By Kayode Odunaro
He must count as one of the politicians in Nigeria with a record of a linear progressive and consecutive rise on the political ladder of Nigerian political system.
Beginning his political career as a rookie state legislator representing the populous Alimosho State Constituency 2 in May 2003, the Fellow of ICAN must have clearly delivered on his mandate for him to be easily re-elected for a second term in the Lagos State House of Assembly that ended in 2011. Till date he prides himself as one of the professionals in the government of Lagos State that laid the legislative foundation for a robust internal revenue generation that undoubtedly makes Lagos State No. 1 in IGR as well as the most modernizing state of the federation.
Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola popularly call ‘Yayi’, a sobriquet coined from the Yoruba name of ‘Omoyayi’ translating literally to “Distinguished Son”, was just beginning his meteoric rise as the people of Alimosho Federal Constituency, the largest of such constituency in Nigeria, gave him a mandate to represent them in the House of Representatives in 2011. Against all odds, Adeola was made the chairman of the all-important House Committee on Public Accounts, a position not usually given to first time member of the federal legislative body.
His professional background and legislative experience as chairman of Lagos State House of Assembly Finance Committee and joint Chairman of Appropriation Committee possibly explains the confidence of the then Hon. Aminu Tambuwal led Seventh House of Representatives to give him the task of a committee overseeing over 600 MDAs of the Federal Government.
His performance in the 4 years he held sway exposed a lot of rot in the accounting and auditing system of the Federal Government particularly in the misuse of the bogus “Service Wide Votes” in successive budgets.
Through his committee work many agencies were compelled to return money ‘padded’ into the Service wide Votes which was discovered to mostly served as slush fund for some officials the government. He also ensured that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation is enabled to perform its constitutional role through adequate budgetary allocations as well as repealing of the colonial auditing laws that Nigeria operates through the repeal of the 1956 Colonial Audit Law. The repeal will lead to the establishment of a Federal Audit Service Commission.
With his record of performance in the last twelve years prior to 2015 as a legislator at both state and federal level, it was small wonder that All Progressive Congress, APC, and the people of Lagos West Senatorial District, the largest senatorial district in Nigeria in terms of population of over 12 million, saw in Senator Adeola, a fit and proper person to sit for them in the highest legislative body in Nigeria, the Senate.
That confidence was expressed through the 70,000 votes margin that the senator won his closest rival from PDP. And litigations from election tribunal to appeal court only judicially revalidated a popular mandate. Despite of the rancorous and fissiparous beginning of the 8th Senate, Senator Adeola is delivering on the mandate of the largest senatorial district that is bigger than most states of the federation in term of population.
One of his constituents, a police sergeant Amos Olaniyan, who was verbally suspended for 21 years for an offence he was exonerated from, was reinstated to his position with all entitlements and payment in arrears as well as retirement with all his rights and benefits. This was the result of a petition presented by Senator Adeola to the Senate that eventually led to a resolution of the Senate acted upon by the Police authorities.
But it is in the area of empowerment that he is probably second to none. Pursuant of his constituency outreach in his first year, Senator Adeola has distributed ten 500KVA transformers, 28 boreholes, five 18- Seater buses, 500 JAMB forms for indigent students, 56 tertiary institution scholarships at N50, 000 for 4 years, 300 grinding machines, 380 sewing machines, 500 lifejackets, 20 welding machines, 40 Vulcanizing machines and hundreds of hair dressing and barbing saloon equipment among others.
No doubt more constituents are set to benefit from similar distribution in the years ahead from a senator with antecedents is to give back to the people. As it is Senator Adeola can only rise further and higher in the political landscape of Nigeria. And considering his meritorious stint at the legislative arm of government at state and federal levels, not a few are urging him to try his hand in the executive arm of government. It is believed that such a venture will benefit his people with his unusual and unique wealth of experience in governance and finance.
Born on August 10, 1969 at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital to Mr. Ayinde Adeola Ogunleye and Madam Abeeni Olasunbo Ogunleye (nee Akinola), Senator Adeola had his early childhood at Alimosho where his parents brought him up to surmount many challenges of early life.
Yayi began his education at 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. He subsequently went to the Ondo State Polytechnic, Owo now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo state where he bagged the Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accounting.
A man with a mission to fulfill in life, Adeola became a Chartered Accountant at a relatively young age and subsequently a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation as well as the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).
His experience in both private and public sector finance started in “The Guardian Newspapers Limited”, where he put in almost 12 years of meritorious service and rose to the position of Accountant.
In a profession where experience in a professional firm is a proof of competence, Yayi 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. From the private firm, Adeola later established his own company, Sootem Nigeria Limited, where he was the managing director in the firm that specializes in tax consultancy until his foray to serve the public through partisan politics.
Following his decision to join active politics, Adeola pitched his tent with the progressive arm of Nigerian politics by joining the then Social Democratic Party, SDP and has consistently remained steadfast ever since in the progressive camp moving from Alliance for Democracy, AD, to Action Congress AC, to Action Congress Nigeria, ACN and now All Progressives Party, APC.
In all his years as a legislator, Adeola set the standard for effective representation that saw his repeated re-elections. The people of Alimosho 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/NECO forms and tutorials for indigent students as well as ICT training at NIIT for hundreds of youths in his constituency. These he is continuing in the Senate as narrated above. Adeola, a Christian, is a believer in religious freedom for both Christians and adherents of Islamic faith.
He is on record to have donated brand new buses to religious organisations of both faiths as well as sponsored several Christians and Muslims to Jerusalem and Mecca respectively on pilgrimage. The great philanthropist is happily married to Mrs. Temitope Adeola and the union is blessed with children.
At 47 years of age, 13 served as a legislator at state and federal level and still counting, Adeola is worthy of bright coloured garlands as his record for so long in government is untainted with any blemish or scandal that is almost second nature to those who have served for even half of the time he spent in public office.