Undoubtedly, Prince Olakunle Taiwo Oluomo is not the first person to represent Ifo Constituency One in the Ogun state House of Assembly, but it is obvious that he is the first Ifo man to bring representation to the grassroots.
1> Every resident in his Constituency know him. They recognize and can identify him. This is because he lives in Ifo town. As the deputy speaker in the house of Assembly, it is expected that he should be too preoccupied and busy. Ask even the Pepper sellers or Market women in the remote areas of Ifo, they would tell you they saw Oluomo yesterday, today or not too long ago. All his constituents know his house, his office, his wife’s place of work and his phone number did not change even since his emergence in 2011. His number is more popular than that of the local government chairman.
2> It is no longer News that Honourable Oluomo is a child of the first king of Ifoland, Oba Gabriel Oluomo. Despite this rich lineage, the Prince humbles himself by mixing freely with the people, relating with the people and attends his People’s events unlike what obtains from people of royal backgrounds.
A 25-year old boy, who has passion for public speaking recently requested the Prince to send his representative to grace his event, the young man was shocked that the deputy speaker himself attended the event and was patiently seated throughout the 3-hour Program. He said he would live all his life to appreciate the man who added colour to his event. This is unusual among modern day politicians.
3> Prince Oluomo , coming from the background of activism, had been taking youths of Ifo for a week long camping programme since 1995 under his NGO-Ifo Youth Concern. Perhaps, this is why he has passion for youths. He had taken about Seven youths to Germany on a week long trip and training, at least twice during his stewardship as member representing Ifo Constituency One. This he did, with a desire to get exposure and knowledge for the Youths.
4> Prince Oluomo attends to his constituents everyday! He sleeps in Ifo everyday despite attending to parliamentary activities in Abeokuta. It should not be forgotten that it is customary that as a deputy Speaker, he has a beautifully furnished Deputy speaker’s lodge in the GRA, Abeokuta.
He won’t even consider the risks involved and health implications of his everyday travelling, he would always tell you, If I don’t live among my people, how would I know their plights. He doesn’t rely on second or third person Information.
Unlike before, once elected into the Assembly, they abandon their homes and relocate permanently to Abeokuta until few months to the next election.
5> It is unbelievable that Hon Oluomo did not miss any plenary since 2011. He is an habitual contributor to all matters on the floor of the house. He has sponsored and co-sponsored many bills which have metamorphosed into laws in Ogun state. (Most popular is the Anti-Land. Grabbers law of Ogun state).
Unlike the past when members representing the Constituency brought shame and drew the name of Ifo into the gutters. Oluomo has rebranded the name of Ifo, perhaps because he has no other place to call his home.
6> Oluomo has a program tagged ONE ON ONE WITH OUR HONOURABLE It holds EVERY Saturday between 12noon and 6pm. This is the avenue given to all constituents of Ifo One to interact freely with their representative (Oluomo). The Prince attends to everyone personally irrespective of party, religious and tribal affiliations. This, without mincing words gives him the opportunity of knowing their direct demands and attending to them squarely. Ifo has not heard it so good in the past when you see your assembly man only during electioneering periods.
7> Members of the house of Assembly are entitled to Constituency Allowance. What they do with the money is what we should ask. But do we need to ask the obvious from Oluomo whose projects are spread across the length and breadth of his constituency. Water, Infrastructure, Education Support etc are everywhere in the town.
8> Honourable Oluomo has a storey building Constituency Office in the heart of Ifo (Iyana Coker) where every constituents can assess easily as against what happened in the past where our Assembly men would rent a shop and employ someone whose job is to open and close the shop. Oluomo has about 10 employees in his Constituency Office. (Admin Officer, Secretariat Assistants, Clerks Securitymen, Drivers)
9> Oluomo’s love for Education is unprecedented. Parents have a great relief in the past seven years. They no longer need to fund transportation of their wards to and from school. This is due to the four 53-passenger luxurious buses acquired by the Prince to make movement of the children easy. As a grassroots person, Honorable Oluomo realised the farness of all schools within Ifo metropolis to the main road, hence his decision to make schooling attractive to all Ifo residents. His desire to finally make the ‘Omo Ole-Ifo’ colouring a thing of the past is unquestionable! Honourable Oluomo’s impact was greatly felt recently when Political thugs attacked his Office and his buses with a desire to ‘terminate’ the Honourable’s life His buses were off the road for about two weeks and Parents groan in abject pains due to the amount they expend in conveying their wards to school. The Prince had to rush to repair these buses in order to ameliorate this suffering that had started claiming lives of the children who were not used to crossing the road. Users of automobiles know how expensive vehicle maintainance is at the moment.
10> Oluomo has been known as ‘A community worker people trusted ‘ even before going into politics. Religious and Community Leaders believe in Oluomo’s tenacity to meaningfully develop Ifo land and take the town to enviable heights. Many of these leaders even get stipends as remuneration from the deputy speaker as a form of support towards their projects. This runs into millions of Naira on monthly basis. Beneficiaries of this support are living evidences to Oluomo’s kind heartedness.
Oluomo is readily available for the job of legislation. He has got more experience than any other person in Ifoland at present.
Experience is of Paramount importance in any house of Assembly and it determines its heierachy.
Prince Oluomo is always available. His party(APC) is tested and trusted. It is important to align with the government at the center. A support for Oluomo and the APC is a support for continuous development of Ifo community, Ogun state and Nigeria.
*Abdulghaffar Adeleye is a freelance broadcaster and journalist; a Clergyman and Teacher.