Olamilekan Solomon Adeola (YAYI): A peoples’ Senator@49
Yayi with Lagos governor Ambode
By: Kayode Odunaro
London, August 10, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Among the five youngest senators of the Nigeria 8th Senate below the age of 50, is Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola,fca (APC, Lagos West).
In the highest legislative body in Nigeria with many former state governors, retired military generals, professors, former national political party chairman and other influential Nigerians whose average age hovers around 65, it takes more than knowing how to wash your hand to dine with elders, indeed statesmen of Nigeria. It takes hard work and cognate legislative experience. Senator Adeola apparently possess both in addition to knowing how to “wash his hands”, obvious reason he is widely rated among the top 10 Senators of the 109 member Red Chamber.
In his three years plus in the Senate and in fulfillment of his core function as a lawmaker, Adeola has so far sponsored 15 bills making him one of the first 10 in terms of bills sponsorship. Twelve of these bills are constitutional amendment bills with two of them passed by the National Assembly in the ongoing Constitutional Amendment of the 8thSenate while three are still in process of passage.
Solomon Olamilekan Adeola with some traditional rulers
Similarly in the area of oversight activities and beyond the regular senate committees’ oversight that he is fully involved in, Adeola has so far move three motions that were passed into Senate Resolutions leading to full blown Senate investigations that have so far revealed massive shortchanging of the Federal Government finances as well as Nigerians. He was the sponsor of the motion to Investigate Non Remittances and Misuse of Revenue Generated by MDAs; the motion to investigate the Local Content and Cost Variation Elements of the $16 Billion Total Egina Deep offshore Oil Project and the motion to Investigate the near Bankruptcy of Etisalat leading to renege on Multi-Billion dollar loans. These three motions were passed into resolutions with two Senate Ad Hoc Committees headed by Adeola currently investigating revenue generating agencies and the Egina project with many startling discoveries in the Interim Reports while the Senate Committee on Banking and Finance is investigating the Etisalat near bankruptcy.
Senator Yayi with his beautiful wife Temitope
No doubt Adeola from his record in the senate as recorded above in addition to his often incisive bipartisan contributions on the floor of the Senate that is relayed of television placed him far away from the so called benchwarmer legislators. It is however, in the area of empowerment that Adeola has touched the lives of many constituents in mostly provision of income generating equipment for them in the largest senatorial district in Nigeria. Details of such are perforce not for this write-up but suffice to say they include such equipment as sewing, block molding, welding, vulcanizing and grinding machines, vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles among others. Other areas he touched the lives of constituents include provision of 10, 500KVA transformers to 10 LGAs, Educational Empowerment like scholarships for tertiary education, payment of JAMB fees and skill and entrepreneurship training among others.
It was therefore not surprising that when Adeola recently return to his primary constituents to inform them of his intention to seek a second term as senator, it has been endorsement galore for this Under 50 senator. It started with 185 ward chairmen of his party, APC in Lagos West followed by 28 LGAs/LCDAs chairmen of APC from Lagos West, 28 Leaders of the 28 Legislative Councils of Lagos West, I86 elected Councilors as well as Alimosho Federal Constituency, the largest federal constituency in Nigeria. To crowned it all, over 350 Leaders of Lagos West at an event tagged “The Journey So Far as Lagos West Senator” endorsed Adeola for Second Term. The leader of the senatorial district Alhaji Rabiu Oluwa was assisted by such other prominent leaders as Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson, the APC Southwest Woman Leader, Chief Henry Ajomale, immediate past Lagos State APC Chairman, Cardinal James Odunbaku, former vice chairman, APC, Lagos State, Senator Ganiyu Solomon(GOS), Chief Sunny Ajose, Lagos State APC Deputy Chairman, Chief Funsho Ologunde, Lagos West Senatorial Chairman and Dr.Wale Ahmed, APC State Secretary in the endorsement by leaders. Mrs. Nelson pointed stated for the leaders that Adeola has done well for the women of Lagos State as he was instrumental to her many achievements as the party’s Woman leader for 15 years!
For the young man born some 49 years ago without a silver spoon or indeed any spoon, not many would have imagine the man Adeola making it this far in the affairs of our nation as a Legislator par excellence having transverse all levels of legislative hierarchy in Nigeria. But he did and is poised to still render service to the people and nation. He has made a name for himself as a noted grassroots politician that delivers at all times in public office without blemish.
