By Femi Salako
Leadership is perceived as the capacity to translate vision into reality. However, success is all about growing yourself before becoming a leader, while it is all about making efforts to grow others the moment you become a leader. Above all, place and circumstance of birth do not often constitute a dominant determinant factor of the worldview of leaders.
This assertions have been made evident in the person, global view and contributions of Honourable Olamide Oladiji to the service of humanity and political experiences. He was born in a rusty village at Ondo East, yet he is so very refined in deeds and thoughts. He grew up in a predominantly agrarian environment, yet he has a full grasp of virtually all topics. Oladiji never had the luxury of attending any private school, yet he has armed himself with the best of education and owns one of the best private educational institutions in the country.
He was born Olamide Oladiji Adesanmi, but he is better and popularly known as Landmark. He was born in the present day Ondo East Local government area into the family of Pa Oladiji, a renowned cocoa merchant with the appellation of “Ore-Agbe”. Landmark attended St’ Paul (R.C.M) Primary School, Ondo before proceeding to St. Joseph’s College, Ondo for his secondary school education. He thereafter attended the prestigious Ondo Boys High School for his Higher School Certificate (HSC). Oladiji obtained a National Diploma in Accountancy from the Akanu Ibian Federal Polytechnic Unwana Afikpo now Ebonyi State in1993 while he bagged a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy from the Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti in 1998. Landmark also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Theology from the Redeem Christian Church of God where he graduated with a distinction. This doyen of the politics of Ondo East possesses several Professional certificates in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
Hon. Oladiji is not just one of the regular Nigerian politicians who is in politics for the purpose of getting his bread buttered. Landmark is no doubt a God made and self made business man whose palm kernels have been cracked for him by the gods. His interest in politics is strongly motivated by the drive to impact many more lives through the instrumentality of public office. He fully subscribes to the belief that there is always a restrictive financial limit to whatever anyone can do in individual capability to better the lives of his people.
Landmark is a staunch member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Ondo state in particular and Nigeria as a whole. But impact of his political activities has so far been more felt in Ondo East and West Local Local Government Areas of the state. These are areas hitherto known for so many years as the political strongholds of the immediate past Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko. Hon. Oladiji committed so much fund to the development of the APC and had also fought tooth and nail with Mimiko to ensure that the ruling party secures relevance in the two local government areas. He had contested election into the state House of Assembly in the 2015 general election which he narrowly lost to a candidate of the PDP, but succeeded in winning the heart of his numerous supporters.
The commitment of Hon. Oladiji to the systemic growth of APC in both Ondo East and West Local government areas has been most commendable; despite having to regularly contend with the fortified structures of the immediate past governor. He has been a major financier of the All Progressive Congress in the two local government and has consistently ensure that structures of the party in the affected council areas are regularly given the needed financial oiling. Landmark made a donation of two branded buses to APC in 2014 for ease of movement of party members and leaders within and outside the state. Oladiji paid the rent of the party’s 10 ward offices in Ondo East in his bid to ensure acceptance of APC at the grassroot levels. He had also embarked on the distribution of customized APC phones to party leaders at the grassroot levels while all “Olojas” in the two local councils had enjoyed his donation of power generating sets. Landmark had followed up his benevolence with the distribution of writing materials to primary school pupils in Ondo West and East Local government areas to aid their learning. It was in recognition of selfless contributions of Hon. Olamide Oladiji in building the APC and the members in Ondo East and West Local government areas that he was made the Director General of Akeredolu Campaign Organization in the two council areas. He nonetheless did very well by delivering more than half of total valid votes cast for Akeredolu in the November 26, 2016 gubernatorial election; in spite of being the areas of strength of the then incumbent governor.
Hon Olamide Oladiji has been brain behind and a monumental financial pillar of support to the LANDMARK VANGUARD, a Non Governmental Organization that is concerned with the delivery of qualitative education to students within and outside of Ondo State. Activities of Landmark Vanguard is also extended to the provision of vocational skill acquisitions and varied forms of empowerment initiatives for youths in Ondo East and West Local government areas. Landmark Vanguard also attends to the needs of widows and orphans that are domiciled within Ondo East and West Local government areas of the state.
It can be conveniently argued that Landmark is not in politics for personal aggrandizement. God has indeed blessed him beyond measures as he sits atop a good number of thriving businesses across and beyond the Nigerian borders. He is the Founder and Chairman of Dynamic Landmark Group of schools located in Abuja and Ondo state. The schools remain one of the best private schools in the country with a clear cut international approach to teaching. He is also the Managing Director of Ladiji Integrated Services Limited as well as the Proprietor of Landmark Polytechnics. Landmark is equally the brain behind Mercy Joash Auto Ventures and Lammy Hotels Limited. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of Ladiji Petroleum.
Landmark is indeed young at heart but extremely experienced, creative and versatile. He is given to an expansive worldview and a mindset of an all round possibilities. He is driven by a certain philosophy that whatever can be conceived in the mind is very much achievable. Hon. Oladiji has no doubt been enormously blessed by God; but he remains unhappy going by the plights of the have nots in the society. This has undoubtedly informed his unflinching resolve to give himself to meeting the needs of the downtrodden in the society.
Politicians in the mould of Hon. Olamide Oladiji that are not self seeking, but passionately concerned about the people are indeed few in present day Nigeria. Here is a man who is not only exceptionally creative, but never run short of positive ideas of creating values. He is a good example of hard work and a symbol of integrity. Landmark is very conscious of the fact that good name is far better than riches. He is a firm believer in doing the right thing at all times with good conscience.
A leader like Hon. Olamide Oladiji who is driven by the fear of God and constantly propelled by superior ideas is needed to assume position of higher responsibility. He has proven himself to be a loyal and faithful party man and a fitting team player. He is a man that exudes integrity and whose word can be taken to the bank so to say.
Landmark has been decorated with several awards within and outside of Nigeria in recognition of his selfless contributions to the cause of alleviating the plights of the needy.