By Ojo Oyewamide
A young businessman, Mayokun Lawson-Alade, popularly known as LAF, will fly the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the by-election that will be conducted on February 26 to fill the vacant seat of the Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. Mayokun clinched the nomination of the ruling party at the shadow poll conducted last week.
Who is Mayokun Lawson-Alade? This is the question that has been trailing his emergence as the APC standard bearer. Of course, the question is not without any basis. Alade defeated well-known aspirants in the contest for the APC ticket. And to those who are asking the question, Alade is an unknown quantity in the politics of the Federal Constituency. Before the primary election, he was not discussed or considered as the likely winner of the APC nomination. So, they want to know many things about him.
Mayokun was born on July 11, 1982 to the popular family of Alade from Oja-Oshodi in Akure, the Ondo state capital. The Alade family has a very rich background of political consciousness. In the 1940s, Akure people desired a separate native administration from Ekiti confederation. Mayokun’s grandfather, the late Pa. Christopher Josiah Alade, was a member of the Akure Youth Organisation that championed the cause.
His grandfather’s mother was from Iju while his father’s mother was from Itaogbolu, both communities are in Akure North Local Government Area of the state. Mayokun’s mother is from Ise-Ekiti, Ekiti state. Unfortunately, he lost his father in 1997 and his mother in 2021.
Mayokun had his primary education at Parker Universal Primary School, Akure, which he completed in 1993. He proceeded to the Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo state, for his secondary education from 1993 to 1999. He attended the University of Lagos (UNILAG) where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.SC) degree in Physics Electronics 2007.
After his university education, Mayokun worked with Go-Hier Construction as Operation Manager and Head of Operations. Today, he is the Managing Partner, Sinopec Energy Nigeria Limited. Incorporated in 2015 as a limited company, Sinopec is a wholly Nigerian engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company.
The company has its Head Office in Lagos and workshops in Port Harcourt and Calabar. Sinopec has core expertise in construction, fabrication, blasting and coating, PFP, scaffolding, rope access, and oil and gas facilities upgrade. And its major clients since inception include Addax, Total, Saipem, NLNG, Cakas, Ricktel, Hazcon and others.
Mayokun is known for his kind heart. To help the poor and the less privileged, he founded the Lawson Alade Foundation (LAF). The foundation has assisted in bringing relief to many homes. He has supported and still supporting several programmes that seek to edify humanity and bring succour and hope to the hopeless.
He is a young man that profoundly loves Akure, his community. Mayokun has been involved in several community development projects. For a couple of years now, he has been providing caps and T-shirts for Akure youths to celebrate Ulefunta, a development-focused festival in Akure. That is one of the reasons he is popular with young people in the Ondo state capital.
It is wrongly believed in some quarters that Mayokun is a new entrant into politics. He is quiet and unassuming, the truth is that he has been playing in the political field since 2007, about 15 years ago, when he founded Broad Mind Coalition Frontier (BCF). The prime mission of the group was to encourage youth participation in politics. BCF participated and supported the election of Senator Donald Alasoadura into the Senate in 2015.
In 2016, Mayokun facilitated the formation of Aketi Renaissance Gladiators, ARG. In 2020, he formed an alliance with Aketi One-on-One group to aggressively campaign for the reelection of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu. He is known for organising rallies and engaging in other activities to mobilise support for the APC candidates in elections.
In 2018, he sought the APC ticket to participate in the 2019 national assembly elections. He eyed the seat of Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. But primary election was not conducted in the party. There are people who are of the view that if a shadow poll was conducted in APC in 2018, Mayokun would have secured the APC nomination.
When the former occupier of the seat, Hon. Adedayo Omolafe popularly known as Expensive, died in August last year, his death paved way for another contest for the seat. Mayokun threw his hat into the ring. He has won the APC ticket and, therefore, he will be facing the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some other political parties on February 26.
The youth are now saying this is their time. It is Youth O’clock. That’s the slogan now. But they have a battle to fight. It is the negative profiling of youths who make any headway in politics or business. And this negative profiling is being done by members of their generation. Yes, criminals must be exposed for the society to have a good health. But is every youth a yahoo yahoo boy? I don’t think. This must be made clear by the youth themselves if truly it is Youth O’clock.
Ojo Oyewamide writes from Abibirih Lane, Isolo, Akure