2018 and only an equally aggressively progressive minded individual who combines brilliance with tenacity of purpose and clear-cut vision of societal needs of Osun people in the person of Dr. Ismail Abiodun Ishola Saka-Layonu SAN will best suit this governorship position by the grace of God. The details of his continuity programmes are contained in his blueprint which is in accord with the Party’s Manifesto and cardinal programmes.
Dr Saka-Layonu SAN, a seasoned Legal Practitioner, hereby humbly declares his political intention to run for the position of Governor of the State of Osun under the All Progressives Congress (APC). Just as Ogbeni has delivered on his Pact with the good people of Osun, Dr. Ismail pledges an open and transparent government, innovative and technology driven society, empowered and inspired community, flourishing agriculture, quality life in the rural areas and cities, sustainable development, bringing people together, access to basic amenities for all, a productive youth population, economically empowered women, robust physical and social infrastructure, nationally competitive economy, top notch healthcare delivery, quality service delivery in all sectors and strong effective and futuristic institutions.
The mission of Dr. Layonu is to make Osun an economic powerhouse in Nigeria and the essence of his vision is in the Yoruba adage that says Agbajoowol’afin’soya, kajolak’ajol’owo. Dr. Ismail Abiodun Ishola Saka-Layonu SAN states “My aim is to build on a solid foundation already laid for a modern, prosperous and vibrant state based on our ethos and values. We have to convert into a knowledge based society and economy, powered by experience, tools of technology and vibrant energy of our people. I commit myself to this task and promise to work relentlessly towards this goal. For me, every day and every step, every journey and every process will be dedicated to making Osun a better state for all. And all this will be done by all of us, for all of us! This is not the time to sit back. This is the time when each and everyone of us has to get up and contribute our mite to progress the change. Let’s come together. I ask and urge you to choose and prefer me as Governor to succeed Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola to lift Osun to greater heights. Remember, Change is good, Progress is better and Continuity is best.”
Ogunbiyi: From The Corporate World To Governorship Race
Dr. Akin A. Ogunbiyi, MBA, B.SC, ACII, MIoD, is the Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. He co-founded the Elephant Group Limited in 1994 and also serves as its Executive Director of Operations. Dr. Ogunbiyi served as Group Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. and served as its Chief Executive. He also served as a General Manager of Energy Group, Head of Energy Group and Deputy General Manager of Institutional Banking Division at Guaranty Trust Bank plc.
Prior to his foray into entrepreneurship, he trained with Lever Brothers Nigeria (now Unilever) and later became a middle level Manager in the financial Republic group with Financial Merchant Bank as its flagship. His last appointment was as a Senior Management staff with frontline Savings and Mortgage, where he cut his teeth as an Astute Manager of Men and Materials.
Mr. Ogunbiyi had his insurance training in NICON from where he moved to start the Finance and Insurance Experts Limited – a multi-disciplinary consultancy firm, as pioneer Associate Director/Ag. He served as the Chairman of CIL Risk & Asset Management Limited and he has been the Chairman of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc since January 7, 2016. He is a member of the Board of Trustee of Rice Importers, Millers and Distributors Association of Nigeria (RIMIDAN), he is a Member of several professional bodies amongst which are CIPM, NIPR and NIM.
An Economist, Consultant and Insurance Professional, Mr. Ogunbiyi is a graduate of Agricultural Economics from Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly the University of Ife). He is also an alumnus of the famous International Graduate School of Management, University of Navarra (IESE) Barcelona, Spain where he took an Executive Masters in Business Administration. He is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London. Not only did he complete his Associateship examination in record time, Mr. Ogunbiyi has the rare honor of securing the highest number of distinctions in the professional examination in two sittings.
He is an alumnus of Lagos Business School. He holds a Degree in History and MSc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the University of Lagos.
Contesting for the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ogunbiyi’s campaign capacity has been considered to be strong as a result of his financial muscle to prosecute his ambition. This was evident when he declared his intention to contest at the PDP secretariat on Tuesday, as the crowd he pulled was far higher than many of his co-contestants within the PDP.
Ogunbiyi who hail from Ile-Ogbo has in his favour the senatorial zone he hails from – Osun West- as the agitation for the zone to produce the next governor has gained ground.