Home Interview Olufemi Lanlehin: A Complete Profile

Olufemi Lanlehin: A Complete Profile

Femi Lanlehin

Candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in Oyo State, Solagbade Olufemi Lanlehin popularly known as SOLAN was born into the Illustrious Lanlehin family of Ibadan land. He had his secondary education at Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan and Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos.

Lanlehin read law at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he earned a LLB (Hons) degree, went on to the Nigerian Law School where he earned a BL and was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1977.

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Professional Career

He joined the law firm of the erudite lawyer and social critic, Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN in July 1978, where he was until August 1980. In August 1980, he established his own law firm, Olufemi Lanlehin & Co and was appointed a Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths in August 1980.

Political Career

Lanlehin joined the Social Democratic Party in 1987 and ran for election successfully on its platform into the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State from 1992 until November 1993 when the military aborted the Third Republic.

On Nigeria’s return to constitutional democracy in 1998, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (SOLAN) joined the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and became its Lagos State Legal Adviser.

He worked with other patriots to win the governorship election in 1999 for his party in Lagos State and was appointed the Commissioner for Special Duties and then Special Adviser to the then Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In 2002, upon the promptings of his people in Oyo State, Chief Olufemi Lanlehin left Lagos State politics and joined the political fray in Oyo State. He was the Oyo State Coordinator of the Obasanjo/ Atiku Presidential Campaign Committee in 2002/2003. 

He was appointed the Chairman, Board of Directors, Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority in 2004 until August 2007. He was also in February 2006 appointed the Pro-chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

In 2009, Lanlehin as a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and under the dynamic leadership of Alhaji Lam Adesina contributed towards rebuilding the party into a winning platform. Senator Olufemi Lanlehin was elected on the platform of the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) into the Senate of the National Assembly in April 2011 representing Oyo South Senatorial District of Oyo State comprising nine Local Government Areas namely; 1. Ibadan North 2. Ibadan North- West 3. Ibadan North-East 4. Ibadan South-West 5. Ibadan South-East 6. Ibarapa East 7. Ibarapa Central and Ibarapa North till June 2015.

In the Senate, SOLAN was the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning, Economic Affairs and Poverty Alleviation in addition to being a member of six other committees. He has been a champion of ecological reform to address perennial flooding problems in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State, making appeals to the Senate and to President Goodluck Jonathan.

In 2014, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin joined the Accord Party (AP) after the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) became defunct, following its merging with other political parties to form the All Progressive Congress (APC). In the 2015 General elections, SOLAN ran for the Oyo South Senatorial District under the Accord Party (AP).

He is Gubernatorial candidate  under the African Democratic Congress (ADC) for the upcoming 2019 General elections.

Personal Life

Senator Olufemi Lanlehin is married with four Children. He is the Balogun Ijo of St Stephens’ Anglican Church, Nalende, Ibadan and the Ekarun Bamofin of Ibadan land. A member of many golf and country clubs.

His Motivation For Running For Governorship Race

I have the passion to deliver service to the people of Oyo State. I have lived nearly all my life in the state and I experienced a good life growing up in the state. But gradually, things started changing and getting from bad to worse. In Oyo State today, we don’t deserve to be where we are. The situation in the state that made me want to govern the state in 2011 still endures and is even worse.

I have what it takes to governor the state because I have the education, knowledge of the state, experience and above all the passion to make a difference and leave a legacy. Most of the things that are working in the state now are things that were put in place a long time ago. If we could not maintain those things, we should not put them in jeopardy and have them deteriorate. Tell me one area since 2011 till now, where one can say there is an improvement in terms of added value. We owe a duty to the coming generation and I owe it to my conscience, having benefitted from the system, to run and govern the state progressively.

I went to a free public primary school. We had the children of who-is-who in the old Western Region in my class. We had the children of Ministers, General Managers of corporations, children of cooks and gardeners all in our class at ICC Primary School in Oke Bola. We left there and went to Ibadan Grammar School where we also had the same mix. Brother Wole Awolowo was there; the children of the Deputy Premier, Chief D.S Adegbenro, were there; the children of the Speaker were there and a whole lot more. We of the medium class as well as those of the low class were in the same school.

But now, where are the schools? The people who are in charge and are running the show don’t want to send their children to the schools they are responsible for. The education sector has deteriorated and instead of doing something that is reasonable and functional, the government embarked on building the so-called model schools whose usefulness is suspect. The model schools do not give the maximum amount of aeration, light and air. They are built like Scottish castles. If you hear the amount of money spent on them, you will marvel. The money spent can be used to build and refurbish hundreds of schools that will have football fields, tennis courts and fields for athletics. I don’t think this government has properly utilised the amount of money that has accrued to it either by federal allocations or Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the best way possible.

I have no doubt our people will look towards voting for somebody who takes their lives and living much more seriously and who, based on antecedents, can deliver. Anybody can say anything; anybody can pontificate, articulate and promise the whole world. But it takes a man who has the love of the people at heart to be the governor from next year. From my background and upbringing and given the benefits I have received from the system while growing up, it is only fair that I give back in terms of quality, progressive and masses-oriented service.

What He Wants To Do Differently

It is very important to me that the potentials of the state are maximised. And these potentials are in the areas of agriculture and mineral resources and human capital development. The people of the state are very resourceful and hardworking. So, I will put in place infrastructure that will make life abundant for them. If you go to Oke-Ogun, Ago Are, Kishi, Igbeti and so on, the roads in these areas are very terrible. And you see long stretches of uncultivated land. What stops us from providing the minimal tools for the youths and helping them develop agricultural strains with short life span like cassava, maize, cashew nuts and so on. It is not rocket science. It is about being able to get the research institutes to help us develop these strains that will grow to give better yield quickly in our environment. We will then provide infrastructure in these places. It is as a result of the lack of these opportunities in the rural areas that we have rural-urban drift and what do these young people get in the cities they move to? Nothing.

Instead of travelling all over the world looking for investors, the investors are right ­in the state and in our country. Our people are creative and innovative enough. The government only needs to give them the right tools and environment to thrive. I believe agricultural produce can be mass produced and moved to the places of need, areas where cottage industries are set up to process the produce, add value and get the finished products moved to cities and out of the country.

We will get our priorities right. What has happened to the hotel the government of Ajimobi says it will build behind Premier Hotel? What has happened to the money that has been paid upfront for the project? There must be sincerity of purpose and I think that is the most important thing to me. Providing good governance, for me, is not all about writing beautiful papers, bringing in consultants and at the end of the day, the papers that are presented are shelved. We have people in the men and material in the state that can be used to achieve these things. Our polytechnics are there. Institute a competition for simple innovations and tools that can help our people in agriculture and ask the schools to compete. Motivate the schools and see what they will do.

But go to the schools in Oyo State today. I am not even sure the schools have laboratories or workshops. With all humility, I have been in legal practice. I have been in government occasionally. I have been in the legislature and in the executive. I have a total understanding of how things work. The most important thing for me is that I want to leave a legacy and I know how to so do.

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