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Birthday Tribute To An Exemplary Legislator

By Adebayo Iretiola from Ifo, Ogun State
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Like a colossus in the jungle of life, Honourable Adijat Motunrayo Adeleye-Oladapo bestrides the socio-economic political milieu of Ogun State with elegance, dignity and style, as her life has been a testimony of dignity in unrelenting strife for better life rising from grass to grace.

She might not be the darling of all, but Hon. Adeleye-Oladapo, a two-term Honourable member of Ogun State House of Assembly, has carved a niche for herself in the over 30 years history of the legislative history of the Gateway State in Nigeria. Her personality excites as much awe as fear from the people, especially the political class.

Adijat means different things to different people, to some, she is a patriotic politician, while others see her as a "troublesome lawmaker" who loves challenging the powers that be as a result of her passion and desire to see that her people are not deprived of their right at any time. She has proven over the years that she cannot be intimidated nor coaxed while her hallmark remains her ability to stand by the truth at all-times despite all odds.

Meanwhile, her courage, resilience and tenacity of purpose in the pursuit of her political goals have, no doubt, stood her out as one of the female politicians and highly respected leader, not minding her young age. Little wonder, keen observers of her membership in the State Legislature and politics generally can attest to her contributions to unity and development of the State which has assisted her to place her footprints in the sands of time everywhere across the State.

As one of the youngest Lawmakers in the Seventh Legislature, she proved to be a good legislator by the value and quality representation she gave the good people of Ifo II State Constituency for eight years, hence, she has since been remembered as one of the most vibrant, vocal, courageous and ebullient honourables Ogun State ever had, especially with the numerous programmes and projects she attracted to her constituency.

As Hon. Adijat, a woman whose fame continues to glow turns 40, one is quick to reflect on her journey so far, many political warriors had on several occasions described her as a magnet that moves both friends and foes into her ever alluring domain.

Born on the 7th day of June 1976 to the humble and disciplined family of Pa Micheal Mufutau Adeleye and Madam Mary Adeleye both of Ogun State origin, little Adeleye-Oladapo started her early education at Methodist Primary School, Tabon -Tabon ,Agege in Lagos State, after which she proceeded to Lagos Baptist Secondary School, Orile Agege for her secondary education but completed it at Iju Grammar School, Iju Station.

It is worthy of note that as a result of her humble background, Hon. Adijat started fending for herself and her siblings at a very tender age, this affected the pace of her education but despite her very humble upbringing, she was determined to acquire more formal education. In 1998, she obtained a Diploma in Yoruba Linguistics from the prestigious University of Lagos where she often trekked about three kilometres to and fro Akoka.

Adijat, perhaps had an omen that she has greater days ahead of her. So, she was focus on acquiring more knowledge, this unrelenting in her resolve to attain more academic pursuit, thereby studing Accounting at the Institute of Chartered Management Accountancy. Today, she is an Associate member of that Institute. With her quest for additional qualifications, Adijat has in view, a Post Graduate Diploma from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State.

Hon Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo's advent into politics was accidental as she started from the lowest party level---the zone. She started active politics by registering with the UNCP. She later moved to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) where she was at a point women leader of her Ward. She later joined the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003. In 2004, she was appointed Consultant to the Chairman of Ifo Local Government on Community Development Matters.

She resigned in 2006 to contest for the primary election into the Ogun State House of Assembly and won. She further won the general election to represent the good people of Ifo II State Constituency in the Ogun State House of Assembly under the platform of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP). Due to the strong niche she has carved for herself within the first four years, she re-contested in 2011 under the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and won; thus becoming a two term member of the State Assembly.

Also, history would never let if off that she was the only female member of the famous G15 in the 6th Assembly that stood for credible governance cum accountability in the face of daunting challenges. These never weaken her morale in the delivery of democratic dividends to those that brought her to office. Among her constituency projects are the two Free ICT Centres in Mubarak and Lambe areas respectively which she built, equipped and solely funds from her salaries and allowances. Presently over 1,000 persons including youths and adults have benefited from the program. Her love for even grassroot development made her collaborated with the Community Development Councils in her constituency by supporting her constituents with N500,000 each to embark on meaningful projects of their choice.

Adijat who believes in the great words of Chancellor Linda Katehi that "when it comes to being an architect of Change, I don't know of any more effective blueprint than education", rose up to the plight of Otemuyi people when she built a block of three classrooms with toilet after the building collapsed five times. Even as a State lawmaker, she facilitated some Federal Government projects to her constituency in fulfillment of her pledge to make a lot of difference, to mention in few, the Solar Powered streetlight at Akute Market, Solar Powered Street light at Ajuwon Market and Solar Powered Bore Hole at Kajola Village among others.

Adijat has, because of her contributions, received a confetti of honours and a plethora of awards from government and international organizations, ranging from Distinguished Merit Award by NLC, Ogun State Council; Community Service Award by Rotary Club of Oke-Ona Egba; Most Influential Female by Egba Youth Award; Special Award in Appreciation of Contributions in Developing Leaders of Tomorrow Through Free ICT Training by Akute CDC; Award of Excellence by National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS JCC OGUN AXIS); The Young Achievers Award; Media Friendly Award by NUJ, Ogun State Council; Special Recognition Award for Remarkable Contributions to Politics in Ogun State by City People Magazine; The Pillar of Truth award by FIBAN, Ogun State Chapter among several. Her status as the women of all seasons has earned her several chieftaincy titles like the Asiwaju Obinrin of Agbado Land, the Yeye Oge of Igede-Ekiti Land and the Okanlomo of Akute Land among others.

Adeleye-Oladapo who contested but lost in the 2015 general elections for the Federal House of Representative, Ifo/Ewekoro Federal Constituency seat has not abandoned her charitable and philanthropist way of life, the statesmanlike spirit to serve her people still lives in her. She has just been appointed a Senior Legislative Aide to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rt Hon. Yusuff Lasun.

But significantly, her contributions to the socio-economic development of Ifo land have continued to ginger the spirit of the people to embrace and recognize her selfless leadership and philanthropy. One cannot imagine the widespread accolades and goodwill that put Adijat many miles ahead of her peers.

Ogun State and perhaps Nigeria need a selfless and committed politician like this enigma, Hon. Adeleye-Oladapo who turns 40 especially at this critical period for the development of the nation’s socio-political cum economic sphere.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Adebayo Iretiola from Ifo, Ogun State and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."