ONE YEAR IN OFFICE: A Deep Dive into Rep. Soji Adetunji’s Stewardship amidst the Tittle-Tattle

By Oluwasegun Taiwo

I would have loved to forthwith delve into the diary of a first-time lawmaker who has exceeded the expectations of his constituents, but it is imperative to address the trending chatter being circulated by known enemies of many years within his party which has led to baseless allegation and name-calling. No doubt, this stereotype was formed out of failure and frustration of his enemies in politics.

A federal lawmaker represents his constituents in the center, and part of his responsibility is to attract federal presence to his community. But, is lawmaking a remote job? Apparently, Soji Adetunji is the talk of the town because he doesn’t make radio announcements and advertorials whenever he comes around. (Beside the point)

Note, this author would be the very last person to speak ill of Rep. Soji Adetunji. My reluctance is not due to receiving favor from him but because of a few minutes of conversation with him. In his face, I saw a man who had the best interests of his people at heart.
In his words, I felt a man who knows his onions despite being a first-time lawmaker. Hence, I believe that this piece will expound on what is and what is not in the hearsay making the rounds in his constituency and as well, apprise the IBO constituency, to hopefully begin to see things from a different prism and forsake lies being fed with.

On the allegation that Rep. Soji Adetunji doesn’t visit his constituency, that’s nothing but a lie from the pit of hell. Who, in absentia, doles out millions of naira in empowerment? How can you be relaxing in Abuja while 450 bags of rice were distributed in your residence? Do you renovate a federal constituency office you don’t use? Were the visits to different monarchs in his federal constituency carried out on his behalf ?
Aside from the period between October and December, 2023, when Rep Soji was away for budget preparation as a member of the appropriation committee, the lawmaker visits Ikirun once every fortnight. Soji Adetunji doesn’t sound the siren; he’s a silent achiever, not a noisemaker.

In all honesty, a larger percent of the role of a lawmaker is lawmaking. Section 4 of the 1999 constitution is clear… “The National Assembly shall have the power to make laws for the peace, order, and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List…”

In any given democracy, the legislature performs three functions: lawmaking, appropriation, and oversight of the executive. Nevertheless, that is not to say he cannot attract several federal projects to his constituency, items which include health, power, water, education, roads, and infrastructure.

As a first-time lawmaker, a member of the appropriation committee, Rep. Soji Adetunji has successfully sponsored two bills and moved three motions. First is the Federal Medical Centre Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024, which has been gazetted already and passed first reading. Second is the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria Act (Amendment) Bill, 2024, gazetted already and at first reading. There is no gainsaying that Soji Adetunji is fully prepared for the task and mandate given to him.

Sadly, a wind of false narratives envelopes the air because few constituents couldn’t have their way. As long as SOJ’s efforts and initiatives do not translate to food on their table and money to their pockets, the Ikirun-born lawmaker is underperforming to them. I read a lot on the wall, articles, and reactions that discredited him. But Rep. Soji Adetunji’s humility and perseverance are second to none. It also dawned on me that he doesn’t get moved by snide remarks and comments. Even when you are unnecessarily gaslighting, he cannot be emotionally blackmailed.

One year in office, How far?

In December 2023, Rep. Soji Adetunji at a personal cost distributed 450 bags of rice in Ikirun to constituents. Similarly, in January 2024, when the bad economic situation was taking a toll on Nigerians, he distributed another rice palliative to various groups. Beneficiaries were Hausa and Fulani communities across the three local government areas, persons living with disabilities, Muslim societies throughout Ifelodun/Boripe/Odo-Otin, the Christian Association of Nigeria in IBO, members of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers in IBO, commercial motorcyclists, tricyclists, as well as members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.

Additional beneficiaries were members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees in IBO, artisans, the aged, widows, market women, community chiefs, traditionalists, retirees, and other vulnerable residents. Page 27 of the Nigerian Tribune published on Friday, January 5, 2024, contains the story in pictures.

At a time Nigerians are clamoring for improvement in local security, Rep. Soji Adetunji also bears in mind Section 14(2) paragraph B of the constitution. This led to the donation of a bus for the vigilante in Ifelodun Local Government area with a grant of N420,000 for logistics. This, to assist the locals, who know the terrain more than conventional security, and equip them to avert any threat to the lives and property of IBO constituency. Another evident way to prove that he’s using lawmaking as a tool to ensure that the welfare and security of his people remain paramount in the discharge of governance in IBO constituency.

