Olusola Alexander Oke
|Birth||Ondo State, Nigeria|
Olusola Alexander Oke is a Nigerian lawyer and politician.
Oke was born on 7 April 1956 in Ilowo, a coastal town in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State. His father was from Ilaje and his mother hailed from Imoru town in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo state. he attended UNA Primary School, Ode-Ilowo between 1961-1963. At age 7, he dropped out of school in 1963 and became a professional fisherman who lived and earned his living from the creek of the rivers in Ilaje and its environs. He wrestled with the wicked conspiracy of poverty and social deprivation that almost prevented him from being educated. Between 1963 and 1973, he engaged in subsistence high sea fishing, a career in which he acquired great fame.
His quest for knowledge compelled him to abandon fishing to the amazement of his fishermen colleagues and returned to Methodist Primary School, Ilepete in 1973 to complete his primary school education. He later proceeded to Methodist Secondary Modern School, Ilepete where he graduated in 1976. He attended Ilaje Grammar School, Atijere in Ilaje Local Government where he bagged his WASC in 1980. Oke taught briefly as auxiliary Teacher at Happy City College Ayetero, Ilaje Local Government and Methodist High School, Okitipupa.
In October 1981, he was admitted to Ondo State School of Arts and Science, Ikare where he was, when the prestigious University of Ife offered him admission in 1982 to study law. He attended the prestigious University of Ife, a citadel for intellectual giants established within the vortex of Yoruba origin by the evergreen sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other leaders of the emerging post-colonial south-western Nigeria. He bagged a degree in Law from the renowned Great Ife in 1986 from where he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1987.
He joined Olufemi Lanlehin and Co., a law firm in Ikeja, Lagos in 1987 from there, he moved to Okitipupa to establish Olusola Oke and Associates on 14 July 1988. His resolve to commence his law practice early enough was encouraged by his easy grasp of routines and outstanding delivery in all the matters he participated in. He had always seen law as an embodiment of the moral values, sentiments and dispositions of the people and therefore, he had long resolved to employ it as an instrument of societal re-engineering in line with the tenets of Roscoe Pound; And to earn hisliving from it too. He took that decision with a firm faith in God.
In 1996, he became the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Okitipupa Branch. Between 1997 and year 2000, he was the chairman of NBA, Okitipupa Branch. Also, between 1997 and year 2000, he was a member of the National Executive Committee of NBA. His professional practice provided the platform that earned him the opportunity to blossom in politics and to join others in liberating his people. Today, his law firm has its headquarters in Abuja. He has been listed for the prestigious title of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, three times and in all the three instances, he made it to the final listing.
As the National Legal Adviser of the PDP, between 2008 and 2012, he practiced law to its fullest and paved a way for equity and constitutionality to prevail unhindered in all the matters he handled.
He was a popular youth activist in the ranks of Ilaje Patriotic Front (IPF), a frontline youth pressure group in the late 80's. The desire of the IPF was for Ilaje people to get to the promised land. They employed their intellectual prowess, provided leadership and ignited the thirst for development in the people. Through purposeful plans, commitment and loyalty to the course of the people, they made a mark and created legendary marks in our land. The group later metamorphosed into a political group. The group, in recognition of his stoic contributions insisted on him going into politics. In spite of the pressure of the group on him to join active politics, he stayed the course of his law practice until 1991 when he was made Local Government Legal Adviser of the Social Democratic Party, SDP. From 1991 to 1992, he was a member of Board of Internal Revenue in Ondo State. Since then, he has combined politics with his legal practice without necessarily leaving one for the other. He was elected a member, Federal House of Representatives representing Ilaje/Ese-odo federal constituency in 1992. By year 2000, he was appointed into the pioneer board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. At NDDC, his team executed and completed over two hundred and fifty projects. What he did on the board of NDDC and the experience garnered facilitated his appointment as the Executive Chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), another intervention agency, in 2004.
In 2005, he was nominated and served in the National Political Reform Conference and in 2007, he served as a member of the Presidential Technical Committee on Niger Delta. He was appointed the Chairman of the Federal Polytechnic Bida in 2009 and also appointed Chairman, National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency between 2009 and 2011.
He was a governorship candidate in Ondo state in the 2012 gubernatorial election. In the televised debate before the election, Olusola Oke was adjudged winner by a vast majority of the viewers. According to popular youth activist, Olatunji Ariyo, in the second debate which featured only the three leading candidates, Olusola Oke appeared to be the indisputable winner. He exhibited candour, depth and came out smoking hot. The incumbent governor however did well in holding his ground while Akeredolu of the ACN improved upon his earlier performance. The debate was also richer on issues although the candidates could not escape the temptation of typecasting one another as they laboured hard to adorn opponents with the corrupt tag which was an avoidable distraction.
Olusola oke was a top contender for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for the state Governorship election coming up in November 2016. He decamped to the Alliance for Democracy (AD) after the APC primaries.