''Hello Samuel, I don't have much time to spare, so I will appreciate if you can visit me again at my country home tomorrow or let's make this brief, if you don't mind''.
That was Ashiwaju Adebisi Adegbuyi. Rushing out of a political meeting at Ijebu Ode while rushing to another at Shagamu.
It's the campaign season, again: He has a lot of campaign appearances to attend, but he's not new to the scene, he's been in politics for decades. He'd ran and lost before, but he's now back again, running for the same office.
Ashiwaju Adebisi Adegbuyi, an efficacious lawyer, successful businessman, social critic, political pundit and a politician has been one of the strongest voices in Pro National Conference -PRONACO-, formerly, the National Democratic Coalition or NADECO as it's widely known. Pro National Conference is arguably the strongest advocate for equity, justice and accountable governance in Nigeria heretofore. The organization -with late Pa Enahoro at the helm- plinthed a formidable coalition against the former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida's reign of terror, which in effect, led to the collapse of his dominion.
Ashiwaju Adegbuyi, albeit, has never held a political office, is just as politically savvy as former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu. He has always been involved in politics behind the scenes. He'd funded candidates, raise funds and and coordinate various grassroots organizations.
However, in 2007, tired of how advancement has worsened in Nigeria since 1999 when the Country transitioned into a Constitutional democracy after decades of successive military junta regimes. He decided to run for political office for the first time, running as a candidate for Ogun East Senatorial District on the platform of Action Congress (now Action Congress of Nigeria). Together with the help of his rigid friend, Ashiwaju Bola Tinubu and other strong party stalwarts, he mounted -but lost- an arduous campaign against Hon. Lekan Mustapha -then a member of House of Reps.- who was widely known as a strong candidate that has never faced any serious challenger in his political carrier. That election -as widely reported throughout the nation- was also a charade.
Mr. Adegbuyi has always seen himself as a future Senator of the Federal Republic and believes his chances are now more propitious than ever. More imperative is his believe that he would defeat the current governor of the state, Gbenga Daniel who is now running for senate after 8 years at the state house which he describe as ''inept'' and out of touch with the people of the state. The Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel will be a lame duck candidate'', he told me, '' He has a lot of questions to answer, he's perpetrated too many atrocities and given the bravery of Ogun indigenes, they will not reward somebody that preside over an inept government for 8 years'', he quipped. He went further to invoke the names of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Pa Abraham Adesanya, both from the same senatorial district he's contending for, saying '' they're people of impeccable character and I intend to continue on their path''.
The ACN hasn't been blessed with good communicators since the days of Bola Tinubu. Mr. Adegbuyi is articulate, highly disciplined and gaffe-free. With audiences he projects a warmth harder to feel in person, where he can come off cool, somewhat aloof, unless you get him talking about his love for football. At 49, the Gen-Xer represents a new generation of Action Congress of Nigeria leaders.
Political atmosphere of Ogun State is one of the most acrimonious in the Country and it's now clear what the residents demand: They are looking for an alternative to Governor Gbenga Daniel's type of politics of thuggery, character assasination and derision of the rule of law. They now have a new chance to make Ashiwaju Adegbuyi their senator in order to be clear on their contempt for the Governor whom they've castigated for not being a man of the people.