The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Gboyega Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Osun state governorship election, as governor-elect of the state. Oyetola defeated Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a keenly contested exercise.
A former chief of staff to Rauf Aregbesola, the incumbent governor, Oyetola’s victory at the poll did not happen suddenly. The journey had been rough and full of battles. From the controversy that trailed the direct primaries, defections of staunch party members and the burden of poor workers’ welfare accusations, he saw them all.
But just two days to his 64th birthday anniversary, the former chief of staff is set to mount the stage to direct the affairs of the state. Some would ask; who is Oyetola, the man in whom APC is well pleased to succeed Aregbesola? Some see him as a thoroughly bred technocrat; others say he is a politician with a graceful flair for workers. But there’s more to the politician.
FOUNDING MEMBER OF ALLIANCE FOR DEMOCRACY
Born on September 29, 1954, in Iragbiji, Boripe local government area, Oyetola attended Ifeoluwa Grammar School in Osogbo before proceeding to the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
He is contesting a political office for the first time. Oyetola is said to be among the prominent Nigerians who founded the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 1998, and was a chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before it metamorphosed to APC.
‘PILLAR BEHIND AREGBESOLA’
Seen as one of the pillars behind Aregbesola’s administration, Oyetola has on several occasions denied being endorsed by the governor. Yet, most political actors in the state taunt him as the governor’s favourite.
At the flag off of his campaign, he said, “If Aregbesola endorsed me, I will not need to struggle or campaign as I’m doing now. I have toured every nooks and crannies of this state consulting the stakeholders. I don’t discuss campaign issue with the governor. So, he (Aregbesola) has been fair to all APC aspirants.”
He is also said to be close to Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the APC.
UNILAG-TRAINED INSURANCE BROKER
Oyetola obtained a bachelor’s of science degree in insurance in 1978 from UNILAG and a master’s of business administration (MBA) in 1990 from the same institution. He is an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London and Nigeria and a member of the Nigerian Institute of Management.
After he completed his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Potiskum, Yobe state, in 1980, Oyetola started his career as an insurance broker with Leadway Assurance Company as an assistant manager.
In 1991, he founded his own company where he was the managing director until his appointment as chief of staff in 2011.
Rotimi Makinde, former member of house of representatives, said Oyetola, aside being a complete gentleman and a vast technocrat, is a silent philanthropist.
He said, “What if I tell you that as a revered community leader in Iragbiji, he has sponsored well above 200 indigent students to tertiary institution who today are all doing wonderfully well in their chosen career, that shows he has always been part of the educational and human capacity development in the state.
In that respect, Oyetola said his goal is to make the state known for employment and jobs in the country.