Hon. Olanrewaju Ibrahim Layode (OIL) is a third term member of Lagos House of Assembly representing the good people of Badagry Constituency 1. The quiet and unassuming politician is also a prince by association. He is married to one of the beautiful daughters of Oba Akran of Badagry.
Hon. Layode who turned 43 on Thursday, November 10, 2016, told ENCOMIUM Weekly about his sojourn on this terrestrial earth.
Congratulations on your 43rd birthday.
How does it feel to turn 43?
We thank God Almighty for good health. I also want to thank my family and my constituents.
In what way would you say your new age has changed you?
I will say I am more matured compare to when I was 33. There is also a popular saying that life begins at 40. What it means is that at 40 you are supposed to be a man of yourself. You are now seen as a full blown adult who can control his own destiny and those of the people around him.
When would you say is the happiest moment of your 43 years of existence?
Anytime I look back and I see smiles on the faces of the people that I represent here in the Lagos House of Assembly. They have entrusted their lives and well being in my hand in the last 12 years or so and each time I go back to them to give them feedback of what we are doing here to make their lives better and I see smiles on their faces, I am always happy too.
When would you say is the saddest moment of your life so far?
As a muslim, I strongly believe in the words of the Holy Quran that says that whatever happens to man, has been willed by the Almighty God Himself. So, whatever happens to me that I feel bad about, I take it as the will of Almighty Allah.
You are saying nothing has happened to you that made you extremely sad?
So, what do want to do? It is the will of God. The worst thing that can happen to you is a disappointment from your fellow human being.
What about if someone you loved so much died?
It is still the will of God. That is what my Quran taught me that we all came from God and we are all going back to Him (He recites a verse from the Holy Quran).
You have been a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly for the third term now. What is it that has made the people of your constituency to vote for you three times?
There is no big deal about that. There is this saying that if you are lawyer, you must practice your law well. If you are a doctor, you must doctor the people well. The same thing goes for a politician. If you are a Politian, you must practice your politics well.
As a politician, you must serve those who elected you conscientiously. You must be close to the people you represent. You must regularly go back to them to give them feedback of what is going in government. Our primary assignment as lawmaker is to represent the people of our constituency who elected us to represent their interests here.
Aside the fact that whatever we are doing here must represent their interests, we must also not forget to go back to give them the feedback of what we are doing to make their lives better.
It is not only during the town hall meetings that we should be going back to them. We should be there all the time to listen to their yearnings and aspirations.
I have been doing all of these and they are seeing it and that is why they keep sending me back to represent them time and time again. They are even saying that they don’t want me in the House of Representatives but here in the House of Assembly.
I thank my people for the trust and confidence reposed in me to represent them. I also thank the Almighty God who has given me the wisdom and the wherewithal to do what is right in the eyes of my people.
What will you love about politics that a lot of people despise?
I love politics. There is nothing bad about politics. It is the people practicing politics that are bad. Many politicians are not honest and sincere in their dealings with the people. That is why people tagged politics as a bad thing. When you deceive people or you are not straight forward in your dealings with them. Then they will see you as a bad person.
For instance, when someone comes to you to seek your support for one political post or the other, tell the person the truth that you are supporting him or you are not going to support. Don’t collect anything from him or her and at the end of the day, you did not support or vote for him. These are the things that some people do that make others to tag politicians as bad and dishonest people.
To me, politics is good. According to the Holy Quran, to be in politics is to be placed in position of trust. If you are placed in any position of trust according to the two Holy Books – Quran and Bible, you should not betray that trust. We all knew what happened to those who betrayed the trust reposed in them in the Holy Quran and Bible.
So, it is your choice either to do well or otherwise as a politician. You cannot satisfy everybody. But do your best to satisfy the greatest number of the people.
Tell us who your wife is and how you met each other?
My wife and I met at Lagos State University, Ojo and after our NYSC, we got married.
You have not told us her name.
Her name is Princess Elizabeth Adefunke Akran-Layode. She is the daughter of Akran of Badagry.
So, you are married to a princess. You must be a prince then?
Yes, that was what I told Rt. Hon. Ikuforiji, when he called a prince and I stood up. He asked, am I a prince? And said I am a prince. If you could call Hon. Tejuoso princess because she is married to a prince, then, I should also be called a prince because I am married to a princess, though it was a joke on the floor of the House of Assembly.
How many children has the marriage been blessed with?
I have one but I am praying for more.
- TOLANI ABATI