One man whose contributions cannot be unappreciated when it comes to the development of politics in Lagos since the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 is Cardinal James Omolaja Odumbaku.
A gallant political soldier that he is, Baba Eto has he is popularly known has been a loyal, efficient and effective grassroots mobilizer even way before the ’99 era so much so that he was appointed Special Adiviser on grassroot mobilisation to the late Chief M.K.O Abiola during the Hope ’93 campaign.
There is no doubt that the 74 -year-old has made his mark and cut the teeth when it comes to politics in Lagos and by extension Nigeria and one would have expected that by now, Baba Eto would have been discovering and grooming many young politicians to take over from him, but it’s a bit disappointing that this is not the case.
Cardinal Odumbaku infact gave himself away in a video currently circulating on social media where Very Important Personalities eulogised the JAGABAN of Borgu; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In the video, the VIPs spoke well about the qualities of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and how he has raised men of timbre and calibre in the society as well as how he has brought a lot of men and women from grass to grace not only in lagos but across the length and breadth of the globe.
Governors Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo; former Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola; former Deputy Governor of Lagos, Femi Pedro and a host of others spoke brilliantly about Asiwaju and his sterling qualities.
Like the others, the Governor Advisory Council member, Cardinal Odumbaku indeed also spoke well of Asiwaju; here are his words;
“Okay, can you tell me, is there any other man who can just beat his chest and say yes I have done this, I have raised Councilors, Supervisory councilor,Chairmen, Senators, House of Reps, Governors. Where is that man who will not only use his wife and children?”
However, while it is well appreciated that Cardinal Odumbaku recognises the swell qualities of Asiwaju particularly of how he has discovered and made men who are in top places today and how Asiwaju has refused to field any of his family members nor his children in those positions either as councillor, supervisory councillor, chairman, house of assembly member, commissioner, SA, SSA, Governor, House of Reps. Member or senators; same cannot be said of Baba Eto?
We can can categorically tell you that for every slot and opportunities Baba Eto have gotten in the past to field people in positions, the Celestial Church of Christ Prophet has always given it to either his brother, sister or his biological children.
True to character, Baba Eto is fielding and backing his son; Segun Odumbaku who is contesting as chairman in the forthcoming local government elections in Ojodu Local Council Development Area (LCDA)
His son, Segun whom he is fielding, is the current Secretary to Local Government (SLG) of the LCDA and was once the SLG in Ikeja Local Government Area for 8 years following imposition from his father who was at the time, the Deputy Chairman of the APC in Lagos.
It is glaring that Baba Eto is not following the foot steps of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who he described as a selfless leader who has never appointed any of his biological children in any position in Lagos state and Nigeeria at large.
It has been analysed by many observers that nepotism is one big block that has negated against Nigeria’s political and economic growth.
Perhaps it will be in the best interest of true democracy and the iconic footprints that Cardinal Odumbaku has represented in Lagos politics, to advice his son, Segun Odumbaku to step down.
The people cannot continue to serve a family in Ojodu LCDA and as a well respected elderstatesman, Baba Eto should give chance to other people of Ojodu LCDA to also rise politically and stop fielding only his children.
Below is Cardinal Odumbaku’s video eulogising Tinubu;