Mulikat Akande-Adeola at 60: Rise of Ogbomoso’s most powerful woman

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Femi OGUNLANA
Ogbomoso is never in short supply of brave, powerful men, what may be considered as short in supply is avalanche of strong women. What accounts for this will be a subject for another day. However, Hon Mulikat-Akande Adeola (OFR), who served as Majority Leader in the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly between 2011 and 2015, has reached a position of eminence and influence that she can be regarded as a brave woman, whose status qualifies her as the most powerful woman in the Land of the Valiant today. During her time in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2015, her name unarguably reached national consciousness especially during the contest for the Speakership of the House in 2011 which eventually swung to Aminu Tambuwal, current governor of Sokoto state, it is instructive to note that part of the reason she lost the election after being endorsed by the South west PDP caucus was because she was a woman! The Muslim north abhors leadership by a woman and they dominate the House.
In the place of Speakership nonetheless, she was propped as House Leader, a position in which she excelled. And since 2015, it is gratifying to note that she has remained relevant in the political setting most especially with a large number of admirers and supporters. She is different things to different people but what is incontrovertible is that Akande-Adeola makes wave in a male-dominated environment, within the Ogbomoso setting, in terms of influence among all politicians she will take a position not up to five. She is well-connected, has made great friends and her tentacles reach far and near.
An icon, a woman of substance, a quintessential leader, a great achiever, dynamic, cerebral, altruistic, she has proven herself to be a force to reckon with in the political firmament of Ogbomoso. Failures in political contests have not put the shine and vigour out of her, dented her sharpness or brawniness, or dampened her morale, these only serve to invigorate her; she failed in her bid to return to the House in 2015 and again she flunked her attempt to represent Oyo North Senatorial District in 2019, despite the setbacks, her support base has remained strong and robust as ever. Then, she was one of the greatest contributors to making incumbent Oyo state governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to notching victory in 2019.
Professionally, she is a lawyer, a successful one at that, consummate and a real warrior in courts. She was born in Jokodolu Compound, Saja area, Ogbomoso, on the 11th of November, 1960. Her early life saw her being educated at Saint Anne’s Primary School, Kaduna between 1966 and 1971, from where she proceeded to the prestigious Queen Amina College, Kaduna in 1972 and graduated in 1976.
She enrolled for advanced level certificate at the Katsina College of Arts, Science and Technology between and was here between 1977 and 1979 and then gained admission to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979. She graduated in 1982 obtaining her LL.B degree in Law. Thereafter, she was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983. In her quest for further academic development, she attended the University of Lagos between 1984 and 1985 during which she obtained her LL.M.
Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola was at the Nigerian-American Merchant Bank, Lagos, from 1983 to 1984 for her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. Her real career as a lawyer started afterwards at the legal firm of Kusamotu, Olojo and Company, Lagos in 1984. In 1986, she joined the legal firm of Odujirin and Adefulu and in 1987; she was appointed the company secretary/legal adviser to Tuns Farms and Agro-Industry Ltd, Ikeja. She succumbed to the strident pull of private practice, by starting her own private legal practice, but then, she was employed as an assistant manager in the legal department of Continental Merchant Bank Ltd and was here till 1991. In 1992, she emerged as the legal adviser, corporate banking division of the bank. She moved to CMB Homes Ltd, a subsidiary of the bank, as the head of legal and administration and by 1993, she became the company secretary/legal adviser of CMB Homes Ltd. During this period, she garnered a lot of professional and corporate experience, but then she returned to private practice, resuscitating her legal firm, M. L. Akande and Company in 1997 and managed it until 2007.
Meanwhile, her interest in politics was ever blossoming and at the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999, she began partisan political participation by pitching tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It is important to note that she has forever remained in that party, which underscores a strong adherence to principle. She is not one to be moved hither thither by political expediencies.
When she first expressed interest in political participation in Ogbomoso, she was introduced to Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, who became governor of Oyo state first on January 12, 2006 and then on May 29, 2007, through late Chief L.A. Gbadamosi, the Ajebamidele of Ogbomoso. In 2007, MAA (Mulikat Akande-Adeola) emerged as the flag bearer of PDP for the House of Representatives’ contest for Ogbomoso federal constituency. She won the election, defeating her main challenger, then incumbent member of the House of Representatives, (now Senator) Fatai Buhari, who contested on the platform of Labour Party.
She made her impact felt in the House and she was a member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2007 to 2011. She has attended many professional and leadership courses in Nigeria and abroad and she is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), International Bar Association among others.
“Numerate and articulate, intuitive and persuasive, determined and dogged, Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola, combines courage and optimism grounded in candour and humility. She exhibits kindness, magnanimity and gratitude in her dealings with people as well as loyalty to the team.”
Towards 2015 however, she parted ways with Adebayo Alao-Akala over irreconcilable differences; Akala because he lost the gubernatorial ticket of the PDP to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state dumped PDP for the Labour Party (LP), and being Mulika Akande-Adeola’s political benefactor, it was expected she would follow suit in dumping PDP but she had other ideas, she had her eyes on the Speakership to have another shot at the position. Going the way of LP definitely would take her farther away from realizing the goal and so, she took the decision she felt suited her interest most. She stayed put in PDP while her mentor decamped to LP. Since then, they have not come together again. She lost the election though to LP’s candidate, Segun Ogunwuyi, but she remained undaunted. She proved her strength further by taking a large chunk off the Akala support base, many of whom have remained with her ever since.
In 2019, she contested again on the platform of PDP for the Senate election, this time around, Fatai Buhari took his pound of flesh by winning the election but Obinrin Rere as Hon. Akande-Adeola is called by her numerous admirers remains steadfast. She is biding her time assured her time will come again when political contest will swing in her favour. She is a leader of PDP in Oyo state and Nigeria in general, being in the political orbit of former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom she made friend with while she was the House Leader and Goodluck Jonathan was president.
Her followers love her intensely, they are passionate about her. The reason is not farfetched; she has touched their lives positively. While in office, she attracted developmental projects to Ogbomoso, facilitated juicy political appointments to her followers, supported (and supports) youths’ organizations, she is a strong pillar of Ogbomoso Parapo, no wonder she continues to be highly significant in the politics of Ogbomoso and Oyo state in general. She confidently rubs shoulders with the high and the mighty and is staking claim to the status of one of the greatest Ogbomoso persons that ever lived.
As she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee, The Insight wishes her a happy birthday.

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