Prince Rotimi Ogunleye, a former Lagos State Commissioner who is aspiring to replace late Senator Sikiru Osinowo at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, has revealed that his first Volkswagen car was bought with bursary money.
He revealed this to reporters at his house during a media parley on his Senatorial aspiration during the week.
Barr. Ogunleye, who studied English Language at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) was admitted into the foremost citadel of learning in September 1979.
“For us as undergraduates then, our bursary was N500. 00. That was big money then. You know I got paid the sum in my first and second year and l used the money to buy a Volkswagen from a Mechanic in Ife then”, he recalled.
“The mechanic usually sells refurbished cars to students. I just used the N1000 saved from the bursary to buy the vehicle which I cruised round OAU then”.
He said that the old Bendel State, which was under the LOOBO States then (Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Bendel and Ondo), was paying the highest bursary during the time.
“Our meal ticket in the University was about 50k. I actually got the Volkswagen around 1980 or 1981 and was crushing it round campus as a big guy”, he said.
Narrating his involvement in politics from the University days, Barr Ogunleye said that he was engaged with the Youth Wing of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) while on Campus and learnt from the ideology of the likes of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ebenezer Babatipe and Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
He said that the privilege of listening to and seeing people of ideology and principles shaped his life and engagement in politics.
“We were in the youth wing of the UPN, you know now. We were vibrantly greater tomorrow.
“I read all the books of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the Trilogy – the Voice of Reason, the Voice of Courage and the Voice of Wisdom and his other books. Listening to Chief Awolowo then, Ebino Topsy (Ebenezer Babatope) who was the Director of Organisation of UPN and our then governor, Lateef Jakande (Baba Kekere) , a fantastic administrator and the best person I have ever seen, l was inspired”, Prince Ogunleye said.
“We learnt everything from these people and many more then. That was UPN days and we were very active in the youth wing of the party then”.
Prince Ogunleye, who graduated with Bachelor Of Arts (Hons) degree in English Studies from the then University of Ife, said that part of his mission is to change the narrative that politicians are liars.
“I want to change the perception that politicians are liars. I do not like the perception of politicians as people who do not have any other work apart from politics. I don’t like that concept that politicians are liars at all”, he said.
“I have been to the UK and USA. I was a reporter in the USA where I worked for the Richmond Times – Dispatch, as a Special Correspondent and I saw their politicians then. They were quite brilliant and also worked as lawyers, engineers”.
He said that he is a professional politician with a second address.
“I refer to myself as a professional in politics. If I am not engaged anywhere, I am always in my law office. I am a journalist and I still write. Some people call it a second address and I have one.
“I am not a politician who would want to engage in criminality.
“When you aspire for political positions, you want to go there and serve. Hence, use your God given talent, education and exposure to make a difference and not engage in violence.