Hon. Yakub Abiodun Balogun, a legendary legislator
One thing you cannot take away from Bola Ahmed Tinubu is his ability to identify and assemble good heads in political leadership. And one of such his assemblages is Honourable Yakub Abiodun Balogun, a member of the Federal House of Representatives. Honourable Balogun, an All Progressives Member representing Lagos Island Federal Constituency (11) is one of the most popular and most admired Honourable Members.
His commitment to the promotion of common good is magical. He is charitable and humane. He rides with his driver in the front seat and picks National Assembly workers at the gate on his way to work every day with excitements. And when he is going home after closure, the lucky ones he lifts are usually given at least N1, 000 each for onward transportation to their various destinations when he drops them at the secretariat.
In fact goodness radiates around him. When you enter his office you feel an aura of peace and excitements even amongst his staff quite unlike the hostility and fear you experience in most of his colleagues’ offices. Indeed he is a gift to his constituents, the Lagos Island people. His rare show of hospitality prompted me to make search on him and l was overwhelmed but not surprised with what I learnt more of him.
He pays some old people allowances monthly, gives lavishly to the down trodden in forms of scholarships and empowerments as well as skill acquisition trainings. He arranges and pays holiday coaching classes for the secondary school students within his constituency. He also teaches them himself and picks them up in one of the four school buses he donated to the schools.
One of his staff who confided in me noted that the students have been exceedingly motivated by his involvements in teaching them and driving them personally in the bus. This is legendary. There is no other way to teach children humility and responsible leadership than this kind of showing by this legislator.
Honourable Balogun is just one man you will always pray to meet again after a first contact because of his unrivalled friendly dispositions. He is also very vibrant in the house. He makes quality contributions during debates at the plenary and has also sponsored many motions and bills since the 7th Assembly when he joined the House of Reps.
He had worked in the Lagos State’s civil service where he retired as the Head of Service without blemish. He was adjudged the most outstanding Head of Service because of the reforms he brought to bear during his tenure. He won several awards and was earnestly celebrated by his colleagues and staff.
At the beginning of this piece, l made reference to the ability of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the undisputable APC National leader in identifying leaders because of what l have observed amongst most of the South West legislators who acknowledge him as their mentor. They are not just people who are knowledgeable, they are accessible and they are admirable.
Another of such characters is Honourable Fijabi Saheed representing Ibadan South west/ Ibadan North West Federal Constituency. A promising politician, young and inspiring, his office is a mecca of some sort. Very friendly and charitable Honourable Saheed is a crowd puller in the National Assembly. His office being next to ours l never knew him until one evening l decided to find out why my fellow aides from South West especially, always flood his office after closing.
As I entered the office and saw everybody standing at the reception, l jokingly said, l came to find out what attracts traffic to this office every evening and a youthful person in the midst of them said oga there is nothing special oh and that person happened to be the man am talking about. His simplicity is without duplicate, even as the chairman of one of the prime standing committees of the House, Communication, he is down to earth.
I pray that God gives every region a person in the likeness of Tinubu so that the entire political space can be filled with more good heads and people centred leadership we have long desired.