Femi Onireti: Classy, simple, humane – portrait of PDP contender for Ogbomoso Fed Constituency seat
Olufemi Oladokun Onireti is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ogbomoso Federal Constituency i.e. Ogbomoso North/Ogbomoso South/Oriire local governments in the forthcoming general elections.
He undoubtedly faces a herculean task because his opponents include the incumbent, Jacob Ajao Adejumo, who is contesting on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, and Olamijuwonlo Alao-Akala, scion of late former governor of Oyo state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, who is standard bearer of All Progressives Congress (APC).
If a soothsayer says Onireti will have a smooth sail, he will be deemed to be speaking under the influence of inebriation.
It’s not always easy to bring an incumbent to his knees just as overcoming the political machinery of Akala in Ogbomoso metropolis is a tall order especially so soon after his shocking but glorious transition. However, nothing is impossible.
l am not in anyway launching into the chances of the candidates. My focus rather is a concise look at the personae and paces of the Akinsi, Osupa-born politician.
In the meantime, it is not an exaggeration to actually say he is taking the space by storm and the Onireti effect is beginning to really catch on.
He didn’t start the journey of compassion on the breath of a politician but as a philanthropist long before he came out to vie for political office. Though one could not rule out the possibility of him having had that end in sight all along.
He has an accumulation of humanitarian accomplishments worthy of accolades, which is unique in some way. He is a trail brazer in this wise. The manner his humanitarian strides unfold smacks of an inborn trait of humaneness. It tells of a person with unbounded love for humanity. Even if the underlying motivation is politics he deserves lauding because we have not seen something of that nature and scale in this clime previously. He started the gesture before he even ventured into party politics. So, to assume he’s being propelled by politics does not hold water, the uncertainty of politics is a disincentive to such enterprise. Therefore plunging into it unveils his sterling quality in the aspect of eleemosynary.
Through his Olufemi Onireti Foundation, he has done quite a bit. In Ibadan, where he grew up, he floated a scholarship scheme for indigent students/pupils, fends for orphans and the underprivileged generally aside other gestures of humanism.
In Ogbomoso/Oriire, his stride is appreciable. I will take time to highlight some of his interventions. Several times he visited hospitals to assist patients to offset their medical bills, to donate cash and to distribute various needful items like beverages; he once or twice donated cash and food items to residents of Lepers’ Colony in Ogbomoso; he has rendered assistance to prison inmates; provided close to ten boreholes in communities to ease their access to water (at Saja, Osupa, Akata, Tewure etc); illuminated streets with light; undertaken the construction of a culvert (at Osupa), staged a talk-of-town quiz competition for secondary school students with winners going home with laptops, cash and other items worth millions of naira; several youths, women, widows and the elderly he has empowered financially and with various tools, gadgets, implement and machines like motorcycles, fridges, hair dryers, grinding machines etc, this is just as he organized a very successful festival early this year. The above represent a fraction of what he has done (while not being a political office holder). If he holds office he will likely do more profound and greater things. To presuppose he treads this less travelled path to wangle political gains is therefore mischief as those who were lawmakers before him never bothered with such and they still won, all they did was perch on the wings of a godfather, which nonetheless came with future chaos, that was the experience anyway.
Onireti has undoubtedly dared to be different. What incumbent office holders struggle to accomplish is what he does with ease and effortlessly. He has built a track record of selfless service. His performance as a private individual speaks loudly for him.
One of the parameters for elective offices ought to be personal achievements, thus giving excessive considerations to deeds performed by one’s ancestors in determining such vital thing is basically a disservice to men of the present time who have by sheer personal conviction made tremendous impact. Life is so short and too precious to give the business of governance to men whose track record borders solely on their ancestors’. We all have our life to live, we all have our choices to make implying that individuals should be judged by his or her performance and stride. Everyone especially those seeking elective posts needs to prove themselves unambiguously before seeking people’s votes, it’s scam to seek to ride on the wave of one’s father’s popularity to election victory especially when one had opportunities thrust to him in the past and one couldn’t make anything impactful out of it. In essence, no one should be allowed to latch to his ancestors’ achievements for gains in a sector like elective office. The catch word should be: “What have you done personally to affect humanity positively?” The society should not gamble on something as important as that. Neither emotion nor sentiment should be allowed to come into it. Moreover, in the past we travelled that road in Ogbomoso, but it failed, on more than one occasion.
Femi Onireti despite his moderate achievements in private life and philanthropism remains unassuming and modest. He is hardworking in the pursuit of his goal to represent his people in the lower chamber of the National Assembly; simplicity and humbleness mark his conduct. But that does not remove the fact of his sophistication, he is both sophisticated and simple. He carries on with no airs about him but he is conscientious, methodological and gives room for details. He is a man given to planning, he plans all through and bold in action.
He says often that his ambition is not do-or-die. He wants success in his endeavour but his strong belief in God’s will precludes untoward desperation in him.
I am not his associate but I have been following him. Hence, the little l know about him.
If he wins he will certainly change the narrative of Ogbomoso Federal Constituency both in the short and long terms. He is a man driven by purpose and conviction. This l have deduced.
To say the least, the Onireti Effect is really catching on, it has caught me!