My Pact with Tinubu, Aregbesola and Fashola – Honorable Benjamin Adeyemi Olabinjo

BAO with BAT (Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu)

In this concluding part of our
encounter with Honorable Benjamin Adeyemi Olabinjo, the Chairman of Ojokoro
LCDA who was recently honored with a recognition award by City People Media
Groups during her maiden edition of the City
People Awards for Political Excellence
, the man famously called ATM told us
the reason why he is very close to the national leader of his party, APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the state
governor, Barrister Babatunde Raji
and the Governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. He equally narrated how he was able to turn
around the fortune of Ojokoro LCDA within a very short while and how his
efforts as the chairman has drawn several attention culminating in awards
recognitions to him. It is a very interesting chat with asabeafrika and City People.
Enjoy the excerpts.

BAO with Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State
My Pact with Tinubu, Aregbesola and
why Olabinjo is very close to the likes of Tinubu, Fashola and Aregbesola, the
man called ATM argued that it is his work that brought him closer to the trio
and nothing else than his hard wark, hear him 
“If you perform very well, you will be tagged one. People believe that
you can just be a favorite son of Asiwaju. You can’t be a favorite son
of Asiwaju
without you performing, without you doing what is expected of you as
the leader of the community” Another allegation is that Olabinjo’s projects are
done with such rapidity that many feels that his LCDA is favored above other. Although
he didn’t deny but he buttress the fact by saying this “Well, I can agree with
you on that ground and I will tell you why I am saying this; the governor
himself said it openly, the day we commissioned Olaniyi Street, he said
since he has started commissioning roads and projects across the state he was
surprised that Olabinjo instead for me to offer him a gift for the road that
he constructed in my Local Development Area, what I did was to hand over to him
a parcel asking for the delivery of another gigantic project. So, people were
very amazed but the Governor said that is the kind of person that he wants; a
worker, a thinker. Because I have never been to his office to ask for any thing
that will benefit me directly, either to say ‘Your Excellency sir, tomorrow is
my birthday or my daughter is marrying tomorrow’. I have never, rather than do
that, I will demand for what will be beneficial to my people in the Local
Government Area I have been voted to run. And that is why you will see that
even the governor, I must tell you the truth, he has done a lot in my local
government in terms of infrastructure. He has done a lot, so, then for our Oga
Pata-pata, Asiwaju, if you are not ready to work, you are not going to be
his favorite. You can see the foundation he laid as the Governor of this state
that is the reason why Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola can be able
to work. Had it been that Asiwaju did not do anything like
other PDP governors then, I am telling you, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola
would be a beginner. So, for him to achieve what he has achieved today, it
would have been very, very rough. But Asiwaju has been working, working,
working and fortunately for him, he got a person that would continue with the
good job he has been doing. So that is Asiwaju for you; if you are not
ready to work, he will just show you the way out of his environment”.

