He is one of the lawmakers to watch out for in Oyo State. At 25, he is the youngest of them and by the time the 9th Assembly resumes, he will be the ‘baby of the House’ and most likely the youngest lawmaker in the whole country. He is Yusuf Oladeni Adebisi, son of the well-respected popular Fuji musician, Taye Akande Adebisi Currency.
During his thank you visit to PMParrot.com/Parrot Xtra Magazine’s Corporate Headquarters located on Ring Road, in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State, the Honourable-elect, who holds an MBA, was engaged by KUNLE GAZALI. In the chat, he took his time to explain what transpired between him and his dad, Taye Currency before he was eventually allowed to contest in the election. He also shed light on why his constituency is believed to be one of the black spots in Ibadan. Excerpt:
Please introduce yourself?
My name is Yusuf Oladeni Adebisi, I am the first son of the popular Fuji musician, Alhaji Taye Adebisi Currency, Apesin 1. By the special grace of God, I am the newly elected honourable member to represent the good people of Ibadan South West state constituency 1 in the Oyo State House of Assembly at the recently concluded governorship and House of Assembly elections on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
For the records, can you expatiate more about yourself, schools you attended and every other things our esteem readers need to know about you?
Thank you. I was born into the family of Alhaji and Mrs. Taiwo Akande Adebisi Currency like I said earlier, the famous Fuji artiste 25 years ago at Aladorin Compound, Foko, in Ibadan. I started my education at Aladorin Nursery & Primary School, Ibadan for my basic education; from there I proceeded to Hallmark College, Odo-Ona, Apata also in Ibadan for my secondary education. After completing my secondary education, I got admitted into Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State for my tertiary education. I spent a session at Bowen University before I transferred my admission to Al-Hiqma University in Ilorin, Kwara State to complete my first degree in History and International Relations. For my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, I was posted to Sokoto State and later redeployed to Kwara State, where I eventually served.
After my youth service, I went for my MBA programme in Business Administration at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso between 2016 and 2018.
What interested you in politics; why not pick a career in another field as a young graduate and also, have you ever taken part in politics before, if yes, at what level did you play your politics?
You know; the first thing or factor that drives one into anything is the environment. It was what was happening in my immediate environment that drove me into and aroused my interest in politics. When you observe that things are not going the way they are supposed to and despite your curiosity, eagerness to right the wrongs, you discover that you are unable to make any reasonable impact, and I didn’t want my constituents to continue in poverty, I didn’t want my people to continue in hardship, then what is the solution? The solution according to my findings was that you cannot sit outside and try to correct what is being done inside; it is when you are among those inside that you can make any meaningful impact. This is what brought me into politics.
The second thing that brought me into politics is that as a youth I cannot afford to sit on the fence. Like what people used to say that youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow, when is that tomorrow going to come, if we fail to make it happen today? They have already set the ball rolling for us youths; the Not Too Young To Run Bill has been passed into law, and so, this gave people like me the opportunity to aspire for political office. Why do we need to waste our precious time again in taking the mantle of leadership of this country? I want to contribute my quota to the development of my constituency; I want to play a role in freeing my people, the people of my constituency, the youth, the aged ones, the women and younger children from indirect slavery and I want to ensure that peace reigns among my people.
Have I taken part in politics before? I will say yes. I did politics when I was in school, in which I happened to the president of my faculty, Faculty of Humanities at Al-Hiqma University in Kwara State. So, this gave me the basic knowledge of what politics looks like at the larger world, though it is a different ball game but at least I have little experience and understanding of how politics is being played outside the school, how to canvass people to your side and every other basic requirements of politics at larger level. So, I was the president of my faculty for a year, between 300 levels and 400 levels.
You were elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, consisting of 26 members, how do you plan to be relevant in your own capacity to be able to contribute to the development of the people in your constituency and Oyo State in general?
First and foremost, I want to give thanks to God. Why am I thanking Him? Whenever God wants to do something, He leaves no loopholes. God wants our Excellency, the people’s Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to have a peaceful reign, a successful tenure; that is why He made the composition of the House of Assembly like what we have now. I can assure that the good people of Oyo State will experience a peaceful tenure of Governor Seyi Makinde. The thing is when you have majority on your side be rest assured that whatever good plan the governor brings to the House for consideration will have a hitch-free passage.
How am I planning to be relevant? See, we have 26 honourable members from my party, PDP, we are one big family, many of us are youth, probably I am the youngest of them all, so, this gives me confidence that I am in the midst of my people, my family that will give necessary support to be relevant and be able to contribute my quota to the development of the state and my constituency in part. We know ourselves, we hold meetings together, we met regularly before we went to the poll, we do have discussion even aside politics, so, I am very much assured that they will give me the necessary support probably when I am raising a motion or presenting a bill or I am aspiring for a certain position in the leadership of the House.
How did you feel when the result was announced that you have defeated the incumbent?
I felt happy, very elated and I give thanks to the Almighty God for crowning our effort, my people’s effort, my father’s effort and my personal effort from the day one of the campaign. Also, I give commendation to all candidates irrespective of the party affiliation particularly my uncle, Hon. Kehinde Subair, he is a brother to my father and he has done so much for the constituency in about eight years as the representative of Ibadan South West constituency 1 in the House and I pray that God will continue to be with him. He has done his part and I have taken the baton towards the development of our immediate constituency.
When the idea of contesting for a seat at the state’s House of Assembly surfaced some people must have said a lot of things that would make you feel discouraged, before you finally got the ticket to contest and eventually won the election, when you look back at all these, what comes to your mind?
