“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”, those were the parting words of Mr. Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru, the former MD/CEO of Polaris Bank, when he officially notified the public about his decision to retire from the service of Polaris Bank, effective from August 31st, 2020, having successfully completed his second tenure.
The former Commissioner of Finance for Lagos State under Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (2011 – 2013) however officially joined the race for the Lagos East Senatorial District on August 26th, while he picked up a nomination form at the All Progressives Congress party secretariat on Acme Road, following the death of Sen. Bayo Osinowo, who died of COVID-19 complications in June.
The Ikorodu born politician was received at the APC party secretariat by the State Chairman, Hon. Babatunde Balogun and the State Party Executives.
The visit availed him the opportunity to address the party leaders on his legislatives agenda and plans for the district. No sooner than Abiru picked the nomination form, all aspirants in Lagos East Senatorial District came together to declare their unalloyed support and collapsed their campaign structures to the consensus aspirant, Adetokunbo Abiru.
Abiru, People & Politics learnt was not on the list of intending aspirants prior to this development. Insiders revealed the young man was doing well in the banking industry. Alas, the call came to him to tidy things at Polaris and get prepared as the big masquerade to be unveiled for the congress job, ignoring all speculated names.
People & Politics reliably gathered that even the leadership of the Abiru campaign train was chosen by Jagaban himself, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The manner in which the supposed election was managed speaks so much of the interest of the national leader and why those jostling for the seat could be easily persuaded or directed to look away.
One of the aspirants revealed that they were all summoned to the meeting where they were told that Abiru will be going on Asiwaju’s special mission to the Senate, thus other aspirants should collapse their campaign train and give him required support.
No wonder the train is leaving no stone unturned in achieving this feat.
A former Commissioner who craved anonymity in the last Lagos Cabinet described Abiru’s emergence as a compensation for the purposes he has served in the interest of Tinubu who is calling the shots of who sits where. “Nobody expected the shock, those aspiring were also stunned, but there’s nothing anyone can do, the position of the oracle is the final answer.
“As a matter of fact, the DG of Abiru’s Campaign train was also nursing the Senatorial ambition, but Asiwaju called him and the rest to a meeting where he gave the directive that Abiru was the man for the job. Hon. Segun Olulade was told to head the campaign team and ensure he delivered. He was bluntly told he has no financial capacity to run such race.”
Another school of thought, also an insider and player in the present cabinet revealed to Premier that Abiru has long been kept in the corner for such a time and development by Tinubu, which is his usual style.”I told people that care to listen that you don’t contest the governorship of Lagos State, those who dictate the tune will bring whosoever is meant for that job, according to them, as and when due.
“These are people that have been kept in different sectors pending their time of usage. Meanwhile, wherever or whichever sector they are, they’re also servicing a purpose but out of public or political domain. And such is the case of Abiru.”
The source confirmed that the primary plan of Asiwaju was to field Abiru for governorship,”but it appears that the calculation has changed, thus the need to use him in the Senate. His presence at the senate will be serving multiple purposes. To alter the governorship calculation, to check some people and also cement the interest of the national leader”, he said. “Interest”, asked in what regards, “just continue to monitor the trend of things”, he responded.
LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED
As guided, Tokunbo Abiru paid a courtesy visit to prominent leaders in Ikorodu on August 31st. His Excellency, Abiodun Ogunleye, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, APC State Vice Chairman (Lagos East) and Baba Cubano proudly played host to Mr Tokunbo Abiru and his entourage.
Charity surely begins from home, the Ikorodu born politician received massive support from home as all known institutions in Ikorodu came out and endorsed their own for the race.
The same day, House of Representative members from Lagos East Senatorial District met with Abiru. Also at the meeting was Hon. Segun Olulade, ‘Campaign DG’.
Tokunbo Abiru proceeded to pay a courtesy visit to the Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, Speaker Lagos State House of Assembly, the following day, while he also held a meeting with Lagos East LAHA Members, in a bid to connect with the spirit of all inclusiveness, where everyone counts, providing a lasting impression.
On September 1st, Abiru and his team paid courtesy visits to the families of late Senator Bayo Osinowo (Peperito) and late Chief Lanre Razak (KLM) in their abodes in Ogudu GRA and Magodo Estate respectively.
Speaking at Osinowo’s house, Abiru said the last Senator was like an elder brother to him who ensured he had a smooth relationship with the Lagos State House of Assembly when he was Commissioner for Finance because he was a strong rallying force at the State House of Assembly during the administration of former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.
He prayed for the repose of the late Senator’s soul while assuring that he would do everything humanly possible to carry the family along during the campaign period and when elected as senator in the district.
In a related development, Abiru also visited members of the family of Late Chief Lanre Razak, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who was also interested in the Senate job, and until his death a member of the Governor’s Advisory Committee (GAC), the highest decision-making body in Lagos State.
The former Minister of Works and Senator who represented Lagos East Senatorial District between 1999 – 2003, Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe meanwhile declared his readiness to campaign for Abiru in every nook and cranny of Lagos East Senatorial District, when he was visited.
He said Mr Tokunbo Abiru is a great asset to Lagos state and the entire Nigeria having distinguished himself in both his private sector and public sector life. Same was said of him, when he visited former ministers, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro and Ademola Seriki.
In his journey so far, Abiru has however proved to have or exhibited good human relations with the leadership of the party. It appears the national leader has gotten him this job, but delivering effectively is now his call, be it a call to genuine service or compensation.