BAO with BRF (Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola)
Why Governor Fashola can’t forget BAO
went ahead to narrate the story of how he surprised his Governor when the later
came to commission a project in his domain “The project is actually a
Governor’s project, but when he was commissioning that place I gave him a
parcel and when he opened it, it turned out to be the one where I did the BOQ (Bill of Quantity) of Temple
down to Oladeinde which is Shina
Peters Road
. From power line here, that is Jankara Road down to Fagba.
You will see that is the longest road in our Local Government Area because that
is the road that divides Ojokoro into two, that is the middle of Ojokoro. I
looked at it that he is my Oga and he is ready to work, and he used to tell us
that the reward of hard work is to work harder. So, I just look at it and I
said ‘if you can do this for us’ because Olaniyi, if you know how
was then, you will credit him for what he has done for us in
this local government. So, when I saw that ‘Oh, Oga can do this for me in this
local government? I said ‘Okay, let me try him for this Temple Road and Power
line Road
. So, that was the parcel I handed over to him at the Olaniyi
event. All the quotation, everything, the amount that is going to finish it, it
is over Three point something billion naira. I did the BOQ and
I handed it over to him. So, when he opened it, he laughed and said “People can
you see Olabinjo, this is what I have just done in his Local Government Area
but instead for him to put lace or anything inside the parcel to appreciate me,
he is giving me additional job to do for him’. You know, that is the way we
work in our team, as far as our party is concerned, if you really believe in Asiwaju,
we are a working and a winning team. If Governor is going on the right, we
follow him to the right, if he says we are going on the left we make sure that
whatever we are doing on the right side we complete it so that people can have
something good to say about our party”.
How I turned Ojokoro LCDA around
grass root mobilizer reeled out some of the projects he has done in as the
Chief Executive Officer of Ojokoro LCDA and why people are talking about them
“So far as this local government is concerned I can mention to you many projects
me and my team have completed since we came on board. So far so good, I have
given out more than forty transformers. In terms of education I have renovated
about four schools that have been tumbled down before my team came on board but
if you go there now, you will see them in good condition. I have equally given
over three thousand pupils the opportunity to do their GCE at no cost. That is
for education; on health, right now as I am talking to you I have a Primary
Health Center that is under construction and there was a time we purchased ten
million naira worth of medical equipments for our health delivery system.
Before now, because we are all constrained financially right now, before, I
used to give out three million naira quarterly for free drugs to the people in
my local government area. We have done several empowerment schemes; during our
empowerment  programs, we give fridges,
freezers, pepper grinding machines, NAPEP motorcycles, Hairdressing Machines,
Clippers to barbers and so many things that can aide small scale
entrepreneurship and stop crime and poverty among our people. We even give some
people cash support to enable them to start a business of their own; we did
that in conjunction with a micro-finance bank then. At a time I put in ten
million naira for the people at the grass root to enable them finance several
projects and small scale businesses that if you are selling minimum of hundred
thousand or two hundred thousand naira worth of goods, they will still borrow
you money to pay back, we did that in conjunction with Union Bank, I gave ten
million naira to the farmers (Agro Farms) so, if you are a farmer, at least you
can borrow money and start your small scale farming and generate employment for
many others. Roads, I have done at least I can mention seven roads that have
been completed. Not a road of hundred meters or two hundred meters o, I can
mention a road that is up to one thousand meters that I did in this local government
area.  Then for security, we give it our
all, I have purchased some vehicles for our police to enable them do their job
well, we purchased three brand new vehicles for the police at a time, we equipped
them, we use to give them the necessary equipments as at when due, even most of
their vehicles we refurbishes it for them. So, there are lots of things we have
done but right now I can only tell you the few I can remember.  

BAO and team with City People publisher, Dr. Seye Kehinde
Why we bought our own tractors for
Road Construction
own LCDA among the over 15 LCDAs in Lagos is the only one that bought tractors
for the upgrading of roads instead of leasing tractors, Olabinjo gave us the
reason why he took the initiative “The reason why I took that decision was
because we have so many roads in this Local Government Area; either I or the
state Government, no magic can be done. We can not complete the work in
Ojokoro. I can mention to you a number of the roads that has been constructed
by the state government and the ones that has been constructed by us within five
years. Despite that we still have a lot of roads, there is no way you can touch
it but I just deem it fit that instead of we wasting money and I know that in
another five years because of the effect of economic of scale, there is nothing
that can be done there. If we cannot put drainage or put asphalt on it, at
least if we can be grading them, putting asphalt, roll it and make it
motor-able for our people, that one will be better, that is the reason I deem
it fit to buy two grader machines, I have one before that was refurbished. I
bought another two, making three. I bought two rollers and I have Excavator; so
where we need to put earth drain we put it, if you do grading and there is
erosion on the road, it is not a good job. So, at least with back-up we still
excavate it to enable the little water that will be on the road to move for
easy erosion, so that is the reason we purchased our own equipments and with
this grader that we are talking about, I can tell you that we have graded over one
thousand streets in Ojokoro”.