Well, to err is human and to forgive is divine. What I think I need to be doing is to give all the glory to God, because people said a lot of things but finally, the will of God prevailed. They said a lot, that I was in the race to be known, to create publicity and awareness for myself; some even said that his father wants to use the opportunity of the contest to secure a job for him because he just graduated, and all sort of things. The most painful aspect is that some of my friends that were with me when the struggle to secure our party’s ticket was tense left, claiming that I am too young to face the other candidates. They forgot that it is the will of God that I should contest. There are lots of stories about that but what matter is the wish of God has come to pass, every other thing can be considered to be ‘past experience’.
How did you receive the news of the announcement of Seyi Makinde as the governor-elect?
I was so happy, my joy knew no boundary! And the reason for my happiness is that I will not see only myself, I will be seeing my colleagues from the same party in the House and most of all a governor from my party in person of Engr. Seyi Makinde as the Executive Governor of Oyo State, it called for celebration and jubilation. By the special grace of God, come May 29, 2019 we will all be alive, hale and hearty to witness the swearing-in of Engr. Seyi Makinde as the Executive Governor.
What are your plans for the people of your constituency?
The reason I came into politics is to contribute my quota to the development of my constituency, play my part in improving the general well-being of my people and to add value to the general development of the state. What differentiates people is their level of education and as we all know that when there is education, there will be civilization and when there is civilization there will be peace and when there is peace there will be development. The first thing I want to do is to support educational development in my constituency. How? I will push for the establishment or siting of secondary schools within my constituency. As everything stands now, there is no public secondary school in my constituency, not even one in the whole constituency of a state, while we have over 70 both private and public in some constituencies. And this has been contributing to the high rate of crime within the constituency. The risk of life of children that have to go a long distance to schools is high, as well as economic hardship experienced by the parents, in terms of payment for transportation to and fro, and feeding of children. Another thing that I will push for is public hospital. As I speak there is no public hospital in my constituency and the Primary Health Care centers we have around are not properly functioning. I will try my best to ensure that all the health centers within the constituency are well equipped with drugs and every other necessary equipment pending the time the issue of public hospital is addressed.
Also, the issue of security, there is no police station, not even a police post within Ibadan South West constituency 1. If there is an issue that needs the attention of the police, we will have to go to another constituency before we can call the police; and this why the area is being regarded as one of the volatile areas in Ibadan. It is because the people living there have been neglected either by government or the people that have been representing them; an adage says “an idle hand is the devil’s workshop”. Look, all these problems have been there over the years and nobody had been ready to address or take them to the appropriate authorities. I was born here, I had my primary school if not because there is no secondary, I wouldn’t have gone outside my constituency for my secondary education. If the issue of education is addressed the issue of security will be half solved. Aside this issue of education, health and security, my other agenda on how to improve the standard of living of the people in my constituency will be subsequently rolled out.
What is your message to other young people like you out there who want to get involved in politics?
My message is simple and direct; at least my coming out to contest is already sending a signal to other youths out there- not in my constituency alone, in the state and Nigeria as a whole. This is our time; let us all come out, because right now I am the youngest ever in the history of Oyo State House of Assembly if not in Nigeria. This is sending a message that if I can do it you can also do it, so, come out, get involved and let’s contribute to the development of our state and country. I will try as much as possible to ensure that my performance also ginger more youths to get involved in politics, this is when we can do it altogether.
Your dad, Alhaji Taye Adebisi Currency played a vital role in your electoral victory, what will you like to say to him?
Ah, my dad, I will like to say a big ‘thank you’ to him, a very big one and pray that the Almighty God continues to guide, guard and protect him. I also pray that God will continue to bless and provide for him in his entire endeavor. You know why? He has been a very good example of a father not only to me but to other younger ones. He was with me throughout the entire journey; he was so wonderful, though it wasn’t an easy decision but he supported me with everything he has, financially, morally, physically, mentally, spiritually just name it, he is always there for me.
Tell us how he finally gave his nod to your aspiration
Alright, when I completed my MBA and we were discussing how to get a job, he asked me what I wanted to do and I replied that he should use his connection to get me a job, despite the fact that I have my own intention. Then he said he will contact some people and give me a feedback. So, after some days, he called me and said that he has been able to contact someone and had secured a job for me in Abuja – that was when I told him that I have another intention but I was afraid to tell him. He persuaded me to say my mind and I told him that I wanted to join politics; he disagreed with me. He pointed out that politics is a tough game and requires a lot of money, which he doesn’t have. He sent me out on that day, that I should go and re-think it over. I went to meet him the following day, I pleaded with him, and he told me that politics is a dirty game and asked me, if I wanted him to be killed or I wanted to wound myself. He said a lot of things, he mentioned those that have lined-up over the years for the party ticket among other things, but I told him I was very sure that I would come out victorious, that I have seen it in a vision sometime ago. It was that moment that he said I should give him time to think about it. At this stage, it was unknown to him that I had already printed stickers. The following day I walked up to him and said Alhaji these are my stickers for the campaign, he lamented that I have been rushing him over this matter that I should allow him to think it over. At the end of the day, he gave his nod; he called me and promised to support my aspiration with everything within his reach to ensure that my dream comes to reality. That was when the movement started.
What is your message to the governor-elect, Seyi Makinde?
My message to my father, my leader, my governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde is that he should please make sure that he fulfill all the electioneering promises he made to the people of the state, including the one concerning the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC). I also pledge my readiness and support to his quest to take Oyo State to the Promised Land.
What do you want to say to your constituents?
To my constituents, I thank you all and I promise you a better representation. To the people of Oyo State, let us keep walking to the path of greatness, let us do what we know, and keep the focus on progress, peace and tranquility.