HOW I WENT FROM ZERO TO HERO- SRJ
All Progressives Congress (APC) standard bearer for Osun central senatorial district, Dr. Ajibola Basiru has given insights on how his life became transformed by event which could rather be described as unfortunate.
He disclosed this at an interactive session tagged “An evening with SRJ” which was organized by Osun Concerned Businessmen for Good Governance, a forum for business professionals in Osun state led by Otunba Adeyemo Caleb Adeyemi. The event which was held at My Palace hotel, Dada Estate Osogbo afforded audience the opportunity to ask questions from the APC standard bearer about his childhood, professional qualifications and his manifestos for the people of Osun central senatorial district.
Popularly called SRJ, Dr. Ajibola Basiru who was accompanied by Engr Femi Daramola Interfem, Hon Olusola Alli Daud and APC standard bearer for Osogbo state constituency Hon Taofik Badamasi, opened up on his birth and how his mother, then a trader, bought him books and newspapers to read upon his return from school, a development which aroused his interest in activism and socialism.
“I was born on the 1st of July 1972 into the family of late Basiru Akanni Adebayo, odofin compound in Osogbo. My primary education was at Salvation Army Primary School, Oke-Fia, Osogbo while I attended Laro Grammar School, Oke-fia, Osogbo for my secondary education. As a young secondary school student, my passion for the Islamic religion made me to enroll voluntarily in an Islamic school where I learnt a lot about fairness and godliness”, he spoke.
Immediately after his secondary education, the young but vibrant Ajibola got admission into the university of Ilorin to study Arabic language. In his days as a university student, he joined various groups, both religious and academic. At that time, his editorial group published a magazine which detailed events and stories about students and personalities on campus. This made him step on powerful toes and eventually led to his expulsion from the university despite several pleas and interventions from various quarters.
In his words, ” I got home feeling devastated. The thought of how to start all over nearly drove me into depression. With support from my father who first enrolled me in a vocational centre where I learnt shorthand and typewriting, I was able to pick up myself and strategised on the next line of action”.
After several trials, Ajibola Basiru got another admission to study law at the university of Lagos. This was a golden second chance for him and he knew more than anyone that he had no excuse than to succeed. While studying Law, He used his previous knowledge of Islamic teachings to earn money by taking diploma students tutorials in his leisure hours.
Upon graduation from the university of Lagos and despite initial obstacles, he proceeded to the Nigerian law school, Kano, where he met his wife, Mrs. Habibat Basiru, who was also a student at the law school.
The former commissioner for Regional integration and Special duties spoke further about his years at the law school and how his strive for excellence made him graduate in flying colors.
“On the day of my graduation from the Law School, I won the award for the Third Overall Best Student and the Graham Douglas Prize for best student in Company Law and Practice. This marked a moment of nostalgia for me as I reflected on my humble beginning, my previous trials and my present situation which has made me a cynosure of all eyes”, he disclosed.
According to Dr. Ajibola Basiru, he commenced legal practice with the Olaniwun Ajayi law firm where he learnt the rudiments of Conveyance, Banking and Commercial law. He later joined M. A. Banire & Associates as a partner.
He narrated how his years of active legal practice got him involved with complicated litigations and commercial deals in the banking, oil and gas, and telecommunications sectors of the Nigerian economy. He also expatiated on his membership of several electoral litigation teams throughout the country and his expertise as a consultant for political organisations on election related matters.
As a number one law officer for Osun state, Dr. Basiru explained that he was responsible for various Law Reforms, Judicial Sector Reforms, Policy Coordination as well as representing the state in litigation matters.
He also revealed that as a prolific writer, he has a number of publications to his credit. Some of these include; ‘Evolution and Sources of Compulsory Acquisition Laws in Nigeria- A Critical Perspective’, The Blue Book Law Report (co-author), The Return of Oranmiyan: Legal Battles To Reclaim Aregbesola’s Mandate (co-author), ‘Registration of Documents under the Lagos State Land Registration Law 2015’ and a host of others.
According to him, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M) in 2006 with Distinction from the University of Lagos and successfully bagged a PhD. from the Department of Private & Property Law of the same university.
When asked for his advice to youths and everyone passing through difficult situations, he said, “my personal experiences in life have taught me that no adversity could be stronger than the will to succeed. I urge everyone to be persistent and focused in pursuit of their goals”.
He also used the occasion to unveil some of his plans for Osun central senatorial district upon his emergence. “During the course of my campaigns, I have personally visited all the ten local governments in my senatorial district. From the businessmen in osogbo to the farmers in igbotele alapata, I have interacted and held discussions with people in my constituency on areas where they need government interventions. While this is unprecedented, I have taken note of their yearnings and aspirations and these will form core aspects of my assignments when I get to the Red Chamber. We are coming on board with the Food bank project where farmers can conveniently store their harvested produce to prevent spoilage at no cost. Our empowerment programs will create new jobs and make our youths productive”, he added.
At the end of the program, Secretary of Osun Concerned Businessmen for Good Governance, Mr. Bello Ayodele Mufutau appreciated Dr. Ajibola Basiru for honouring the group’s invitation despite his tight schedules and offered prayers for his emergence.