His numerous Awards from local & International bodies
Me and Awards
we asked Olabinjo to explain the reason for the many plaques in his office
which shows commendations from both local and international bodies, he first
replied by saying “I appreciate you for that question you just raised”. He
spoke ahead “One, because I have nothing to hide from the media whenever media
executives come to ask me any question, I will answer them. If you want me to
even grant you a phone interview I will do it without hesitation. By doing so,
the information of our work here in Ojokoro spread across through both
print and electronic media platforms including the internet  and that gingered the interest of people to
come searching for us, these organizations and bodies come down to ask me
questions. Then if they start asking questions I will now say ‘well, it is not
possible for you to just ask question from me, go out and see what I have done
and equally ask from people how I got there. To my surprise many of them will
just write a letter to me that they want to give me an award; even there was a
particular award I was given as the Most Sport Friendly local Government Area
in Lagos and a trophy was presented to me. The trophy was presented to me by His
Babatunde Raji Fashola at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Suru-Lere,
Lagos, I was the third person presented with that trophy that very day. It was
an overwhelming occasion, the lesson of that is that if you are doing something
and you think people are not observing you then you are quite wrong because
they are quietly watching  what you are
doing, so that was how I got all these awards. Of recent I got an Honorary
Causa Doctorate degree
in political Science and International Relations
at Cotonou,
the Republic of Benin. It was another very rare commendation that tasked my
imagination because I am someone who just likes to do my thing, make people
happy and go to bed peacefully”.

Why my Staffer are well dressed
moving round the LCDA which is situated inside a large compound shared with a
customary court in Ijaiye area of Ojokoro, you discover that most of Olabinjo’s
staffers are dressed neat as if they work in a bank. We wanted to know how he
achieved that standard and this is what he told us “It is simply because the
welfare of my staff is my number one priority; there was a staff, a senior
staff and a professional who was transferred from another local government area
to my local government, getting here I pointed to her that she has eczema, I
said ‘Madam, why do you have all these eczema on your face? And even the way
you dress is not normal as far as I am concerned’. She was shocked but to my
surprise after two months, she changed all her system. I am that type of person
that will challenge you to your face; if you dress and you don’t dress properly
I will tell you that the way you dress is not proper. Then if I challenge you
and I discover that it is assistance you need to upgrade your wardrobe, I will
do it for you in the little way I can and let me tell you one thing life has
thought me, if you let the welfare of your staff be your priority, they will
work and serve you with the best of energy”.

Why I named buildings in the LCDA
after Asiwaju, Aregbesola & Fashola
three major structures housing the administrative block, judicial block and the
legislative block in the LCDA are named after three prominent APC figures
namely; National Leader Asiwaju Tinubu, Osun Governor Rauf Aregbesola and
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos. Olabinjo must have a reason for being
the only one among his colleagues to achieve this feat, “I can tell you that if
you hear that APC is controlling the entire federation now, those are the tree
musketeers that are behind the change. And I have done this even before APC was
founded, in my own dream, I looked at Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola because I
named that building after him when I was just two years in the office and that
was during his own first term also, I looked at him as a person that will lead
the party to a prominent position where people will embrace the ideology of the
party. I looked at Governor Aregbesola as a game changer, a perception maker
who can make people say ‘o, kudos to Asiwaju, at least he has moved this party
to the next level’. Both Governor Fashola and Governor Aregbesola are working
with Asiwaju. When Governor Aregbesola was Commissioner for Works in Lagos,
Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola was the Chief of Staff, if you look at the
combination you see that the two of them are working together with Asiwaju and
that is the reason Asiwaju can get to the position he is today and I believe
that other people coming behind, we have to honor them one way or the other.
That is why the one (building) in the middle, I showed to people that this is
the most powerful man in the middle, that is Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,
his right man on the right hand side that is Governor Aregbesola and
the left man on the left hand side, that is Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola
and I believe with the three of them as far as this country is concerned as
regards creative leadership, the sky is the limit”.

