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Hon. Ladi Adebutu Portrait of Uncommon Generosity & Leadership Acumen By Keem Abdul                                                                                          

Read Time:7 Minute, 14 Second


He straddles the worlds of politics, business and philanthropy like the proverbial colossus. And over the years he has performed the roles demanded by these various areas of interest with uncommon zeal and energy. His privileged family background, as the son of one of Nigeria’s richest businessmen, has been both a blessing and a burden as he navigates the twists and turns of a political journey whose expected culmination he and his admirers believe will bring about a sea-change in the profile and fortunes of his immediate constituency, and indeed the nation as a whole. 

Hon.Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu’s aspiration to be the next Governor of Ogun State is no longer a secret. It is a long-standing and deeply-felt aspiration, borne out of the same impetus that has driven his philanthropic endeavours over the years (ie the desire to put an end to the socio-economic doldrums in which his people have languished for so long, and to take Ogun State from the margins to the mainstream of the scheme of things in Nigeria and beyond (in line with its epithet, namely, ‘The Gateway State’). 

Some people, it was once said, are born great; others achieve greatness, while yet others have greatness thrust upon them. As he engages his people through his businesses, his philanthropy and his political activity, it is clear to even the most casual observer that Lado (as he is known by his teeming admirers) has in him the makings of greatness – not just because of his privileged family pedigree, but more remarkably, because of the strides he has made to carve out a name for himself. In his 62-years of life, Hon. Adebutu has shown that it is possible to inherit greatness AND also earn more of that greatness for oneself. 

Born on February 25, 1962, in Lagos, Nigeria, Oladipupo Olatunde Adebutu is the eldest son of the legendary Sir Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu, CON, KJW, FISM. Better known as ‘Baba Ijebu’, the elder Adebutu is the founder of Premier Lotto, a lottery company, and holds the traditional chieftaincy title of Odole-Oodua, Balogun of Remoland, in Ogun State. The young Ladi began his primary education at the International Day Nursery school, Yaba, Lagos, from where he proceeded to St. Saviours Primary School, Oke-Ira, Ebute-Metta – and then to Igbobi College, also in Lagos, where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1978. He left Nigeria for Ireland, where he obtained an Irish Leaving Certificate in 1980 and an Irish National Certificate in 1983. In 1984, he obtained an Irish National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry before returning to Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of the University of Lagos. 

From an early age, Adebutu had demonstrated a fervent passion for agriculture. In adulthood, this passion aroused his entrepreneurial instincts and led him to establish the Solomon Kessington Agro-Allied Limited. Tropical Farms, a pig farm focuses on the production of livestock feeds and related services. It was a passion that would come to influence his overall views about politics and governance. It formed in him the conviction that a robust agricultural profile is an effective catalyst towards the attainment of food sustenance and security in our country. 

Hon. Adebutu’s foray into public life and policy-making gained its impetus in 2007 when he was appointed Commissioner 2 (,later Commissioner 1) in the cabinet of the then-Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

He took his engagement with politics a notch higher in 2015, on his election into the House of Representatives under the banner of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent the Remo, Shagamu and Ikenne Federal Constituency. Inside the Green Chamber, he served on a number of committees – most notably as Chairman of the House Committee on Rural Development. 

Since his entry into the murky waters of politics, Adebutu has been intentional at using both his wealth and his public position as a catalyst to transform the lives of the less-privileged persons (and vulnerable groups) in Ogun State. To this end, he founded a philanthropic organisation, the Ladi Adebutu Development Organization (LADO), which, from the accounts of its countless beneficiaries, has been nothing short of a Godsend. 

Among LADO’s gestures in this regard is the donation of a brand-new 500KVA Transformer to the Igan Okoto Community in Yewa North LGA. The ripple effect of the donation, it was noted during the presentation ceremony, meant that small-scale economic activities in the community would be assured of reliable electricity and the consequent boom in positive outcomes.  In the period since he made that donation, Hon. Adebutu’s quest for the replication of such positive outcomes across the state has led him to similar donations, namely, brand-new transformers in EACH of the state’s 236 wards. 

A leader who believes that charity should begin at home (but not end there), Hon. Adebutu’s LADO has also facilitated some road construction in different parts of his own constituency. He has also rehabilitated a number of hospital facilities in Iperu Remo and Sagamu, in addition to building blocks of classrooms in locations like Ode Remo and Sagamu. 

In addition to these tangible interventions, Hon. Adebutu has also reached out in intangible but equally impacful ways. LADO has empowered thousands of young people with periodic skill acquisition programmes, at the conclusion of which they are awarded with certain sums as takeoff grants.

This open-handed generosity on the part of Hon. Adebutu (coupled with a personal manner that many have variously described as ‘humble’, ‘unassuming‘ and ‘down-to-earth‘ etc., in spite of his privileged background) has won him no small amount of plaudits across the demographic divide in Ogun State, with the old and young, rural and urban, and male and female, as well as commentators all crediting him with having ‘raised the bar in philanthropy and developmental politics.’ 

He is also widely admired for having all his assets domiciled in Ogun State. By most accounts, all his investments (some of which enjoy a reach and scope across and beyond the borders and shores of Nigeria) have their primary operations in Ogun State. It is further proof (if proof were needed) of his love for the state, and his firm belief in its immense potential for prosperity and greatness. 

It was Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the US who asserted thus, “No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave”.  And that has been the case with Hon. Ladi Adebutu, as he has been the proud and grateful recipient of a multiplicity of awards, honours and recognitions from institutions ranging from custodians of culture to educational institutions and reputable media organisations. 

In the quest for a higher challenge as far as governance and the delivery of the much-talked-about ‘democracy dividends‘ to the people is concerned, Hon. Adebutu has in the past sought to expand the scope of his influence and impact on the lives and livelihoods of his people, to actualize his desire to see smiles on the faces of the people of Ogun State, and to drastically scale-up the perception of the Gateway State as a preferred destination for business, investment and leisure by prospective investors, as well as tourists and families, by presenting himself for service as Governor of Ogun State. 

His most-recent previous attempt at occupying the office of the Chief Executive of the Gateway State, as the gubernatorial flagbearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 general election, ended in a disputed outcome and consequent controversy after his main rival (and current Governor) His Excellency, Dapo Abiodun was named the winner of the poll – albeit with a slim margin. Adebutu and his party, the PDP, had challenged the March 18, 2023, gubernatorial election result which gave Abiodun a second term in office.  However, the process has been punctuated by interventions by well-meaning citizens of the state, notably leaders of thought and elder-statesmen, who have counseled that “there must be an end to litigation and unhealthy rivalry”.

Whatever the future holds from here on in, one thing is clear: By his pedigree, exposure, astute business acumen, his footprints on the political sands of time, and very importantly, his philanthropic interventions – especially in lives that are struggling – Hon. Ladi Adebutu has laid a marker – which says that if the people of Ogun State are sufficiently desirous of a leader who combines a heart for his people and a blueprint for action to deliver (rather than just pay lip service to) the dividends of democracy to their people, they need look no further than Hon. Ladi Adebutu. 


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