By Musbau Rasak
The last General Elections in Nigeria were further confirmation of who the man Honourable Idowu Osuolale Obasa is: a committed progressive, a humanist per excellence and a man of the people. A man capable of changing a political narrative within seconds.
This writer was passing through Abiodun Sobajo Street in the heart of Agidingbi, in Ikeja local government in March this year. It was few days to the Governorship and State Assembly Elections. He saw an old friend living on the street and the discussion centred on the coming Gubernatorial and state Assembly Elections in the area.
The friend told yours truly that the signs are not good for the candidate of the Progressives party, the area with huge youth population have vowed to throw away their votes to the opposing candidate.
This writer called Honourable Obasa, narrated his findings to him and within hours, he swung into action. He invited the youths into a meeting. Of course, they ran to meet him, Obasa had lived on that street and has lived up to his title of Baba Awon Omo Keekeke (Father of the Youths). He lived among them, always interacted with them, watched football matches with them and was always ready to hearken to their calls when they need him. So when Obasa called, the youths answered and the narrative changed. The rest is history.
Obasa’s intervention in various parts of Lagos in the last elections changed narrative positively for the ruling party, and this writer can confirmed that the man spent his personal money, to make this happened. For a man, who has quit politics, his desire is always good governance, hence he will always support the party and candidates that he believes can and will provide the good governance he craves for.
For the victories of the APC, President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Idowu Osuolale Obasa was one of the unsung heroes, who silently spent their time, energy and huge resources in ensuring that the party and its candidates triumph, not for any gain but simply for their belief in the party and the candidates to provide good governance.
He’s the man with the midas touch, by the grace of God, everything he touches turn to gold. A suave, intelligent, bold, hardworking economist. He’s an accountant by training but an entrepreneur by calling and his interests in various fields of human endeavours have grown in leaps and bounds.
While the story of how inspired the rapid growth of Winners Golden Bet and Golden Chance Lotto into profit-generating companies, we must not fail to mention the growth of Bradford Properties in Nigeria and of course the hospitality business which has given rise to Bradford Hotels and House Eleven Hotels among others.
Osuolale is jack of all trades and mater of all. The story of how he reinvigorated and reenergised the Ilorin-based Bio Medical Pharmaceutical Company from a company almost running into comatose to one which is now arguably one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria is an investor’s delight.
The company was established as the first indigenous company to produce intravenous fluids in the country.
By the time the company was bought over by Obasa in 2015, it was swimming in debt due to its monolithic customer structure: its major customers was the government and its ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
By the time the Obasa team came on board in 2015, the company has virtually been brought to its knees as a result of huge debt owed by government and its MDAs.
The man with midas touch came in, changed the orientation and today the company has changed positively and has now become the first pharmaceutical company in Nigeria to produce CAPD locally, meaning there is a local product that can be used to do dialysis for patients with kidney problems in Nigeria.
Before quitting politics, Obasa had already made his marks. He was the pioneer Chairman of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA). Despite the cash crunch created by wicked Obasanjo led Federal Government through seizing local governments’ allocation, Obasa laid a solid foundation for subsequent administration after him. He pioneered the free bus for students among the council Chairmen then, put in place solid health improvement service delivery programme through rehabilitation, modernisation and equipping public health centers in the council and his staff welfare was second to none.
It should be noted that most of the council officials who worked with Obasa when he was Onigbongbo LCDA Chairman are still involved fully with him up till today: councillors, supervisors and even retired civil servants, they still meet regularly with him and interact freely with him.
Yes, he has quit politics but his interest cannot just be wished away in Ikeja Federal Constituency. He’s no more a politician but his political influence is intimidating!
Perhaps it’s in the area of human capital development that Honourable Obasa has most excelled.
Most of his former staff when he was the General Manager of the Independent Communications Network Limited (ICNL), publishers of the News and Tempo magazines and PM News have good things to say about him.
While many of them are employed in his various companies, he has assisted many others with not only capacity building programmes but also supporting them with the tools of their trades and cash.
With Obasa, you can eat your cake and still have it – he will give you money and still teach you how to make money and is always ready to be there to assist when you run into business turbulence.
It’s the reason we call him Baba Awon Omo Keekeke, apology to Chief Bisi, former Governor of Osun State and ex-Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
As he celebrates his birthday today, Wednesday, 10 May, 2023, we wish Honourable (Comrade) Idowu Osuolale Obasa, a fulfilled birthday and we pray that Almighty God continues to strengthen him.