9th July, 2010
With the strong belief that he cannot contribute to the development of his country, Nigeria in diaspora, Hon. Olufemi Adebanjo popularly known as â€˜Eyes Openâ€™, came home in 1998 to participate in the politics of the fourth republic, serving as a Lagos lawmaker, local government chairman and now Special Adviser to Governor Fashola. He spoke with Jamiu Yisa on several issues
You have just attained the golden age. How do you feel at 50?
Glory be to God almighty. Because I have a very good health, I feel great.
Being 50, can you say you are fulfilled both politically and otherwise?
Iâ€™m far from being fulfilled in all ramifications. I came back to this country after I saw how democracy was being run in the United States and I believe we can do better in Nigeria. But unfortunately, we are not moving ahead. So far, we are far from democratic maturity. For example, you can witness and make your own judgement of what happened in the House of Representatives recently. It is a shame. So we are far from getting there. And in order for me to be fulfilled, I want to see that sign of maturity in our politicians and politicking in Nigeria.
You spent part of your life abroad, so, as an ex-member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman of Alimosho Local Government, and now a Special Adviser to Governor, Fashola on Establishment and Training, what have you done to be able to meet up with what is obtainable abroad for the benefit of the people?
Ah! All we are trying to do is to expose our people to what is really called democracy. Making them to know that it does not mean enmity, bitterness, but just a game and for you to offer yourself to serve the people.
You were born on June 12 and 50 years of age, meaning that your birthday and age is synonymous with two major events in Nigeria which is June 12 and independence celebration, how would you relate these two to yourself?
Well, I just count myself to be a lucky person. Iâ€™m a butter to the bread of Nigeria, very synonymous and that is sheer luck from God almighty and I believe there will be more to come from God.
You are the Special Adviser to the governor on Establishment and Training. What would you say has been your major achievement since you assumed office?
Hmm! First of all, I must show my appreciation to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and Engr. Rauf Aregbesola for giving me the opportunity to serve in this winning team, because the best team in Nigeria so far,Â is Fasholaâ€™s team. We are achieving a lot and every member of that team is contributing to the progress of Lagos State.Â â€œEko o ni bajeâ€, truly it will not spoil. Personally Iâ€™m just a member of that team and I have been able to contribute my own quota effectively.