Adebutu decries Nigeria’s expensiveness, do-or-die politics
The new Odole Odua, who spoke to journalists in his Ikoyi residence, disclosed that he was close to most Yoruba monarchs, adding that it was based on that closeness that he recently called on the Ooni of Ife, Akarigbo, Alake and others to look into the controversies surround Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
While restating his disinterest in partisan politics, Adebutu said, “Our problem is the expensiveness of our politics. Our politics is just too expensive and that is why it is attractive to those who have no business in governance. Politics in Nigeria is do-or-die.
“As a way out, I will suggest that politics in Nigeria should be made a part-time business where politicians will receive just sitting allowances. That is the solution and until then, I don’t think there will be peace.”
On his investiture at Ooni of Ile-Ife palace as Odole Odua, Adebutu said he felt so honoured, because “I am aware of its historical relevance, the dignity and responsibilities attached to the sacred status and I so much value the title.”
He described the installation of Chief (Obafemi) Awolowo and G.O.K Ajayi as previous Odole as an avenue of introducing the right pegs in the right holes, saying: “Take Chief Awolowo for example. He played the most progressive politics in the Southwest and till date, no politician or political office holder can stand and say that he has done half of what Awo did during his days.
“Same thing (could be said of) our brother, Chief G.O.K Ajayi, who was a great lawyer that used his professionalism, knowledge and potential to advance the cause of the Yoruba race. Without any sense of pride, most of Yoruba monarchs are my friends. Before my selection as the next Odole Oodua, I have been working closely with almost all monarchs across Yoruba land towards prosperity.
“In addition, I am Asoju Oba of Lagos. Don’t forget, I am not a Lagosian. All these point to the fact that I have a good relationship with Yoruba monarchs, which will assist me in performing optimally as Odole Oodua.”
Adebutu, who turns 84 years old on October 20, 2019, said the perceived disunity of Yoruba is a figment of political actors’ imagination that does not reach deep, even as he noted that young people needed tutelage to find their footing early in life.
In his words: “What they (youths) are missing is value system; the youths must redefine their values and begin to concentrate on what matters to them. Today, our youths are so lazy and impatient. They don’t want to crawl before walking. In fact, they want to start flying, forgetting that it is important for a baby to crawl before walking. In this regard, I call on parents not to get tired in directing our youths to the right path.”
On his philanthropic bent and entrepreneurial acumen, Odole Odua remarked that his humble background motivated him, stressing, “I know what poverty is, because I was not born with a silver spoon. Summarily, let me say that I help people to appreciate God Almighty for his immense blessings on me. As a young man, I worked with several firms before establishing the company known as Face-to-Face, which I started as a pool agent with my good friend, the late Chief Solomon Adebayo Ayoku.
“In all sincerity, I drew my interest in entrepreneurship from a book which I read about the inestimable benefits of owning one’s business. From that book, I realised that working, as an employee is time-bound as one must either retire or be relieved of his duties.
“Take my life, for example, I will be 84 on 20th of this month and money keeps coming for me due to the fact that I own my business. My mates out there are probably looking up to their children or pension.”
On the secret of success, Sir Adebutu said in all sincerity, “persistence and hard work pay. I started as a pool agent in the 1960s before having 26 branches, which later produced the success everybody is seeing today. Importantly, I engaged my children in the business. I didn’t pay them salary; we share whatever comes, so they work very hard, because they realised that it is their business. And that is what brought us to where we are today.”
He disclosed that he made a successful polygamist by being just and fair, adding, “In my case, I treat my wives and children equally. I have children above 50 years and I have a six-year-old child. I treat them equally, because they are equal before me.
At times, when the older ones get jealous of their younger siblings getting the same amount of money or material from me, I will summon a family meeting, where everyone would be present and we resolve it in such a way that they even agree with me that their younger ones deserve more.”
Sir Adebutu dismissed the notion that the gaming business is for some not-too-good members of the society, stressing that lotto is the stock exchange of an ordinary man as acknowledged by the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fasola, adding, “People have made a whole fortune from it and that is why it is still relevant till date.”
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