By Olaniyi Stephen
Hazeem Gbolarumi, the quintessential political icon of our time is a man of several definitions to several people. A leader is one whose personality is so influential that it connects even with the people he never met.
A leader becomes light that beams hope to the aspirations of common people, and impacts on their dreams interestingly that his personality begins to serve as pathway to achieving unthinkable goals by anyone directly or remotely connected to his leadership ideology and practice.
I am a practical testimony of what I preach. As a student of Gbolarumi’s school of thought, I have attained significant political feat since I met him in person as party member, shortly after he was elected as the deputy governor of Oyo State in year 2006, that heralded transformation and growth for Oyo State, the State of aquatic splendour. His influence is magnetic and highly impactful.
Gbolarumi in his generousity and inclusive leadership is a man that belongs to everybody and as well to anybody who believes in his cause and ideology. This unique leader has a style that enables any of his followers to personalise ownership of him.
He never betrays you; he never forgets you when you have been there for him; and if he believes in you, he stands by you till the end even if he is the only one that gives in to your cause. He belongs to everybody, yet belongs to somebody at every point in time!
Gbolarumi is a leader, a friend, a partner, a political associate, a mentor, a farther and yet an opponent that respects fair-play rule. He believes in win-win and never engages in do-or-die politics. His humanitarian ideology rejects blood-politicking or life wasting exercise as commonly practiced by some greedy politicians. He never wants a single person dead upon victory of his party or candidature.
Gbolarumi never leads from behind; he is often in the front line when a goal is to be achieved. He is the motivation his team needed to achieve uncommon successes. He is a team-player. On leadership, Queen Elizabeth II once said:
“I know of no single formula for success. But over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together”.
His discoveries of best hands for the jobs are based on careful observation and insight. His love for the nation surpasses his biggest ambition. He is not just a political leader but an industrialist who has established viable economic platforms for peoples’ aspirations to thrive.
He is not a brand made for greed as his life is an embodiment of public good. Whatever Gbolarumi owns is for public service, even his personal residence belongs to the people where the rich and the poor can visit for their respective intents.
The greatness of Gbolarumi transcends politics and that is important to note. He is an influencer, he is a leadership institution, he is a school of thought, he is a multiplier of values and political cum administrative talent hunter. He is an authority in Africa and a respected political figure across the globe.
Hazeem Gbolarumi belongs to me. He belongs to you, and he belongs to everyone. His ideology, belief and association can be publicly identified. He is an open book as far as leadership is concerned. Yet, he is an independent chapter of a voluminous epistle of life.