My Hero: Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim


David Titiloye

My mentor once taught me that it takes grace to admire or idolize someone from afar and continue to do so after having access to them. This is because idolizing them makes you oblivious to the fact that they are humans like you hence your mind is likely to react adversely when you get closer and realize that they eat like you, sleep like you, and are susceptible to other human factors like you.

I have had the privilege of access to Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, he is infact accessible to all and I grow to admire him more as the day goes by because I tell myself that asides his political exploits and status, humanly speaking if someone at his level in terms of knowledge; a PhD holder, Lawyer and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers can be this humble, empathetic, generous, compassionate and accommodating in a society where we like to oppress one other then such person ought to be emulated.

There is no universal concept for Hero as opposed to what movies make us believe. To a community whose members trek hundred of miles daily to fetch unclean water, someone who provides them with motorized borehole is a Hero. To a father who is struggling to send his child to school, someone who gives that child a scholarship is a Hero. To a youth who is unemployed and struggling to raise his family, one who secures him a job is a Hero. This is what Senator Rafiu Ibrahim represents to me and a thousand others whose lives have been impacted one way or the other by him.

Dear Kwara Southerners be mindful of those who come with campaign buzzwords of offering a breath of fresh air, ask them if the air they were breathing under Senator Rafiu posed any threat to their health because the last person who promised a breath of fresh air ended up suffocating our people.
If anyone comes saying it is time for a new face, ask him if the face of Senator Rafiu ever caused him nightmares because the last person who came in as a new face ended up disappearing.

It is a sign of unintelligence and lack of substance if the only thing you can use to discredit a candidate is his ties to Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki. A man of Dr Bukola Saraki’s status will not be relevant for over 2 decades in Kwara and national politics by surrounding himself with sycophants, he knows those whose value can compliment his personal strength and Senator Rafiu Adebayo is one of such people.
All politicians have sycophants around them but when push comes to shove, they know who not to push forward.

Just like in his academic and business career, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim’s political career has followed an upward progression, if truly the Saraki dynasty operates a reward system then Senator Rafiu Ibrahim being relevant till date is a testament to his outstanding person for him to still be a shining star in a successful political dynasty that has thousands of accomplished men and women jostling for relevance yearly. Even those parroting the stooge narrative today had at one time or the other tried to benefit from the structure of that dynasty but couldn’t stand out like Senator Rafiu has done.

I have studied politics in Nigeria long enough to know that political overlords will never want their stooges to outshine them, ask Tinubu why he never wanted Fashola to run for second term or refused Ambode a second term ticket. Ask him why he never agreed to Rauf Aregbesola choosing his successor in Osun state or why he failed to support Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s bid to run for president? If you can answer those questions then perhaps you should explain why Dr Bukola Saraki who served in the senate twice does not feel threatened by Senator Rafiu Ibrahim having the most legislative experience of any Kwaran alive.
This is because Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki is not an Overlord neither is Senator Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim a stooge. Overlords only want you to succeed to the level to which their insecurity permits not give you opportunities that constantly elevates you.
It is unarguable that Rafiu Ibrahim as an experienced senator will command more respect at the red chamber when elected in February.
Conclusively, their relationship is mutually beneficial and has never been detrimental to the development of Kwara South.

Another answer is simply what his opponents acknowledge in their closet, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim is a formidable force, a man of substance loved by all; from Igbomina to Ekiti to Ibolo, Rafiu is the name on everyone’s lips. The election would have been a walkover for them if not for this towering star of Kwara South who has risen again like a shooting star.

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