OSOPADEC : EDEMA AND THE GAINS OF CONSISTENCY
Who says hardwork, loyalty and consistency do not pay? These are the virtues, though in a seemingly stretchy length, that worked for this illustrious son of Ilaje, Ondo State, by the name Olubenga Edema. Until recently, the adage, “If you make your marks in life, you will attract erasers.” didn’t make serious impression on me. Yes, Olugbenga Edema is an apt representation of he whose marks got to bold that he attracts erasers.
As opposed to what is being propagated by the (literary) erasers , Gbenga is no green horn, he’s been around and been paying his dues. Man, whose reputation for consistency is above dispute unlike weatherly politicians who turn coat at every turn this days. Edema is the only Ondo State House of Assembly member who refused to defect with Mimiko to PDP, for those who didn’t trash history, a reputation that has earned him respect as a stable character.
The new OSLO PAD ETC Chair, in 2014, Hon. Olugbenga Edema was threatened by the power that be. Edema, who was representing Ilaje constituency II at the time , in the face of daunting odds, refused to join other members elected on the platform of Labour Party to defect with former Governor Olusegun Mimiko to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He later joined the All Progressives Congress, APC, but lost re-election in 2015 to Hon. Coker Malachi who during the week dumped the PDP for APC. To those close to him, he was ‘surprised and shocked’ when he heard his appointment as the new Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, OSOPADEC by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
Born in the rustic village of Ogogoro, Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State some four decades ago, Olugbenga had his early primary education at the L. A. primary school, Ogogoro and Urban Community School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
For his secondary education, he attended Erinje Grammar School, Ode-Erinje, Ondo State and Doherty Memorial Grammar School, Ijero-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The young Gbenga then proceeded to the famous Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where he bagged a Bachelors degree in Geography, Social Sciences in 1990.
He later proceeded to the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria for his degree in Law which he successfully completed in 1999. Barrister Edema was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 3rd of July, 2001.
Olugbenga Edema is a member of many professional Organisations including the Nigerian Bar Association and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is currently the principal partner, Olugbenga Edema & Co., a firm of Legal Practitioners doing business in Akure, Ondo State. Gbenga had his early stint with politics in 1998 as a member of the Peoples Solidarity Party, one of the many political associations aspiring for registration under the General Ibrahim Babangida transitional programme.
He moved to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), one of the two political parties created by the Babangida administration where he held a number of significant positions including Delegate to its National Convention before the abolition of the two parties by General Sanni Abacha in 1993.
With the return to democratic rule in 1999, Gbenga joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wherein he contributed immensely to its success in the 2003 elections. Subsequently, he served as member of the Ondo State Sports Council (2005–2007) and the Ondo State Scholarships Board. He joined the Labour Party (LP) at a colourful ceremony held on 24 May 2010 in Igbokoda, Ondo State and was elected as member representing Ilaje constituency II at the State House of Assembly in 2011.
Let it be added, how Edema, unlike the treacherous tradition of trading and profligately wasting public resources, used the fund (constituency allowance) in his case as a Honourable member of the house to raise the literacy level and build destinies.
As he start a news life as a Commissioner representing the State on the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission. (NDDC).
Representative Ondo State .We wish him well in this new office and we trust him to do well.