BAO and wife, Omolabake and Big Sister,
Chief (Mrs) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele

Young Ladies still disturb me
getting to know about his fashion sense, Honorable Labinjo caused the team to
laugh when he told us the story behind his dressing elaborate to events “As a
politician and at my age now, if I am still dressing like a hommies (laughter) that means I am
trying to oppress young ladies. On a lighter mood I want to tell you that young
ladies run after me but I look at them and feel sorry for them; I say they
don’t know what they are doing because I am their father. I look at the rush
and I feel very uncomfortable in most cases. For instance there was a party I
attended with my wife and maybe the lady didn’t know she is my wife. I said
give me food and when the food came, I said let me have something to clean my
hand or you want to feed me? And without any restrain the lady said ‘Ah, Oga if
you allow me to feed you, I will feed you o’ and I screamed “what do you mean?”
and this was a girl that if you peruse her age she is nothing lesser than
twenty-two or twenty-four years. So, that is the reason I decided to change my
dressing sense, I said instead of me dressing like hommies (Young People) let me start dressing like a Baba  (old man)so that they can know that I am a
responsible family man. So, these ladies made me change my dressing sense”.

How a day starts for me
is not an easy thing, you know at times you will like to go right but you will
meet yourself at the left side. A lot of things do happen but God helps one to
handle it. The day starts with thinking and doing something for the people. I
am a grass root man and I believe that community service is a twenty four
hours, seven days and twelve months round-the-clock schedule. You must be on
top of all matters within your sphere of influence”.
PDP is Sinking
the interview, Olabinjo spoke on the recent registration exercise embarked upon
by the ruling APC Party; he says the action is the barometer that will measure
the success of his party in the coming election, “As far as I am concerned it
is the best political strategy for us at least that will enable Nigerians to
know the kind of followership our party APC enjoys. It is not just a political
strategy that works; it is also a strength driving process that is very good
for our democracy. With the number of the people in my local government and
with what we have on ground, believe you me with the kind of crowd that is
trooping out for registration, I don’t think we can register all of them.
Before you guys came in, I was telling some of my guests that we might need to
extend the date because the numbers of days are just too small”.  The Ojokoro LCDA boss frowned at a recent
kidnap of APC registration agents in Ebonyi state “For those kidnapping in
Ebonyi state or wherever, it is a sign of distress on their part. They just
want to sabotage our efforts and it simply shows APC is making a point. They
have seen what we have on ground and they had to introduce a Madaru strategy to truncate our efforts.
All these things you are seeing are from the presidency.  People are tired and everybody needs change
and the government in power is in a position of amnesia”

Men of God should seek change
Local Government boss expressed his greatest regret with religious leaders in
Nigeria as he closed the chat“I watched a program this morning and a guests was
brought to the program on
Silver Bird TV and the man said the
people in the helms of religious affairs are the people that are giving us
problem and I said why?. They asked him why? And he said why can’t a
mount the pulpit and say “We want change”, at least these
people have ruled for many years and you can not point to anything tangible
they have done. Because these men of God are the ones controlling the heart of
millions of Nigerians and whatever direction they tell them to follow they will
go. Go to
Redeem Camp and see the legion of people, if a Pastor
can just mount the podium and say we need change, you will see
the reaction of people. If we change the system we are using right now you will
be surprised what Nigeria will look like in few years time; between 1999 and
2014 see what we have turn the city of Lagos to, is it not a testimony? If you
look at the number of the years we used to do just that, I believe Nigeria can
be turned into that as well within 8 years. And my prayer is that this nation
is going to be better than the way it is now in my life time by the grace of
God and I expect you to also do that prayer for yourself (Referring City People
publisher, Dr. Seye Kehinde). If you want it in your own time, I am over 50,
moving to 60, I am sure you are also in your late forties or thereabout and you
want change, because I want it to happen in my own life time and that is the
important reason we must seek change. That is the reason why it is important
for us to register as APC members and go out to vote when it is time to vote”.