An Oyo State political leader, Senator Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi, has officially declared his intention to return to the Nigerian Senate to represent Oyo South Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), confirming what has been one of the most anticipated declarations in Oyo politics since the buildup to the 2023 elections started in earnest.
In a statement on Wednesday, May 11 2022 in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, the Okanlomo of Ibadan land described his ambition as one that is not built on “mere promises to do” but one that guarantees the continuity and expansion of an already established track-record of performance.
While expressing gratitude to his thousands of supporters and political associates who have been encouraging him to throw his hat into the ring, Senator Akanbi noted that he considers the call on him to be a show of love but also proof that the people of Ibadan, Ido, Ibarapa and all local governments in Oyo South have made development their priority.
He said: “It gives me great joy and a sense of fulfillment that although I left the Senate in May 2019, the Almighty has helped me to sustain all my commitment to the development of Oyo South and the welfare of the good people of Ibadan, Ido, Ibarapa and all its towns and villages.
“Staying consistent with my belief that infrastructural development is a major driver of economic growth, my contribution to the Ibadan-Lagos railway project has been well documented and cannot be overemphasized. So are my efforts towards to the revitalization of the Ibadan Airport. Today, both projects remain among the best things happening to the economy of Oyo state.
“I have also never ignored the need to directly impact the microeconomic needs of our people and that is why despite being out of office, we have continued to commit personal resources to ensuring that we constantly support our youths, market women, artisans and trade associations with grants, work tools and soft loans to boost their careers and businesses.
“I believe that the prayers and encouragement of the masses, our dear pensioners and other senior citizens, as well as the teachers and civil servants with whom we have maintained a very cordial relationship have brought me this far and I am happy to heed the people’s call on me to officially return to my duty post in the Nigerian Senate.
“This is proof that indeed, the people of Oyo state still rank among the most politically sophisticated electorates in Nigeria. I do not take their vote of confidence for granted and that is why in the next couple of weeks we will embark on a tour of all local government areas and wards within our district as we have always done.
“On this next tour, we shall be engaging various stakeholders to further discuss how our ideas and strategic plans can be well utilized for the good of the people, most especially our hardworking vibrant youths. This is important because as I have continued to serve the good people of Oyo South Senatorial District, I am constantly faced with the reality that a lot more needs to be done and there has been a huge vacuum of quality representation which our people got used to during my first spell in the 8th Senate from 2015 to 2019.
“It is now important that they trust me and my team again with their mandate so that their constitutional authority will better enable us to do more for the development of our people.”
Senator Adesoji Akanbi has been described as a politician in the mold of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo whose educational legacy he has made efforts to preserve. One of such efforts is his 2017 multimillion-naira project of renovating buildings and infrastructure at the Methodist Basic School, Agbeni, Ibadan.
For about two decades, SOJ, as he is fondly called, has also maintained a robust support programme in the health sector through his Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi Foundation (RAAF) collaboration with the University Teaching Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, where he supports the less privileged and children aged 0 to 12 in need of emergency healthcare.