By Dare Glintstone-Akinniyi
Writing this piece is not one act I can imagine in a decade to come. I wish it never happened when I had carved an article demanding for his account of stewardship as my Senator in his last 365 days. Nevertheless, death is not for any being to decide when it will surface – all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. I was never his fan or follower, but as his constituent, Senator Osinowo’s influence as a special politician with the blessing of Bola Ahmed Tinubu cannot be discounted.
He was the Ogun State Youth Chairman of the National Party of Nigeria in the Second Republic, in 1979. Sen. Osinowo was a four-term lawmaker (from 2003 – 2019) representing Kosofe Constituency 1 in the Lagos State House of Assembly. He served as Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Lands and Housing for 11 years. To emerge as the Lagos East senatorial zone candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the party’s primaries in 2019, he polled 247,743 votes to overthrow the incumbent Senator, Gbenga Ashafa, who got 20,385 votes. This, till date is still a subject of discussion as how he came to be the candidate owing to his influence as an ‘eye’ of Tinubu.
Senator Bayo osinowo [fondly called Pepper or Pepperito] is no stranger to political actors in Lagos East Senatorial District and followers of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ex-Governor and the undisputed Power dispenser of Lagos. He was first nicknamed ‘Pepper Eyes’ while in secondary school due to his red eyeballs and later summarized to ‘Pepper’ and at times called Peperito or Espanyol. He is unarguably Tinubu’s official ear on happenings in and out of political cum social circles in Lagos. He is described to be one of the Tinubu’s trusted and confirmed loyalists. A smooth walker and gentle investigator. His followers and admirers love him blindly. You can barely see anyone around him not dancing to his tunes – he seems to unearth an aura that brings everyone together.
In his heartfelt Tribute, Tinubu said: “Bayo and I have come a long way, dating back to our days in the pro-democracy struggles. We both enlisted in the Social Democratic Party where he served so well as the Youth Chairman of that party during the Third Republic and later in the Alliance for Democracy in 1998 after the restoration of democracy. Bayo’s contributions to the return of democracy were significant and enduring.”
His death hurt all who know him. Bayo was more than an excellent politician. As great a politician he was, Bayo was an even better person. He was a man of a kind heart and ready smile. His loyalty and enthusiasm was legendary, just as his generosity.”
“As a prominent political figure in Lagos, he served our state with dedication, passion and concern for the common man. In the Lagos State House of Assembly, where he was a four-time member from 2003 to 2019 representing Kosofe Constituency 1, he was more than a member of that House. He provided leadership. He was a stabilizing figure. He worked hard and tirelessly to make Lagos a better place. He cared for all Lagosians.”
While we pray that his soul rest with the creator, I pray that his family have the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss – it is indeed a loss for the Tinubu political family.