In this piece, Omolere Omoetan extoils the virtues of Oyo State All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant Raufu Olaniyan and explains why he should succeed Governor Abiola Ajimobi at the poll.

One of the greatest scientists who ever lived was Albert Einstein. Although he was an academic genius in every sense of the word, he nevertheless, acknowledged the value of experience in the management and advancement of humans. It is not enough to possess academic qualifications alone, the experience that one has acquired in the areas they intend to serve is also important.

As Nigeria approaches another election year, politicians are gearing up to pursue elective positions. While a few have honest intentions for seeking office, many are hoping to hoodwink Nigerians into giving them their votes. However, the people are now very much aware and they now desire aspirants who possess knowledge birthed from the womb of experience. Aspirants who will truly provide solutions to the plethora of problems that has become a part of the people’s daily lives.

Out of the several aspirants seeking to become governor of Oyo State, Engr. Raufu Aderemi Olaniyan FNSE, a technocrat par-excellence, is in a class of his own. He exemplifies whom one could call the ‘quintessential Civil Servant and Public Administrator’ as his track record shows.

Having started his civil service career at the Local Government level as a Supervising Engineer for programmes initiated by the Directorate for Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI), the young Olaniyan got exposed to the needs of rural dwellers at an early age. The projects he supervised spread across several local governments in Oyo state and these earned him commendations in high places.

His competence and commitment to service got him a promotion from the Local Government Service Commission to the Oyo state Civil Service Commission, where he held very important positions until he retired as a Permanent Secretary. He was in the civil service for over 26 years and in all of these years, he never received a single query. Let us take brief preview into the life of the man who many are rooting for to become the next governor of Oyo state.

Olaniyan is a humble, generous and very humane person. Little wonder he is called a “humanitarian to the core” by those who know him well. Many who have dealt with him can attest to these fine attributes.

He was born on the 25th of February 1960, and he hails from Igboho, Orelope Local government area of Oyo State. His early education was at Baptist Secondary Modern School, Igboho from 1973 to 1976. He also went to Irepo Grammar School, Igboho from 1977 to 1980. His tertiary education was at the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsuka from 1980 to 1985 from where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a COREN-registered Engineer, a fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and also of the Civilian Institute of Democratic Administration of Nigeria.

Engr Olaniyan worked as an Hydrological/Civil Engineer with the Oyo North Agricultural Development Project (OYNADEP) financed by the World Bank. As a specialist in designing and construction of Earth, Dams and Appurtenances, he participated in the construction and maintenance of rural roads extensively. This project covered the nine Local Governments of the present Oyo North (Oke-Ogun) in 1988.

He worked with Local Government Service Commission of Oyo State from 1990 to 1991. His dedication to duty and hardwork paved the way for him in the state civil service where he became Deputy Director (Rural Road and Infrastructures).

He was once a Superintendent Engineer, Ministry of Works and Transport in Oyo State. He supervised various Civil Engineering departments where he designed projects and helped in the formulation and execution of government policies.

Olaniyan was also the pioneer General Manager, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency between 2007 and 2011. This position afforded him the opportunity to traverse the length and breadth of Oyo state. Not only does he know the state like the back of his hands, he is also familiar with the basic expectations of every community in the state from the government.

He retired as a Permanent Secretary in the Oyo State Civil Service. In all the years that he was in service, despite holding sensitive positions, he was never found wanting. Olaniyan is a man to be proud of. If there is anyone among the plethora of aspirants seeking to govern Oyo state in 2019, he is the most qualified. He is a unique individual that doesn’t make promises that he does not intend to keep. He believes that enough false promises have been made that has left the electorates despondent. As he often would say “ The Truth is easier, live by it”. This, perhaps, is the main attribute that sets him apart from the lot.

Having worked closely with several governors of the state in the past, he knows Oyo state inside out. He understands the workings of government vis-a-vis the needs of the people. Being a former public servant, he would be in the best position to optimise the strengths of the civil service, while attending to their welfare to boost their morale. If there is anyone that can avoid the proverbial ‘banana peel, at the corridor of power to the benefits of Oyo State, Raufu Aderemi Olaniyan is the man.

Presently, he is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of two construction companies accredited by the World Bank as a major contractor. These are West Midland Construction Company and Blue line Construction Services both in Ibadan.

Governing Oyo State requires much more than the basic constitutional fulfilments. The office demands requirements that only experience guarantees. Engr. Raufu Aderemi Olaniyan FNSE brings this experience and more to Oyo State people in 2019.

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