Hon. Ajibayo Adeyeye, a medical doctor, is the immediate past Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly. An indigene of Ondo town in Ondo State, he is presently the Special Adviser on Health to the Ondo State governor and an aspirant for the House of Representatives to represent Ondo Federal Constituency. He recently celebrated his 50th birthday which attracted many dignitaries to the ancient Ondo kingdom. PATRICK OKOHUE spoke with him shortly after the celebration and he bares his mind on the reasons behind the celebration, adding that it has nothing to do with his ambition or to intimidate his opponents.
You just concluded the celebration of your 50 birthday, that was filled with many activities and the crowd today was huge, how will you describe your feelings after today’s event?
Well, I want to really thank God and say that I am now much more disposed to serving my community, the community showed a lot of love, the community showed me that all these while that I have been serving them is not in vain, that it is appreciated,
by the turn out at my birthday ceremony, by the turn out at all the events that I held towards marking my 50th birthday. There is a great sense of commitment in me to continue to serve this community.
Your governor described you as one the pillars of his government and a digital adviser, how does that make you feel?
Well, only he really understands what he means, but then what the governor has done is to again give me greater responsibilities.
Because with that, even people that hitherto were not consulting with you before concerning the government will now start talking to you and you will now have much more responsibilities to discharge to the people as far as Ondo State government is concerned.
We give glory and adoration to God that the governor too appreciates my little contributions to the government of Ondo State.
When you say the turn out and the love that your people showed has given you a responsibility to do more, what exactly do you mean?
I started this ceremony precisely on Tuesday 21st and by that Tuesday, the quantum of gifts that I got from the community was so enormous that I cannot even believe that it is I that attracted that much gifts from the people.
Secondly, on Wednesday during the church service, that day was the day of a major Muslim festival, but despite the Muslim festival, because in this town, we are inter related, Muslims marry Christians, and Christians marry Muslims,
the church was still filled with people that came to rejoice with me that I was 50 and on Friday I had empowerment programme, deliberately I did not advertise the empowerment programme until Wednesday,
so, people basically had about 72 hours notice to attend that event, but at the empowerment event on Friday, we had well over a 1000 people attending, even though we gave empowerment to only about 689 people.
Yes, you could say that it was because we wanted to give somethings free to them, but it is also possible that you call people that you have food to give to them to eat and they say they don’t want to eat your food,
so if people accept you and accept your gifts that you are offering, it is a thing of joy, irrespective of the fact that you are giving it and they are receiving it.
That was on Friday, on Friday evening I had a picnic on my farm, where my friends, family and family friends attended in very large number and the joy, the mood at the farm was awesome, very encouraging and the last day was today, we had over 3000 guests that came just because I was celebrating my 50 birthday.
We had two governors, two deputy governors and a lot of very distinguished Nigerians attended the event, what more can I ask for, people from Lagos, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Governor-elect of Ekiti State, the present governor of Ondo State and his deputy were all in attendance.
My Speaker for eight years in the Lagos State House of Assembly was also in attendance and several others. I don’t think I could have wished for more, it can only be that God again in His infinite mercy has extended further privileges to me.
I overheard some people say that the event of today is a sort of warning notice to anyone interested in the House of Representatives position in your constituency, that they should just go and sit down, with the turnout of event today will you agree that you have successfully intimidated others who are aspiring with you for that seat?
Well, the intention was not to intimidate anybody, the intention was just to appreciate the goodness of God in my life, the intention was just to celebrate the privileges that God has given me, having stayed this far.
Off course there are reasons to believe that so many people attending one event might be a source of concern to other would be aspirants for the position of member of the House of Reps, but be that as it may, my party is a very fair party and I am sure they would create a level playing ground and the best man will still get the job.