By Abiola Alaba Peters AAP
From the days of Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Olu Falae through to Adebayo Adefarati, Olusegun Mimiko, Rotimi Akeredolu and now to Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Ondo State has never being short of visionary leaders. Indeed the ‘Sunshine State’ has arrays of stars that have littered not just the Nigerian landscape but the world in general.
The 19th most populated state in the country, and the 25th-largest state by landmass is enormously blessed with human resources and this formed the core reasons for its growth over the years.
The return of democracy in 1999 blessed Ondo State with progressive leadership and this is evident in its government’s people-friendly policies. The Adebayo Adefarati administration came with so much promise in 1999 and though it had a short-lived lifespan of four years, it was able to fairly deliver on its mandate. The Olusegun Agagu government despite belonging to opposing political leanings could not be said to have deviated from the core mandate of service to the people. And from Olusegun Mimiko and now to the super excellent late Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, the political mantra of Ondo State has been ‘forward ever’.
From the giant strides recorded by the late Akeredolu’s government since 2017, Ondo State would be the better for it if the present government programs are allowed to continue. The leadership of the Sunshine State should not be allowed to slip into the hands of a greenhorn or someone without the requisite experience of governance.
It is thus expedient that for the ‘Aketi’ legacies to continue in every firmament of the State, a man who has been part of the system and knows the inner working of the government be allowed to consolidate on them.
The late Akeredolu with his monumental developmental projects that touched the lives of the average Ondo State citizen will unfortunately not be the State Chief Executive forever, but the consolation would be having someone who shares his governance ideals succeed him. It is on the aegis of this that Honorable Lucky Orimisan Aiyetidawa, the current Executive Governor of Ondo State, a loyal colleague to his boss, should naturally follow that line of succession.
From A Teacher To A Successful Businessman And Entrepreneur
The 59-year old entrepreneur is a blend of both worlds; the gen z and the Baby boomers. Born into the family of Mr and Mrs Titus Akande Aiyetidawa in Obe-Nla, Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State in early 1965, little Lucky has always had his eyes fixated on greatness.
Jack Welch had famously opined; “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others“.
The quoted can be likened to Lucky Aiyetidawa life trajectory as he has over the years prepared himself for leadership and the ability to effectively lead.
From his humble beginnings as a classroom teacher to his diversification to entrepreneurship and business, Hon. Aiyetidawa never stopped in his quest for growth. For he believes he has to be positively impacted on first before he impact others, he continued to pursue more honors.
The Alumnus of Lagos Business School with different educational stints in Adeniran Ogunsaya College of Education, Ijanikin, University of Ibadan, Pan Atlantic University, and University of Liverpool, United Kingdom surely believes we never stop learning and the day we stop learning, we are dead.
Before his foray into business in 1996, the young and enterprising Aiyedatiwa worked in different organizations and institutions like the Scoa Assembly Plant Plc. Apapa, Lagos where he was the Inventory/Store Officer from 1982 to 1983. He became the Assistant Head Teacher of Reliance International Schools, Ijokodo, Ibadan, from 1987 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, he was the Marketing Officer of Universal Pharmaceutical Supply Co. Ltd, Ikeja, Lagos before he left to Global Trust Limited, Gbagada, Lagos, where he was seconded to the position of Assistant Investment Analyst in 1993. He was the General Merchandise Manager of Biz Mart Nigeria Limited, Lagos Island, Lagos, from 1994 to 1996.
Having served others and gained the experience required of a business executive, Aiyetidawa launched his private business enterprise in 1996 and afterwards became a business development professional and a successful business man with interest and substantial experience in Marketing, Financial and Human resources management, New Product Development, Forex Trading and Management, Construction, Real Estate, Hospitality, Public Relations, Travels and Tours.
He launched the Blue Wall Group of Companies in 1996 and became the Managing Director and CEO.
Blue Wall is a conglomerate that has the following companies under its purview: Blue Wall Nigeria Ltd, a Trading Company, Blue Wall BDC Nigeria Ltd, a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) licensed foreign exchange trading company and Blue Wall Safety Travels and Tours, an IATA licensed Travel Agency and Logistic Company.
To fine-tune his entrepreneurial know-how, Aiyetidawa attended further trainings and acquired knowledge and skills in business management, project management, crisis management, leadership, strategy and new product development nationally and internationally.
As part of his growing profile as a businessman and successful entrepreneur, he held positions in social and professional bodies.
From 2004 to 2010, Aiyetidawa was the National Public Relations Officer for Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), and between 2010 to 2011, was the Chairman of South West Zone of ABCON, 2010-2011.
He was the President of Chief Executive Class (CEP18) of Lagos Business School Alumni Association and also the Executive Member of Lagos/South West Network of University of Liverpool Global Alumni.
Call To Public Service
Realizing the need to join in the active development of his clime and with his believe that to effect change, you have to be part of the decision makers, Aiyedatiwa joined active politics in 2011 and became a card carrying member of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which later merged with other political parties to the All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2014.
At the maiden All Progressive Congress (APC) National Convention at Abuja in 2014, Lucky Aiyedatiwa was one of the National Delegates representing Ondo State. He put himself forward for an elective public office for the first time in 2015 when he became the House of Representative Candidate of the Party for Ilaje/Ese-Odo Federal Constituency in the Presidential and National Assembly General Election. Even though he failed in his bid to become a federal legislator, he was not deterred but continued in his advocacy for change and good governance.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, taking cognizance of his innate and public abilities in 2018 appointed Aiyedatiwa as a Federal Commissioner representing Ondo State on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a position he held till 2019.
The late Governor Oluwarotimi, the All Progressives Candidate on July 29, 2020 announced Honorable Lucky Aiyetidawa as his running mate to steer the ship of the State together for a second term for the October 10, 2020 gubernatorial election in Ondo State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on October 11, 2020, declared Governor Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa elected governor and deputy governor respectively.
On the 25th of February 2021, Aiyedatiwa was sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Ondo State together with his principal and boss, late Rotimi Akeredolu who was sworn in for a second term in office.
Upon ascension as Deputy Governor of Ondo State in February 2021, Hon. Lucky Aiyedatiwa has continued to be s strong pillar behind the transformational policies of the Rotimi Akeredolu-led government.
He has proven to be an excellent manager of human and material resources as a successful businessman with a conglomerate of companies and a public official.
Governor Aiyedatiwa despite being a baby bloomer is a lover of youths and has over the years identified with their yearnings for a better life. Despite not being a youth himself, many young people in Ondo State sees him as a youth ambassador and their worthy representative in government.
Married to a lovely wife and blessed with Three Children, Honorable Lucky Aiyedatiwa is a family man who identifies with the downtrodden in the society and has used the privilege of his public office to empower the less-privileged irrespective of their religious or partisan leanings.
The Ondo State Governor has over the years prepared himself or the intricacies of public service and it is safe to say he is the one the cap fits to succeed late Akeredolu.
Lucky Aiyedatiwa has with his disposition to life and call to serve shown he is adequately prepared to continue with the legacies of the all Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration in the state, while also consolidating on late Akeredolu’s strides in addition to breaking mew grounds.
When you have Lucky, why look further.
English Writer of the “Robinson Crusoe” fame, Daniel Defoe had in 1705 written a poem against the then British Parliament.
He had famously surmised:
“Gentlemen, and if the Cap fits any Body let ’em wear it.
He, who the cap fits, let him wear it. The cap fits Lucky and Lucky loves the cap! Abiola Alaba Peters AAP is a Lagos based journalist