Yayi with prominent sons and daughters of Ogun West
His meteoric rise as a technocrat politician winning four elections at state and federal levels consecutively apparently marked him out as a peoples’ politician. In our peculiar political terrain, the electorates are not that patient to continuously re-elect an indolent non performing politician. But mostly for reasons of delivery on his numerous mandates, the people he represents earnestly want him to serve in higher capacities. His sobriquet ‘Yayi’, an abbreviation of the Yoruba name Omoyayi’ meaning a “Distinguished Son” indeed fits perfectly for his current elected position as a “Distinguished Senator” of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Born on August 10, 1969 at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital, Lagos State to family of Mr. Ayinde Adeola Ogunleye and Madam Abeeni Olasunbo Ogunleye (nee Akinola), Yayi began his education at the State Primary School, Alimosho in Lagos State. On the successful completion of his primary education, he proceeded to Community Grammar School, Akowonjo, Lagos for his secondary education. His quest for educational advancement in life took him to the prestigious Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo state where he bagged the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accounting. Adeola became a Chartered Accountant at a relatively young age. He is a distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN), a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation as well as a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
Adeola working experience in both private and public sector finance started in “The Guardian Newspapers Limited”, where he put in almost 12 years of meritorious accounting service and rose to the position of Accountant. He resigned from “The Guardian” and proceeded to Olatunji Omoyeni &Co where he led the audit team for several years and was later promoted to the position of a Senior Auditor. Adeola later established his own company, Sootem Nigeria Limited, where he was the managing director and chief executive officer until his foray to serve the public through partisan politics.
Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, Senator Remi Tinubu and Senator Gbenga Ashafa
Politically he pitched his tent with the progressive arm of Nigerian politics. He won the primary of the then Alliance for Democracy, AD and was elected as a member to represent Alimosho State Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly from 2003 to 2007 and again from 2007 to 2011. At the Lagos Assembly he was appointed the Chairman of Finance Committee and Joint Chairman of Appropriation Committee, where he was instrumental to the enactment of the law that strengthened the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service. The legislative reforms laid the foundation that catapulted the revenue of the state from a paltry N5billion monthly to about N30billion presently! He was also part of the legislative team that passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act of Lagos State, two laws that saw Lagos State qualifying to access developmental funds from international financial bodies like World Bank.
And in all his years as a legislator, Adeola set the standard for effective representation that saw his repeated re-elections. He is noted for his numerous personal and constituency projects. The people of Alimosho and indeed now Lagos West can never forget his developmental initiatives in the area of provision of water through boreholes, provision of electric transformers, regular free medical programmes and rehabilitation of roads. Other areas of life changing programmes that are the hallmark of Yayi’s representation include educational empowerment and support in the form of building classrooms with ancillary facilities, annual purchase of GCE forms and tutorials for indigent students as well as ICT training at NIIT for hundreds of youths in his constituency.
As a member of the House of Representatives, he was selected as the chairman of the only constitutional committee of the House, the Public Accounts Committee. It was a feat that he got this important post usually reserved for ranking members as a first time member of the House.In fulfillment of his core function as a legislator, Adeola sponsored and successfully pushed through to passage a bill that repealed the colonial Audit Act of 1956 and Re-Enact the Audit Act of 2014 on May 22, 2015. The new law seeks to establish the Federal Audit Service Commission as well as grant autonomy to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
At the end of two years of 8th Senate, Senator Adeola according to Daily Trust Investigation had the highest number of bills of 15 among members with the exclusion of former Leader, Senator Ali Ndume and present Senate leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan. Two of his bills were among the 21 Constitutional Amendment Bills passed recently.
Adeola, a Christian, is a believer in religious freedom for both Christians and adherents of Islamic faith. The great philanthropist is happily married to Mrs. Temitope Adeola and the union is blessed with children.
At 49 years of age, fourteen served as a legislator at state and Federal level and still counting, Adeola is setting a worthy record of an experienced legislator par excellence and look set for more service to the people and nation considering his relatively young age, professional standing and cognate experience.
Kayode Odunaro is the Special Adviser to Senator Adeola