Kunle Adelabu & Odede Efezino Kenneth
The much awaited ‘Outstanding Politician of the Year’ award by the foremost community news medium, Oriwu Sun Newspaper, has been conferred on the representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Rep. Babajimi Adegoke Benson, for his excellent and impactful performance in the last four years.
The award was presented to Rep. Benson by lkorodu royal fathers and the Publisher of Oriwu Sun Newspaper, Alhaji (Chief) Monzor Kolawole Olowosago, at the Aquilla Event Centre, along TOS Benson Avenue, on February 2, 2023.
At the ceremony were Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi, Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Semiudeen Kasali, Adeboruwa of Igbogbo, Oba Olugbade David Raji, Ewuye of Isiwu and Oba Moroof Ahmed Olakunle, Alagura of Agura.
Asipa Kaoli Olusanya, former Commissioner of Agriculture and APC chieftain, Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, Senator representing the Lagos East, Builder Sesan Daini, Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Mr Olarewaju Kuye, Director of Information, Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LAUSTECH), Mr Rotimi Erogbogbo, Chairman Ikorodu – Oga Development Association (IKODASS) and Mayor Muhydeen Sanwoola, Director – General, iCare Foundation, were also in attendance.
Oba Shotobi, while presenting the award to the performing lawmaker, said that he was being awarded for impacting and improving the living standard of his constituents with his quality representation.
“I bestowed on you the outstanding politician award, presented to you, my Honourable, Babajimi Adegoke Benson, the Otun of Ikorodu Division, the representative of Federal House of Representative, Ikorodu Federal Constituency, in recognition of your outstanding performance in improving the living standard of the constituents, in terms of people oriented programmes”, Oba Shotobi said.
“A feat that has never been achieved by any Ikorodu politician. I present this to you today. Congratulations”, the royal father added.
Explaining the conferment, Alhaji Olowosago said that Rep. Benson has proven himself more than any other politician in the 38 years of the existence of the newspaper.
“Since inception of this paper, we believe no politician deserves this honour until we came across Honourable Babajimi Adegoke Benson. 38 years after, Oriwu Sun decided to bestow on him the “Outstanding Politician of the Year Award”, Alhaji Olowosago said.
“In addition to the award, the management has compiled press cuts of Jimi Benson’s public activities in office, from 2015 to 2023. This award serves as a lesson for other politicians in the society. They have no choice but to emulate Jimi Benson, the man who changed the narrative about political office holders.
“When Jimi Benson assumed office in 2015, this paper never thought for a minute that it would one day honour him. Given his background at the LSDPC, a public organisation, no one expects him to perform more than the usual political bravado we are used to in our society. As seen in the past, most political representatives are particular about their meal ticket and nothing more. But this gentleman took the bull by the horns as he delved into public works, building schools, roads, food banks, healthcare facilities and many amenities that have kept people ajar”, the publisher further explained.
Presenting the awardee, Alhaji Olowosago said:
“Our royal fathers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and well – wishers, I, hereby, present to you the Outstanding Politician of the Year, Honourable Babajimi Adegoke Benson, and my gift to the society, my new book”.
Rep. Benson, in his acceptance remarks, thanked the royal fathers, guests and others in attendance for coming to honour him.
He described Oriwu Sun publisher as a steadfast and consistent person who inspired him to establish his community radio station.
“I will also like to thank my uncle, my steadfast and consistent uncle and in-law, the pioneer and founder of Oriwu Sun, the foremost community newspaper in the country, and whose name resonates in Wikipedia. He inspired me to set up the first community radio station in Lagos state, which is IKD 106.1”, he said.
“I am always happy for his consistency and his steadfastness because if you see anywhere, where there’s an issue, Oriwu Sun will be the first to tackle those issues and not only tackling it, he will tackle it consistently.
“Thank you very much uncle for this great honour. I am humbled and anytime I wake up in the morning, I always thank God and my dad that he made me an Ikorodu indigene because I don’t want to belong to any other tribe or local government of whatever area than lkorodu.
“I am so proud of my heritage and all of our Kabiyesis. I don’t know if there’s any division that has SAN, engineer and accountant as Kabiyesis?”, he asked rhetorically”.
Appreciating the honour conferred on him by Oriwu Sun, Rep. Benson said:
“Thank you so much. I am so happy to be here. I am also happy that Ikorodu is 100 percent with the ruling party, APC. Thank you. As you honour me, God will honour all of us and our children, our children shall excel”, he said while expressing his appreciation for the award.
“I thank you all and I am extremely humble. I cried a little because I am the type who doesn’t love to be celebrated. It was even Oriwu Sun (Publisher) that, one day, said to me that all these your achievements, no politician will speak about them for you except you do so yourself, and I told him to do whatever he thinks is right. I am really humbled, thank you very much, I am short of words, thank you very much”.