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Adewusi: Apostle of positive change at 56

Published by Tribune on Sun, 25 May 2014

A daunting world, a frustrating, charging and stormy environment briefly describes the birth and growth of a village boy, the son of a peasant farmer and traditional drummer who engaged in farming activities as a way of assisting his father and drummed around the town during any celebration or festive period. He was also being a good talking drummer who later rose through hard work, steadfastness and determination to become a computer guru, economist, business executive, finance expert, consummate politician and internationally acclaimed achiever. Universally, it has become a prevalent phenomenon that most great men were products of remote and rural settings. Quintessential leaders like the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo, late Nnamdi Azikiwe, late Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama, and others were born in villages and not with silver spoons. They struggled for survival and weathered the storms of life before becoming renowned personalities. This salient fact might have been responsible for Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi 's place of birth. He was born on May 20, 1958 to late Pa Kareem Babatunde Adewusi and Madam Faderera Asabi Adewusi, both from Eruwa, the present headquarters of Ibarapa East Local Government, Oyo state, south-western Nigeria. He had his elementary education in his home town and also attended Baptist Secondary Modern School in Eruwa. Dr Adewusi earned his West African School Certificate at the Technical College, lle Ife, Osun State and later enrolled at the Polytechnic, lbadan where he studied Computer Science and performed excellently. Dr Adewusi bagged his first degree with exceptional performance, first class honour in Economics from the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State), Masters of Science degree in Economics from the same University. He had a brief stint with the institution as an Assistant Lecturer before he proceeded to Keio University in Japan where he bagged his Doctorate degree in International Monetary Economics. He added yet another degree to his seemingly endless academic laurels-a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Lagos in the face of myriad of commitments and challenges. He went through corporate governance course at Harvard Business School, United States of America and completed Business Executive course at Lagos Business School, Nigeria. On his return to Nigeria, he took up an appointment with Lead Merchant Bank Limited, Victoria Island, Lagos in 1994 as a Manager, Corporate Planning and Business Development where he rose to the position of Senior Manager. Dr Adewusi had a brief stay in this position as he was appointed the Managing Director, Ibile Holdings Limited; a conglomerate of Lagos State Investment in 1999. His involvement in politics exposed him to the deplorable condition of our people and the degree at which poverty, the cankerworm has eaten deep into the fabric of our society, caused many brilliant students to abandon their academic pursuit due to financial constraint and rendered those who had gained autonomy in one occupation or the other incapable of establishing their own businesses. . . As a progressive, he was a member of Alliance for Democracy in Oyo State at the time. Sadly enough, the party has become non-existent due to its defeat at the poll in 2003.To put the party on the right foot, make it more vibrant and ensure that it stands a better chance to win elections in the future, Dr Adewusi formed and funded PACESETTER DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, the platform he exploited to mobilize people and awaken the members' interest across the length and breadth of the state. This he solely did through his personal resources and energy. In 2006, he declared his intension to vie for the gubernatorial post on the platform of Alliance for Democracy which was later renamed the Action Congress before the 2007 general elections. After several political permutations and intrigues, the dream could not be realized, as he lost the bid. He was later offered the ticket to contest for Oyo South Senatorial District, this he did as someone who believes in party's supremacy but lost under controversial circumstances. Undeterred by the defeat of the time as 'a determined, focused and consistent politician, Dr Adewusi still declared to run for the same office in the 2011 polls on the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, which has now transformed to All Progressives Congress. Again the aspiration was unsuccessful; this made his supporters to pressurize him to realize his ambition elsewhere. Dr Adewusi rather appealed for calm and admonished his followers to support the party towards ensuring its success at the polls. He solidly stood behind the party and used his resources to guarantee the victory of the incumbent governor. In recognition of his contribution at the poll, the governor appointed him as the Chairman of WEMABOD ESTATES LIMITED, a subsidiary of Odu'a Group of Companies, an investment of SouthWest states in Nigeria with Lagos in exemption, in 2012. As the organization's chairman, he brought to bear his ardor for change and development, by expanding the frontiers of the organization beyond traditional property management through various initiatives. On assumption of office, he made familiarization visits to all the governors of the boards' member states, exposing them to the management's objectives for WEMABOD ESTATES LIMITED, seeking their support. As a lover of knowledge and team playing, he organized a retreat to enhance capacity building and further equip the staff and members of the organization for the enormous task ahead, and create a synergy' for better administration. Without doubt, this retreat helped tremendously on the growth of the company and became the achievements which Dr Adewusi recorded as the chairman, in collaboration with other members of the board. Dr Adewusi belongs to a number of professional, trans-national and social organizations, including the Nigerian Economic Society, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Nigerian Japan Association and Ikoyi Club 38.Adewole Peter sent this piece from Ibadan.
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