In his quest to foster economic independence among youths, At Rep. Soji Adetunji’s maiden Empowerment program, he disbursed N10 million to beneficiaries across the three local government areas. An event that was published in three national dailies. Surprisingly, rumor peddlers asphyxiated everywhere with another disinformation, “Soji Adetunji didn’t give each beneficiary 500,000; rather he merged 10 of them to share half a million naira,” the busybodies goofed.

Subsequently, some of the beneficiaries made videos to refute the viral accusation, but that did not in any way stop the disinformation, a testament to the fact that the busybodies are hellbent on tarnishing the lawmaker’s image. Even if he plucks his right eye for them, their complaint would be, they needed the left one.

Every well-informed Osun-born/resident recognizes how significant Egbeba is to the immediate past governor of the state. Sadly, only a few areas enjoyed streetlights in the community. Rep. Soji Adetunji, after the first phase of the solar-powered streetlights project at palaces of traditional rulers in Ifelodun local government area and Odofun area in Ikirun, took the second streetlight project to Boripe local government. Egbeda, Idi-Ogungun, and Aiyekale communities of Boripe Local Government Area of Osun State have now been illuminated by solar-powered streetlights.

Infact, pictures available in his anniversary brochure indicated that the third phase installation of solar powered Streetlights will be completed in two weeks. 100 streetlights will be installed in Odo-Otin Local government area. Walking the talk…

It is no news that the nation is experiencing a surge in the number of out-of-school children, a figure Rep. Soji Adetunji found disturbing. This led to the procurement of free UTME Forms for over 220 qualified and prospective admission seekers across Odo-Otin/Boripe/Ifelodun federal constituency, an initiative supervised by Prof. Sunday Owolabi, the Education Committee Chairman of the National Ikirun Progressive Union and coordinator of Rep. Soji Adetunji’s educational programmes.

Furthermore, I sighted the architectural design of blocks of classrooms to be constructed in each of the local government areas in the federal constituency. I must say, the designs are impressive. Hence, will create a conducive environment for learning. Remember, when you open a school gate, you close that of a prison.

Last month, National Ikirun Progressive Union, Abuja branch paid a courtesy visit on Rep. Soji Adetunji at his office in Abuja. One of the union’s requests was to restore the operation of banks in Ikirun and its environs. The lawmaker apparently since his inauguration has been inundated with complaints from his people regarding the non-operation of commercial banks. Fortunately, discussion and consultation with the right stakeholders have yielded positive results, and banking activies will be restored back to Ikirun in a short while. IBO is indeed blessed to have this man.

On Friday, March 29th, 2024, Rep. Soji Adetunji inspected Ebenezer Primary School, Asi, Odo Otin Local Government Area of Osun State, where he gave his word to the monarch to construct a perimeter fence around the school as a way to make the students and teachers more secure, emphasizing the critical role such infrastructure plays in securing educational institutions.

On the same day Nigeria marked her 25th year of uninterrupted democratic governance, this same lawmaker celebrated this year’s democracy day in grand style where he held multimillion naira empowerment programme with encomiums from Osun state Governor, HE, Senator Ademola Adeleke, represented by Honourable commissioner for Cooperatives and Empowerment , Hon Bayo Ogungbangbe, Speaker, Osun state House of Assembly, RT. Hon Adewale Egbedun, Osun PDP Chairman and highly respected Royal fathers.
The empowerment programme was said to have gulped N150million, fact checking is allowed. Thus, the energy to deliver on his campaign promises is unprecedented.

Let me congratulate Rep. Soji Adetunji on all he has accomplished during his first year in office and for all the plans he has in place for the people. I commend his selfless act, courage, and hard work.

One year after, SOJ has reignited the hope of IBO constituency that PDP-led government truly empowers the people and also capable of delivering real benefits to them and giving them a better quality of life.

His Federal Constituency office is open to all, located beside the defunct Union Bank, Ikirun, Osun State. Together, let us forge a path forward guided by patriotism. As he continues the journey as the lawmaker representing Odo-Otin/Ifelodun/Boripe Federal Constituency, a better future awaits IBO constituency, and the possibilities are endless. Rep. Soji Adetunji’s style of representation is people-centric.
So, ‘IBO Efokanbale’

But then, Rep. Soji Abidemi Adetunji – all eyes on you! Avoid the company of losers, for their despair is contagious.


Oluwasegun Taiwo, a news and current affairs host, writes from Paiko, Niger state. 

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