What Manner of Man is Senator Yakubu Oseni?

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The reign of Senator Yakubu Oseni as representative of Kogi Central constituency is two years today. We have cause to genuinely celebrate him because nobody ever thought his representation would be as profitable as it later turned out to be owing to the barrage of criticisms and calculated character assassination that trailed his election.

Nominally, his stay at the Red Chamber clocks two years today including a whole legislative year (2020) which was snatched away from the lawmakers as a result of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted global activities.

Since the return of democratic governance in 1999, yours sincerely has ever been a keen and critical watcher of the pace, mode and quality of representation the people of Kogi Central Senatorial District have had to enjoy or endure.

From the banking sector and having had a stint at the then dying Kogi Internal Revenue Service which he professionally reformed and placed on the pedestal of robust revenue generation, Alhaji Yakubu Oseni (AYO, as he was fondly called by his admirers then) threw his hat in the ring to contest and represent the good people of Kogi Central in 2019.

His decision to represent the people of Kogi Central irked some pockets of people with vested interest and this immediately generated plethora of conspiracy theories that went viral in the run up to the election. But, what makes democracy unique and globally acceptable is the fact that it permits plurality of ideas, contestants and even platforms with which the people can express themselves on who to represent or govern them.

So, in the election that later produced Senator Yakubu Oseni whose two-year journey at the National Assembly we are celebrating today, the then unabashed AYO endured verbal bashing, yet remained firmly focused on his determination to provide unprecedented representation to his people if elected. Of course, his prayers and the wishes of the greater majority of the people was granted by God who Senator Oseni had always referred to as the ultimate giver of power.

If Senator Oseni should be likened to biblical character, it should be ‘David’ who though ill-equipped in weaponry, have had to combat the raging octopus-like and multidimensional Goliath in the defense of his people. As the proverbial tailless cow and Almighty God that was with David, God showed his omniscience in the victorious election of Senator Oseni, thereby wiping the tears of the people of Kogi Central who have long yearned for true representation at the Senate.

I have had cause to journey through Lokoja to Okene yesterday and my co-passengers forayed from one political discussions to another and finally settled on “Senator Oseni’s topic”. At the mention of Senator Oseni, the whole vehicle got frenziedly lightened. It was as if they were patiently waiting for the name to be mentioned before reeling out their respective benevolent testimonies about the lawmaker who seemed to have had direct positive impact on their lives.

A middle-aged man who simply identified himself as Adeku wanted all of us in the vehicle to show gratitude to the leadership of Senator Yakubu Oseni at the National Assembly. He vehemently argued that Kogi Central Senatorial District has never had it better than the present dispensation.

He said inter alia: “What made me love him is the fact that he will never give you fish, instead, he teaches you how to profitably go into fishing. This is the only illustration I can use to explain the benefits and mode of entrepreneurial and skill acquisition schemes Senator Oseni has introduced. Many young people and women across the five Local Government Areas of Kogi Central have been lifted above poverty line with Senator Oseni’s ingenious initiative.

Impacting life-changing skill in the people with its attendant positive multiplier effects will surely outlive the tenure of Senator Oseni.

The focus of Adeku is on human capital development initiative of Senator Oseni. Adeku equally tried to make comparative analysis of how youths were once empowered in earlier dispensations with cars, sponsorship of weddings of additional wives to loyalists, motorcycles and other gift items that are fleeting or ephemeral.

Amidst all these, Adeku was halted by comments of another passenger who rhetorically quizzed ”What manner of man is Senator Yakubu Oseni” This is a man that remained unperturbed in the face of fallacious allegations against him in the run up to the election that brought him as Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and yet, did not consider such in siting his infrastructural projects. No wonder he has continued to receive recommendations from stakeholders not only from Kogi State but across the federation.

“My household cannot wish him bad not when he generously gave us Ramadan foodstuff palliative,” another woman chipped in.

I was enjoying every bit of the discussion until the driver whom I had earlier informed that “Total Filling Station Okene” was my destination reminded me that my transport fare has exhausted its potency. I had to grudgingly alight at the peak of the discussion of “Senator Oseni’s topic” which had lasted about an hour.

In a pluralistic society like ours, the best avenue to gauge people’s opinion about leaders, government’s policy and its institutions are markets square, newsstands, football viewing centres, motor parks, beer parlours and other social or informal gatherings. You can be cocksure of getting true recommendations or reprimands from these locations as discussions are done in an informal and unstructured manner. Incidentally, assessment of Senator Oseni’s scorecards in the last two years happened on transit by people spatially picked by a driver as passengers.

However, I was engrossed with the enticing discussion such that the opportunity to inform my co-passengers that the achievements of Senator Yakubu Oseni in the last two years surpassed the template in which they have established eluded me.

I would have told them that Senator Yakubu Oseni has facilitated different Federal Government jobs for many young people in his constituency.

I would have informed them that the bill seeking establishment of Steel University Ajaokuta sponsored by Senator Oseni has weathered the rigorous hurdles of painstaking legislative scrutiny and only waiting for presidential assent.

I would have enlightened my co-passengers that aside the aforementioned bill, Senator Oseni has to his credit, ‘Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Agency Bill,’ “Solid Minerals Development Bank Bill,” Institute of Computer Forensic of Nigeria Bill and other motions bordering on the security and economy of Nigeria raised by Senator Oseni.

I would have taken them through more informed elucidation on the latent benefits and foresight of the lawmaker in engaging the youths of his constituency in digital and technological-based empowerment in order to keep up with the 21st century of youths that ought to be solution providers.

I would have asked them if they know the selfless political leader that facilitated the construction of Upogoro-Agassa road, drainage and bridges on the road that leads to Government Day Secondary School (GDSS) Anyava.

Since all of them seemed to be going into Okene main town, I would have beseeched them to visit Okene Local Government Ministry of Works at Otutu Ward to personally inspect ‘Type A’ Skill Acquisition Centre built by Senator Oseni for training on tailoring, carpentry, hair dressing, vulcanising and detergent making. This gesture is not limited to Okene Local Government Area, it cuts across other four LGAs, one of the reasons why the passenger sought to know the manner of man Senator Oseni is.

As a lover of education, Senator Oseni had in the last two years gone into building of blocks of classrooms, ultramodern ICT centre equipped with solar power generation facilities, provision of stationery and computer sets across his constituency.

As the people celebrate this rare gem today, we are more than convinced that the era of docile and ‘I concur’ representation of Kogi Central Senatorial District has given way for purposeful and result-oriented leadership. Yes, we craved for sincere leader to represent us at the National Assembly and we have one in Senator Yakubu Oseni who has kept his promises.

– Zacchaeus Ozovehe writes from Lokoja.

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