He walked in slowly into the political space of Ogun State few years back and he has not looked back since then even when political victories were not coming his way as potential candidate for some offices he vied for in the past.
Today, fortune and persistence seem to have come his way as he's now the lawmaker of his Ogun East 1 Federal Constituency of the Lower House in the National Assembly.
Gregarious Hon. Ladi Adebutu, despite his solid financial pedigree of his father's humongous wealth, doesn't hang any air around himself. He is at best a warm and very accommodating person. Sunday Leisure recently met him at an event and the ensuing chat with him came about without any stress. He spoke on many issues about himself and certain political decisions he had to take in recent time.
What led to your decision to take over the structure of Ogun State PDP?
It is not actually my decision that I want to take over the state PDP, but it is a desire to bring better and good party organisation and effective admisitration to the people. When we talk about the anti-corruption crusade, it must be a holistic one, and not scratching it on the face of the economy, it should also include our way of life and how things are done in the country. I have some contentious issues with some people in PDP in the state because they unilaterally hijacked the PDP exco in the state. I believe in a system where political office holders emerge because they are valued with their integrity, through democratic ways, where everybody has equal rights to participate. I don't believe in a system where somebody will sit down somewhere and write a list, take it to court and buy order and injunctions, whereby the court orders ensure or better still impose his choice of candidates for particular posts and offices on other people, much to the chagrin and detriment of the party as a whole. This is a very undemocratic approach to issues and should be discouraged in all totality. This is exactly what we in our divide have been trying to effect within the rank and file of the party in the state; and to a large extent some measure and modicum of sanity, equality, justice, fairness and openness are returning to the party since we moved in to arrested the unwholesome situation we met on ground, unfortunately orchestrated by some powerful forces within the party.
Without pre-empting you, some people are saying that you have something personal against Senator Buruji Kashamu. Can you shed more light on this line of thought?
In fairness and without any fear of contradiction, Senator Buruji Kashamu has been unfaithful to everybody and not only the party. By virtue of centralization, magnanimity and benevolence to the party, we ended up with his candidature, but the most important thing is that he has not been faithful in Ogun East senatorial district. We believe in investigating matters that have to do with integrity and honesty of purpose by some persons, irrespective of their status or financial clout. This is because, we have in the past, had great and committed leaders like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Bisi Onabanjo, Otunba Gbenga Daniel from the constituency, who lived up to their billings. So when the matter of integrity and transparency came up against Senator Kashamu, we were surprised and awestruck when the issue of his indictment in the USA became his albatross.
To give him fairness and balance without any bias, we confronted him on the propriety or otherwise of the allegation. He told us that it was just the imagination of his political enemies and adversaries, and we believed him. He also promised us that immediately he becomes a Senator, he will go to the United States of America and clear himself of the damning allegation, but as at today, as I speak with you, he is yet, as far as we are concerned with available information at our disposal, to fulfill that promise which he made on his own volition without any duress. By this we believe we had inadvertently fallen to the antics of a person of seemingly of questionable character.
That is one of the issues we have with him, because he did not fulfil his promise.
It is believed that your ultimate motive is to become the next governor of Ogun state. How true is this?
Well, it is true, that is neither here nor there. As an eligible citizen, I am eminently qualified to contest for any office, and it is still within my inalienable right as a good citizen. Let's just leave it at that for now.
How confident are you of PDP's victory in the 2019 elections in Ogun state?
To God be the glory, for some time now, it is getting clearer and clearer by the day, that we are gaining ground in the state. The people have an uncomfortable country now, and they need a positive change. This is exactly what we are trying to effect in Ogun State PDP and we are definitely on course.
As a son of one of Nigeria's foremost billionaire businessmen, what led you into politics and not business?
I like to be seen as a successful individual and I am fulfilled in that sphere. Nevertheless, I have made a right choice as a politicain and businessman, because I could have been doing my profession as an analytical chemist, but I believe you must follow your instinct. I believe politics is a calling, and I believe I have a calling in that path. I have offered myself to serve my people and leave the rest to them to judge me.
Being son of rewoned billionaire businessman, Sir. Kessington Adebutu, what three things are there that people don't know about you?
Thank you, I love to share other people's views and I love to work hard. I've spent the better part of my life in Agriculture. I am often under the sun mostly out of the air-conditioned room. These are strangely other parts of me which many, curiously, do not know. People didn't often see me doing such things before I came into polictics or knew about me, except for that fact of being the son of a very successful businessman and philanthropist.
How do you see yourself being the son of a billionaire and now a politician?
I see myself as successful Ladi Adebutu, in my own right, without any hanger on my father's pedigree, although I can't remove that fact of being his son.