When the 10th Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was inaugurated in June 2023, expectations were high about the quality of representation of the 109 Senators who will converge and constitute the membership of the Red Chambers, as the Nigeria Senate is being referred.
Dr. Yunus Akintunde though a first-timer at the newly inaugurated Senate left no one in doubt that he would be a prominent and influential Senator with his unique style and approach to this sensitive call to service of the Nation.
Before the inauguration and shortly after the keenly contested Oyo Central Senatorial District election, which he won in a landslide victory, his sincere commitment to issues of national interest was very obvious, his quick wits on the assertion of influence and relevance connecting with the Party leadership contributed immensely towards ensuring that several prevailing issues of concern to the national leadership of All People’s Congress that had just won the Presidential elections were resolved to pave way for the smooth take-off of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s new administration.
His unique and natural capacity to relate with people at all levels, irrespective of status became apparent, especially during the period of intense activities to stabilize the system on the formation of the Leadership of the Senate.
On the inauguration of the 10th Senate, Dr. Yunus Akintunde the Distinguished Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District at the Senate, Abuja in his usual style and elegance was a cynosure of all eyes, quite finicky with impeccable sense of dressing in style and elegance, a trend he had maintained in excellent fashion and uniqueness even before his adventure into politics.
On a first-level contact with Dr. Yunus Akintunde, he will strike you as an extrovert who will bare his mind on issues without mincing words or hiding his feelings, very bold, confident, and down to earth on issues, however, he has a unique capacity to listen and he can be introvertly reserved when the occasion demands so effortlessly, while he is considering the best response and approach without being prejudiced or confrontational.
His contributions on the floor of the Senate at plenary sessions and the various committee levels would always accentuate his intellectual capacity, intelligence, and exposure to issues. This he always displayed with so much humility and gentle mien devoid of any form of arrogance.
Senator Akintunde’s vast experience and involvement in public administration having served in various capacities within the corridors of power for several years must have also positively influenced his quick adaptation and maverick appreciation of the working system and requirements of the legislative duties and in his capacity as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
An expert in Energy matters with a rich academic background, he had his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics at the Lagos State University Ojo, Lagos, and recently he bagged his Ph.D. in Energy Studies at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
His kind nature and unusual benevolence while keeping to his promises are legendary attributes that have endeared him to his many admirers, followers, friends, and associates.
Whenever Dr. Yunus Akintunde gave his words on issues, one can be rest assured of his steadfastness and commitment to ensure such promises are fulfilled to the letters.
His lucid contributions at the Senate are already revealing his capacity to deliver beyond expectations when he presented a private member bill on the suspension of electricity tariff increase by the federal government shortly after the removal of fuel subsidy. Today, the entire country is benefiting from the passage and presidential ascent of that bill which enjoyed overwhelming support and easy passage at the Senate floor.
Also, his proposal on the approval of the conversion of the Federal Special College of Education located at Oyo to a University status has almost reached the final reading stage and is set for adoption.
That arrangement when concluded will enhance the academic threshold of that institution where full degree programs can now be awarded to students and their lecturers can aspire to reach the peak of their academic careers as Professors if they so desire.
Coincidentally, that institution is the only one of such in the whole of the country. Quite a significant repositioning agenda that will be a lasting legacy and part of his numerous achievements in his representation engagement.
He has also recently secured the conversion to a federal road as well as the construction of a 17km Owode/Oleyo road at Oluyole Local Government. This was captured within the 2023 supplementary budget to the tune of N1.5B to kick-start the construction project.
Many of his constituents have also benefited immensely from his oversight functions through which jobs at federal levels have been secured. One of the lawyers from Oyo Central Senatorial district came first throughout the federation at the Police Service Commission recruitment services and has since been engaged by the commission, while many others also benefited from the federal government SME empowerment program through his intervention.
Several schools within the constituency have enjoyed renovation programs while new classroom blocks are already constructed in some cases. Four ICT centers are spread across the Senatorial district with functional infrastructure and working tools.
“Several of such programs and many more initiatives will be captured in the 2024 budget as soon as implementation begins”.
“Emphasis and focus in the subsequent years ahead will be on human capacity development and as many opportunities as available will be harnessed for the benefits of our people”
Senator Yunus Akintunde has engaged in collaboration with various artisan groups. Over two hundred tailors were selected across the constituency, they received additional training and were gifted with new sewing machines and tools to expand their business enterprises.
Also, the medical outreaches he established during his campaign program are still functional and being improved upon towards the provision of quality health services for the constituents.
Still on health issues, Dr Akintunde has initiated a synergetic relationship with the Management of the University Teaching Hospital UCH. During a scheduled meeting with Professor Jesse Otegbayo the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and the management team, UCH will be in collaboration with his Senatorial office to advance and improve medical healthcare facilities within the Oyo Central Senatorial district.
His strong capacity to identify critical areas of need targeting the right solutions is quite fantastic and admirable. This is evident in his drive for electricity provision programs, he has installed solar-powered electricity in many parts of the constituency earning him the sobriquet “Tanna Tanna Yunus” (Yunus the one who switches on lights).
Just recently, he led the Oyo Central Legislative caucus to meet the Management of Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company IBEDC whereby critical issues mitigating quality electricity service delivery were thoroughly discussed with resolutions on workable solutions.
Among such issues were prepaid meter distribution, regular supply and repairs/ maintenance of transformers, completion of the two transmission substations within the Oyo Central constituency, and tariff determination.
No doubt, Senator Yunus has demonstrated uncommon commitment and determination as a truly Distinguished Senator in excellence and style while representing Oyo Central Senatorial District at the Senate, the Red Chamber in Abuja.
He has promised to offer more quality representation in that capacity.
In his words quite emphatically, “If I could achieve so much despite the distraction of court litigations challenging my victory at the polls by the opposition, very assuredly, I will be able to concentrate and beat people’s imagination on service delivery”.
Currently, he is the Chairman of the Senate House Committee on Environment, Vice Chairman of the Senate House Committee on Police Affairs, and also a notable member of several committees including, diaspora and NGO, federal character commission, power, air force, and privatization among others.
Dr Yunus Akintunde is a committed family person, quite pious, and a devout Muslim, he accommodates friends and associates from other faiths with ease.
It has been with jubiliations, appreciation, and wild excitement that party leaders, party members as well as general constituents of Oyo Central Senatorial district welcome his recent appointment of Special Assistants on Special interests, Liason Officers, and Community Relations Coordinators who will serve as interface between his Senatorial office and the various communities within the Constituency.
With this development, it will be convenient to capture the specific needs assessment and impacts of provisions made in that regard rather than using a generic approach that will limit value addition on projects.
For several of his aides, followers, and admirers on his team, it is a worthwhile experience working with him. He frowns at indolence, docility, and any act of unfaithfulness. You have to be constantly on your toes at all times, however, he is an extremely benevolent and generous leader, rewarding excellence with the milk of kindness at heart.
We wish our indefatigable leader and Senator a successful tenure, while we are also praying for God’s guidance and leading in his future political engagement and career.
Head Media Unit and
Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to
Dr. Yunus Akintunde. Senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District FCT Abuja.