By Akinrinlola Olumide
It is a settled axiom that if you don’t move close to a tree, it will be difficult to know the type of leaves the tree has.
The little I can say of the man, Hon. Banji Okunomo as fondly addressed, he’s a young digital compliant, tested and trusted technocrat, commercially enterprising, and a politician of exemplary distinction.
His proficiency in politics and public service is unrivaled.
He’s a graduate of pure and applied bio chemistry with upper class division from the Federal University of Technology, Akure , Ondo State in year 2001 and a first class student of law.
With 18 years post graduate experience, Okunomo has attained unprecedented feats in public service, politics and business.
Okunomo was the public relations officer (PRO)of the entire Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) workforce in the nine oil producing states in Nigeria between 2007-2010.
He was a technical adviser to the then commissioner representing Ondo State on the governing board of NDDC.
In consideration of his track records of being a goal getter, Okunomo, was appointed chairman of Ilaje Local Government in Ondo-State from 2011-2013.
During his reign as council chairman, he constructed the hitherto abandoned Igbokoda Secretariat road with interlocking paving stone – a technology that is unprecedented in the history of the entire Ondo State which has trajected the reputation of Banji Okunomo in the minds of Ilaje people.
The motor park at Igbokoda at the zero junction in Igbokoda is another landmark project of the less down two years regime of Banji Okunomo, besides the construction of civic center at Ode-Etikan in Ilaje Local government. It must be mentioned that no man is infallible. However, when the good of a person surpasses all odd aspects of a man, the dominant impression will certainly be the good aspect.
Okunomo’s regime witnessed the most robust relationship between the government and the governed in terms of employment of over 350 unemployed youths in the services of the local government, empowerment of various kinds and particularly the payment of bursary to students via the National Association of Ilaje Students and donation of a car to boost the activities of the students union.
Okunomo promptly assisted every local chapter of the National Association of Ilaje students with fund required to support the celebration of Ilaje students cultural day.
No wonder he bagged the award of the best chairman of the year in the entire Ondo State in year 2012. Unquestionably, Okunomo is a phenomenon in the politics of Ilaje and Ondo State at large.
His philanthropic zeal, is quite noticeable and has drawn a lot of admirers to him. Okunomo is a cheerful and unconditional giver which could be attested to by the needies.
Another enviable feat amongst the litany of achievements of Okunomo as a politician can be seen during his reign as the State Publicity Secretary of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State.
There is no doubt that the young man in his 40s is a very articulate, vocal, resourceful, and result oriented politician.
His activities in conceptualising, propagating and accomplishing political visions in various elections including the election of former governor Olusegun Mimiko for second term , National Assembly members, and the most recent election of the senator-elect for Ondo South, Otunba Nicholas Tofowomo, where Okunmo brilliantly and successfully coordinated and delivered victory for the senator-elect as Director-General of his campaign during the PDP primary and general elections, have become a major score point showcasing him as a grassroot politician to be reckoned with in Ondo State.
The Ilaje born politician is well favoured to become the next governor of Ondo state by virtue of the political reality of the state coupled with the needed political experience to suit the 21st century politics of Ondo-State.
One striking quality that prides Okunomo highest among other competitors for the 2020 Ondo governorship seat in his party , PDP, is the fact that the middle-age politician can effectively bridge the gap between the suspecting higher generation and the flexing lower generation of politicians using the efficacious instrument of his experiencial public relation and his undaunted native intelligence.
Distinguished electorates, permit me to humbly present to you an amiable, accessible, humble, credible, vibrant, detribalised, and well exposed personality of Banji Okunomo – your next governor in Ondo-State by the grace of Almighty God.
Olumide Akinrinlola writes from Okitipupa Local government of Ondo- State.