Ikorodu News Network (INN) was Privileged to have an exclusive interview with the Elder statesman to understand his philosophy and perception of Life, Leadership, Youth & Covid-19.
At the tender age of 6 He lost his father which made him shuttled between Ikorodu, Agege & Lagos for his Primary & Secondary school education between 1946-1958.
“The name Basorun I took from my uncle who took responsibility of my family after my dad passed away” said Mr OlorunFunmi.
After acquiring his school CERT he gained his first employment at then newly founded Central Bank Of Nigeria in 1959 till 1979 before he was appointed as the Secretariat to the Lagos State Government by Alhaji Jakande.
“Though I was working for the central bank before moving towards the government, but during that period I was still persuing my educational career and in 1967 I completed a course to become an associate member of the Chartered Institutes of Bankers London (HCIB) and also the following year I completed another course to become a member of the Chartered Institutes of Secretaries (HCIS)” Mr OlorunFunmi Added.
In 1975 Mr Basorun bagged a BSc degree on Business Administration from the University of Lagos (Unilag).
He returned back to Unilag again in 1987 to study Law for 5years and graduated in 1992 as a certified legal practitioner. He was then called by the BAR in 1993 and joined TOS Benson & CO to practice Law for seven years before setting up his own firm (OlorunFunmi Basorun & CO) in the year 2000.
“I have been running my law firm and polythene bag business since then but now as you can tell I don’t do the going to court and coming back again, I only do consultations and advices due to the relationship and need to support a client” Mr OlorunFunmi.
“I have always had that mindset of an entrepreneur at a very young age because I don’t believe in seeking for contracts from the government, I was poise to go into the manufacturing industry and generate my own source of income, which I am doing with my polythene bag business till today” Mr Basorun Added.
“Ever since I started serving the government as secretary, which is a political job, I have remained in Politics. Up till the time of Babangida I was in SDP, During the Sani Abacha’s tenure I was in DPN, When DPN eventually collapsed and we had to start all over again, I moved to PDP”.
In 2007 he left PDP to join AC which later became ACN but has now been changed to APC where he doubled as one of the leaders of the Party. On the later he became one of the member of the prestigious Advisory committee called The Government Advisory Council, which is actually the highest ranking committee that presides over governmental issues and making Critical decisions in Lagos State up till this very day.
In 1992 and 1996 consecutively he attempted to go for Senate in Lagos East but did not emerge. And in 2002 he ran for Governorship position but also did not win at the primaries and those are the three occasions he had opted for Government office.
“Not to forget back then during the military days in 1969 I was appointed caretaker committee member in Igbogbo Baiyeku, Then when the whole Ikorodu District council merged in 1971, I was also a member of that council” Mr Basorun Added.
Growing up as a young boy he attended the Methodist church, But in 1959 Basorun went through a phase in life where some circumstances made him prayed fervently & took his relationship with God more seriously, Thus he changed to Cherubim & Seraphim, and since then he have not looked back.
“I kept growing in the leadership ranks of the church until I became the head of my own church in 2003 called The Gospel Church Of C&S. What we have here is the branch but our main chapel is at Orile-Iganmu” Mr Basorun Added.
INN: You have given us alot on your background and without a doubt it is certain that your experience can not be underestimated.
Looking at the Youths today, As regards the need for them to discover themselves early, The need for good parental upbringing and the need for a promising future what can you say about our youths?
Mr Basorun: well I will start by using myself as an example, if you could recour about my career background before been appointed as Secretary to the state Governor, I had become the deputy director of domestic operations in the central bank and I was in-charge of currency operations throughout Nigeria. Then I was 41years old, What am trying to say is that the youths must get themselves equipped to face the Challenges of life.
The youth should always have a clear objectives in their way forward to fulfill their dreams. You cannot just wake up one morning and decide to be a legislator without doing your due diligence, And when the people on the decision table tell you ‘NO’ then you say they don’t like you.
Let me quote the late chief Obafemi Awolowo, “The youth must build their level of mental magnitude”, This means they must educationally enhance themselves whether it’s the basic one or the higher learning. After gaining the educational advantage then AWO said “The youths must at least have a little knowledge of economics, Law, sociology, psychology and other applicable courses that will enhance their effective decision making abilities as they venture into different career path in life”.
I am not saying everyone should live in the same fashion, but am insinuating that education is paramount to guide us into possessing our possessions. It will also enable us to own at least 50% of our ideas.
The Youth must have a very clear objectives and be consistent in it. You see they say youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow, but the truth is to an extent they can lead now, that is if their objectives are clear enough. Success is not magic and your goals must be visible enough for others to see.
We should never make mistake of saying we must forge ahead without learning from the past, there are alot of things we can learn from the past. And sometimes people just see quotations from books or social media and then they just copy and paste it without clear understanding of what it really means. We must begin to learn and understand better to advance our agendas.
In summary let me say this to all the youths in Ikorodu aspiring to be great, ‘MAKE HASTE SLOWLY’ which also means ‘Festina Lente’.
It means in the quest to make it in life we must be patient and take things easy, You cannot write a note without applying semi colon, Coma, colon etc. It is because no story is told outright without no coma’s or semi colon’s, They are added to give the story a pause and a gradual continuation.
That is what life is all about, because if you rush in you would rush out. So we must take life easy as surely the plan of God for us must come to pass.
INN: What is your take or philosophy about Leadership?
Mr. Basorun: Leadership is not about the age, it’s all about the mindset and determination. A leader must lead by example, You don’t tell people not to do things that you are guilty of. You can’t be preaching to your staffs not to drink alcohol while you took half bottle of alcohol before getting to the office.
Whatever you do as a Leader to cover up someday it would be exposed to your followers and it won’t speak well of you.
Leadership implies that the load of your followers is on you and you must take good responsibility.
You don’t give assignment to your people as a leader and disappear, Your presence must be felt because it will boast the moral of your followers to be more effective in their respective duties.
A Leader must have self confidence which in turn gives the followers boldness to project every plans and mission of the leaders.
A Leader must first be loyal to his followers in order to solicit loyalty from them in return. One of the reason why we are having Challenges today is because even when the leaders are loyal, some followers are not as loyal as they claim to be and thus it affects the growth of the movement.
In some cases the leaders are also doing otherwise which makes the rank cumbersome to maintain. But in all the followers should present themselves as an asset to the leader while the leader should stay loyal to his followers in Empowering them.
INN: Covid-19 Pandemic in Nigeria today what is your take.
Mr. Basorun: Coronavirus is a global Challenge but right here it is obvious that our Governor is actively on deck to combat it, Sanwo-olu is a man with zeal for effective governance and that has been reflecting in his prompt responsiveness towards the different projects he is presiding over, CoVid-19 is just another example.
It is just my prayer that the Lagos State citizens should also take responsibility to keep themselves safe at this time in order to bring the case to its lowest minimal. But in terms of performance we must give kudos to our government for their efforts Soo far.