In today's climate, leadership is examined from one of the tenets mostly denoted by the values that are appreciated within a culture as an influence that is capable of producing some valuable results that are considered from that cultural standpoint.
Indeed ,many have done far better as individuals and as members of their local and national communities. When the attendance of those who have made remarkable memories in our Nation is called. One name that will feature prominently is Olabode Olajumoke . Olajumoke's impact can be traced to his strides in the political, economic and humanitarian landscape of Nigeria.
Olajumoke has gone on to show that creating insight and taking action are winning combination for anyone coming from a humble background . Only a few people have done more impacts to others like they would to themselves. Olajumoke is a deeply good man from searchlight and one of the evidences that Nigeria was blessed with great Leaders.
Growing up as a young Man in the Precincts of Imeri in Ondo State . Olajumoke's mission from outset was how to serve his fatherland, inspiring many other similar thinkers to stimulate a national synergy for his people’s emancipation at the National front.
One of the inspiring accounts of Olajumoke’s groundbreaking success in community development was the founding of Imeri Unity Group, a socio political group with the intention of increasing the presence of his Yoruba speaking Imeri minority people at the frontline of National Politics . He was concerned that his people of Yoruba extraction should move from regional political theatre to national as the centre influences so many critical decisions in Nigeria. The focus of IUG therefore was to galvanise the Yoruba speaking people of the six Southwest states and the two states of Kogi and Kwara to play central politics.
This strategy was successful as the movement attracted followers of Governor Lateef Jakande and his deputy Rafiu Jafojo, Chief J.S Olawoyin of Offa, Chief Yomi Akintola and Chief Oluwole Awolowo both from the prominent families of late S.L.A. Akintola’s family of Ogbomoso and late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s of Ikenne among other prominent Western flank leaders.
One of the most significant achievements of IUG was the unification of the two famous Yoruba families of Awolowo and Akintola. For almost 35 years - the rift that several Yoruba monarchs could not resolve at that time was settled. Indeed the only three instances that IUG monthly meetings were ever moved out of Imeri were when Chief Oluwole Awolowo hosted IUG meeting at Efunyela Hall, Ikenne and the following month in the Ogbomoso family home of late Chief SLA Akintola by his eldest son Chief Yomi Akintola. IUG also honoured late Chief J.S. Olawoyin by Senator Salawu of Offa hosting IUG in Offa after the Ogbomoso meeting.
Modern history will be kind with Olajumoke as his emergence to the elite group did not only open ways for a turnaround in public representation , he set some standard metrics for future seekers of public office, building a lasting legacy for his people of Ondo North and influencing a national landmark for people living with disabilities. Prior to being elected into the Nigerian Senate where he served as the Senate’s Committee Chairman on Navy. He is noted for sponsoring the disability bill which drew national consciousness to the need to make all public and private facilities accessible to people living with special needs as it is practiced in civilized world .
This remarkable bill had been tested and actualized some years earlier when Dr Bode Olajumoke was the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. As the Pro-Chancellor, he converted the institution from a glorified secondary school into a modern University such that within two years of his being Chairman of Council, the school was adjudged the best state university in Nigeria by the Nigerian Universities Commission. Massive road networks sprawled the university landscapes, modern lecture theatres were constructed. He insisted that all the emerging structures - roads, buildings, lecture theatres were all disabled compliant. He did not limit this campaign to Adekunle Ajasin University. As a prominent member of the national conference of Pro-Chancellors, he persuaded his colleagues to adopt the policy of making their campuses disabled friendly. Some Pro-Chancellors visited his University to duplicate the concept. Such was his passion for the disabled and less privileged that at the earliest opportunity he had as a Senator, his major bill on disability in the one term he was privileged to serve was passed by the Senate into law. The Nigerian Navy honored him with a Navy Secondary School in his home town Imeri as a recognition for effective Senate Leadership.
He had served pre-eminently as a Federal Civil Servant and played notable roles in the return of democracy in 1999. His civil service years was condoned after twenty five years of meritorious service. Professionally , Olajumoke was inspired to read Law after covering the famous treasonable felony case of the FGN vs Dr Tunji Otegbeye as an intern-reporter with the Daily times of Nigeria in 1965. He got the Soviet Union Scholarship in 1965 to study law at the famous Friendship University , Moscow where he bagged LL.M in flying colours. He Later proceeded to the University of Edinburgh in the UK where he bagged a Doctorate Degree in the International Law Department of the Prestigious University. Olajumoke has been an advocate of true federalism tackling several extra-constitutional tendencies in teaching and through court prayers as a liberal exponent with complete believe in the principles of liberty, freedom of people and Nations.
Born on the 1st of July ,1944 , in Imeri ,Olajumoke’s growing up set the foundation for his exemplary journey and disciplined life as a member of the Boys Scout where he mastered the most important leadership lessons in developing young people to become self fulfilled as individuals and play constructive roles in the society using the scout method . He has throughout his scouting journey developed special interest in people living with special needs . At the 100th year celebration of the founding of Scouting in 2007 World Scout Jamboree at Essex, London. Olajumoke sponsored several Scouts from Schools of deaf and impaired hearing to the World events raising hope for the children to dream again . He has served on the Board of The Scout Association of Nigeria as its Deputy Board Chairman. He has strong passion for charity and his many years work has created some of the notable charity organizations that are restoring hopes for people with extreme conditions. Among these is the mission to save the helpless MITOSATH. - the first Chairman was late Prof. Olikoye Ransome-Kuti and was succeeded by Dr. Bode Olajumoke. Rtd General T.Y. Danjuma is the Grandpatron.
Dr Bode Olajumoke has been a member, Board of Trustees of PDP since year 2000. He is not a shifty politician and so has been very constant in his vision when he ran for the Nation’s Presidency under APP in 1999.
Long before Dr. Bode Olajumoke contested the Senate seat, he had sponsored many budding politicians for elective and executive offices. In year 2007, he eventually ran for the Senatorial seat of his Ondo North and won one of the largest votes nationwide.
He is a Member of the Board, University of Ibadan Advancement Centre since over a decade.
At 78 , Olajumoke’s example serving leadership is still rubbing positively in the heart of Nigeria and everywhere else that he has made footprints throughout his proud history .
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Statesman on the auspicious occasion of his 78th birthday.