The story in the political circle is that Hon. Baderinwa Bamidele Samson, aka MR. WHITE, a member of House of Representatives, representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency in Ondo State, used to be a cook in Lagos Government House before he became a member of House of
According to the tale bearers, Mr. White, as he is fondly called in Lagos State Civil Service circle met Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who he also served to inform him of his political ambition. But Fashola was said to have dismissed him with a wave of the hand.
He did same to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who not only gave him his blessing but also assisted him with a lump sum.
He went to Ondo and won the primary election to contest the Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency on the platform of APC. He came to Lagos again to show his former bosses his no mean achievement in Ondo State. Asiwaju Tinubu did not only congratulate him but again gave him a lump sum that more than quadrupled the sum he gave him for the primary election.
Fashola, who initially did not believe in him, also congratulated him and gave him a sum of money too.
Encomium Weekly was able to get Hon. Baderinwa, who told us more about his transformation from governors’ personal aide to a lawmaker. He said he was never a cook to any of the governors he served, but rather their personal aide. Representatives courtesy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s financial assistance in 2015.
How and when did you meet Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu?
He was my immediate boss when he became the governor of Lagos State. Because I was a civil servant then, I worked in Lagos State Civil Service.
As what, sir?
As a civil servant. I was with him throughout his eight successful years in office as the governor of Lagos State.
Some people did not want me to work with him. They told him (Tinubu) that he should not allow me near him. I didn’t know he
kept me under watch. I didn’t know this until one day when Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was the Chief of Staff then called me to his (Tinubu) office and locked the door.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed was the first to ask me that he learnt that I wanted to poison oga (Tinubu) and that people said I should not be allowed near his office or hold his office key. That I should not be allowed near his food or water.
I asked what would be my reason to want to harm the governor. I told them how Pa Michael Otedola held me in high esteem when he was the governor and how he used to direct his son, Femi Otedola to meet me for anything he needed. I asked Alhaji Lai Mohammed what would be my gain if I killed Asiwaju.
In what capacity did you work with Tinubu?
When I was working with him, I was in administration/protocol. When they brought his food from the house, I took care of it in the office. I was a supervisor. I was not his cook. I was not a steward. I was his personal aide. But a lot of people did not know. That was why they said Mr. White was a cook. I was not a cook. I don’t even know how to cook.
Could it because you were always in white that people thought you were a cook?
It was (Brigadier General) Raji Rasaki (rtd) that gave me the name, Mr. White. An incident happened in the State House which led to a blood stain on my attire. Two or three hours later, the governor (Raji Rasaki) saw me in another white attire. He was surprised and asked me how I got another white apparel. I told him I usually kept extra attire in my car. It was since then he started calling me Mr. White and that was how the name stuck. That incident also led to the establishment of a clinic in the State House, Marina, since that day.
Did you also serve Col. Buba Marwa (rtd) too?
Yes, briefly before I was transferred out of the State House. It was when Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu came that they requested me to come and serve him.
Is it true when you wanted to contest for House of Representatives in Ondo State you met Asiwaju Tinubu for financial assistance?
All I did was to get his blessings and he gave me his blessings.
But did he assist you financially for the election?
If a father assisted his son in achieving his goals, is that a sin?
No sir. We just want you to confirm whether he assisted you or not?
What other confirmation do you need? As I said, I was only enjoying the privilege of being one of his sons.
A lot of people knew you as Mr. White. What is your real name?
My name is Baderinwa Samson Bamidele (OFR).
So, you also have a National Honour award?
Yes. That was in 2007, during late Musa Yar’Adua’s regime. It was the same Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that recommended me for the National award and Obasanjo approved it. But it was Yar’Adua who gave it to me.
I worked diligently with eight governors. I worked with late Gbolahan Mudashiru, Mike Akhigbe, Raji Rasaki, Pa. Michael Otedola, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Raji Fashola.
So, you worked with Fashola too?
Yes. I was working with him when I resigned to contest for the House of Representatives in my state.
How will you describe your experience as a member of House of Representatives?
It is okay. It is another learning experience for me.
What will you say prepared you for this new experience?
I have always been a politician all the time I was in Lagos State Civil Service. I have been doing empowerment for my people in Agege and Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area every Boxing Day. I was doing this all the while that I was in the civil service.
Although I didn’t attend their (politicians) meetings I participated in whatever they were doing then.
Which constituency are you representing in Ondo State now?
I am representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency.
Did Asiwaju influence your election in anyway?
Aside giving me his blessings, no. He told me to go and work and come with result.
Was that what he told you?
Yes, and I made it. I made him and Fashola proud.
The way they do politics in Ondo State is different from that of Lagos State. It is do or die there.
How many House of Representatives seats did APC win in Ondo State?
Out of how many?
Nine and we have two senators out of three senatorial districts seat.
For how many years were you in the service of Lagos State before you resigned to contest for the House f Representatives?
I joined the service in 1985 and I left in 2014, to contest for the primary election which I won and I came to Lagos to show my certificate to Asiwaju (Tinubu) and Governor Fashola.
Again. When I won the seat, I came to Lagos to show my certificate of return to both of them. I thank the two of them because they contributed in no small way to my success in the election.
All I am doing now in my constituency in Ondo State are things that I learnt from both of them.