I can’t imagine ever getting tired of describing the kind of person Barrister Bayo Lawal is. The former Oyo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice is a compassionate man who frequently shows kindness to others and never stops donating significant amounts of his income to charitable causes. I could fill a book with tales of his generosity and loyalty, but let me restrict myself to a few.
His Excellency, Bayo Lawal, who I had once described as a brilliant lawyer in one of my articles, is completely loyal to his principal, Governor Seyi Makinde, as well as others who work closely with him. He never forgets to do a nice deed every day at his Bashorun home in Ibadan. And I doubt anyone would openly disagree with these.
If there is a face to loyalty, it’s Bayo Lawal. Apart from his great aesthetic turnaround of the Housing Corporation or the resuscitation of the then-moribund building into a modern style, who knows, perhaps his principal, Governor Seyi Makinde, also observed this before picking him as his deputy as he had on several occasions, eulogized his fidelity, and proudly referred to him as his Co-pilot.
Perhaps, my lord has continued to preserve him, elevating him and setting him above his foes because of his charitable act, along with his pure heart and concern for humanity.
Yes, there is power in goodwill; we have witnessed its effectiveness. we have seen it work. It worked for Governor Makinde, and it has worked for our Deputy Governor. They both have compassion for men, especially the weak, the lowly, and the oppressed. And see that God rise on their behalf.
Despite the mudslinging and names calling, campaign of calumny, backstabbing and the use of religious card, the Deputy Governor survived and won. His good will and good heart keeps him vindicated. Bayo Lawal, like his principal, was victorious despite being demonized multiple times by so called- religious fanatics prior to the March 18 governorship election.
His good deeds and his principal, made the entire people of Oyo state to bombard Heaven with prayers. With supplications, intercessions, pleas for mercy and victory. Muslims prayed in mosques. Christians prayed in churches. And in fact, some individuals amidst civil servants even embarked on fasting. They did this to ensure the continuity of “Omolulabis” in government.
Prayers were going on everywhere. I can imagine God telling Himself: ‘I must answer these prayers. Both Governor Seyi Makinde and his running mate must not be put to shame in the election. And the campaign of calumny against them especially in Irepo local government as well as from other people playing the religious card must not succeed. And to the Glory of God, they were all disappointed.
It was a greatest shock of their lives as the Governor made historical records with his landslide victory. A history, which had never been recorded before since the creation of the state.
One could start to question why God gave Governor Makinde and his deputy, Bayo Lawal, such a remarkable triumph, but the following explanation is not far-fetched from the Holy books:
“Blessed is he that considers the poor;
God will deliver him in the day of evil.
God will preserve him, and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed upon the earth;
And deliver him not unto the will of his enemies,
And raise him up from sickness.” (Psalm 41:1-3).
And this one in Surah At-Tawbah 9:128:
“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer, for he is concerned over you and to the believers he is kind and merciful.”
Like his principal, Bayo Lawal cares about children and adults, especially the weak and common people, and he has committed his life to serving them, even to the point of giving away 80% of each month’s salary to charity.
It is said, “Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.” And God truly answered. He gave him and his principal, a wonderful victory at the poll. The most vilified won the March 18th governorship election even without any help from the so called-political father.
My father, Bayo Lawal, has always shown me the value of living a good life and has consistently shown his true affection for everyone that crosses his path. A man who has frequently shown me the value of loyalty and faithfulness. And also how to be patient no matter the circumstances.
Perhaps, his true loyalty, may also have made his principal, Seyi Makinde to first picked him as his running mate before appointing him as the deputy governor of Oyo state. And today, to the glory of God, he’s now the deputy gov’s elect. “Allah is so great”.
Recall that Seyi Makinde, the governor of Oyo State, said in September last year following his return from a lengthy vacation, that he wished Bayo Lawal had been his deputy from the beginning.
Notwithstanding the nostalgia expressed, Makinde, however, said he looked forward to working closely with Lawal to see out his current four-year tenure and for another term if elected.
Makinde said that the vacation had afforded him the opportunity to be re-energised to continue the job of governing Oyo State.
He saluted Lawal for his commitment, show of responsibility and loyalty while he was away, adding that, while he did not go on vacation for the past three years, he will confidently observe his vacation yearly if he gets a second term in office.
That is the man we follow, and serve. Today, many would wear blindfolds and follow him to anywhere. He has demonstrated to us the importance of taking care of the weak and the destitute, how to keep them in our thoughts at all times, and how doing so will please God and result in kindness for us.
He has also shown us the value of loyalty. And how to be loyal to one’s principal. And to be Straightforward, truthful and upright. We are very much proud of him.
So, on this special day, I can’t but to say, Happy birthday, Mr Deputy Governor. Thanks for being loyal to the people around you, and thank you for guiding me, and for the rare opportunity. I’m grateful sir.
Oyedeji Ahmed is a Senior Special assistant to Oyo Deputy Governor on Public Affairs.