Anyone that is favoured by God is bound to stand out in the midst of multitude. Divine favour is a dominant factor that repletes the story of Barrister Benson Adegbenro Amuwa. The working hand of God in the life of the University of Calabar Law graduate shares some similarities with that of biblical David. The legal practitioner from Odun-Igo community had been remembered on several occasions for elevations just like David was remembered in the bush to be anointed a king by Samuel. Amuwa has practically been begged on several occasions to take up positions of responsibility.
Barrister Amuwa who spent a better part of his formative years in the Republic of Cameroon where he had his primary and post primary education. His first taste of western education was at the Government Primary School, Kange, Republic of Cameroon from 1969 to 1976. He proceeded to Cameroon College of Commerce, Kumba between 1976 and 1981 and later moved to Government High School, Limbe in Cameroon from 1981 to 1983. He later moved down to the University of Calabar where he studied and bagged LLB degree Hons in Law from 1986 to 1990.
Career developments of Benson Amuwa began as a Pupil Counsel at the Law firm of Kanmi Isole Osobu&Co in Lagos in 1991. His mandatory one year NYSC scheme was at the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services, a subsidiary of NNPC in 1992. Amuwa had an impressive stint as a Counsel in the Law firm of Femi Oshundahunsi&Co Legal Practitioner and Notary Public in 1994. The legal skills of Benson Amuwa were also fully utilized as a Counsel in the Law firm of Toyin Ogungbami&Co, a firm of legal practitioners, International arbitrators and Solicitors in 1996. The excellent legal artistry of Benson Amunwa were yet again displayed as an Associate in the legal firm of Yemi Somaye& Associate, Lagos until year 2001. The law firm of Benson Amuwa&Associate was set up in year 2004 at Igbokoda where the man so loved by his people practices till date.
Providence combined with love for the Ilajes on the part of Benson Amuwa to kick start his political career. He stood for his people in Lagos at a very critical period to challenge Mr Arobieke, the then Chairman of Bariga Local Government who unfairly changed the name of Ilaje Road to King Sunny Ade Road. Barrister Benson successfully challenged this name change in a court of law even as a young lawyer and eventually got the name reserved to Ilaje Road. This singular effort and the electoral malfeasance meted out to him in his quest for councillorship seat in Bariga got Amuwa endeared to his people back home in Ondo state. Emissaries were sent to him to come home and vie for House of Assembly slot of Ilaje 1 State Constituency. This was a man who never lived in the town prior to that time save for his stint as teacher and his yearly pilgrimage visits to the town. Efforts were made by his opponent to de-market and label him a visitor in Ilaje that would disappear once he secures victory. Amuwa remained undaunted despite the campaign of calumny and went ahead to contest the election against a so called son of the soil on the platform of Alliance for Democracy and recorded overwhelming victory in 2003. However, this was not without a promise to his community leaders he would not only continue to make himself accessible, but also live amongst his people. Amuwa has evidenced firm fidelity to this promise by building a house in Igbokoda and relocated his family to Igbokoda and followed it up with the enrollment of his children in local schools within the vicinity. He was inauguration as a member Ondo state House of Assembly appointed the House Committee Chairman on Petroleum and Environment in 2003. Benson also served as the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Public Account and House Committee on Appropriation during the period. He was once the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Okitipupa branch.
The political consciousness of the Ilaje people was made manifest by rewarding the faithfulness of Benson Amuwa to his promise with his appointment as a Senior Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to Senator Boluwaji Kunlere. This down to earth and very humble lawyer that is worth his onions did very well on the National Assembly responsibility for the period it lasted. What Amuwa least expected at the time he got appointed as the Ondo State Commissioner on the board of NDDC was a major political elevation. He confessed that he never lobbied anyone when Dr Olusegun Mimiko thought it wise in his wisdom to nominate him for the position. Benson Amuwa is full praises for Dr Mimiko whom he described as a General that knows the appropriate time to reward his foot soldiers wherever they are located. The one term legislator put in his best to attract developmental projects to his area in his capacity as a Board member of Niger Delta Development Commission. He however expressed regret that tenure of the Board tenure was short lived. Notwithstanding his short period time in office and refusal to hype his achievements, projects seen to completion by Barrister Amuwa will continue to speak in his stead.
A particular attribute of Benson Amuwa that daily endear him to his people is the silent manner with which he has made immense contributions to the advancement of his fellow Ilaje people. The belief that widows and less privileged are the very category of people after the heart of God; must have informed his floating of Wisdom Charity Foundation in June, 2015. This has been a veritable platform he has employed to reach out to those in need, not only in Ondo state but across the nation. This according to him is a way of showing gratitude to God in appreciation of his political elevations on a platter of God. Although, the popular yearly lovers day on February 14th is Benson’s special day of showing love to the orphans and the economically dislocated in Ondo state. This foundation has lavishly donated to 75 orphanage homes in the states of Ondo, Edo, Rivers, Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Jos, Kwara, Kano, Delta, Benue and the FCT, Abuja. Relief impacts of Wisdom Charity Foundation had likewise been felt in offshore locations of Accra in Ghana, Maryland in USA and very recently London in the United Kingdom.
The fact that Benson Amuwa is so passionate about his people and is always prepared to go the extra mile for them can never be controverted. He has been living in the midst of his people since year 2002 and quite understands their problems and needs. The man is particularly disturbed by the non expansion of his community. He sees no reason why people born and bred in the community would prefer to build houses elsewhere, if he that was born and raised outside Ondo state could chose to live in the community despite the obvious lack of basic infrastructural amenities.
Barrister Benson Amuwa is eminently qualified to contest the governorship of Ondo state and he has rightly declared his interest in the Alagbaka job. Amuwa as popularly called by his supporters is overly optimistic of his chances and that of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party in the November 26th, 2016, gubernatorial contest. He is of the opinion that there is no alternative to the PDP in the state for now in view of cluelessness of opposition All Progressive Congress. He advised the people of Ondo state to be wary of change for the mere sake of change. He said change was embraced in the country last year and people are already groaning in severe economic downturn. Benson Amuwa envision to build on the foundation and legacies already laid by Dr Olusegun Mimiko if given the opportunity to serve. He also plans to synergize with critical stakeholders to ensure that basic needs of life are made available to the people. Barrister Benson equally plans to put critical infrastructure in place in the state to entice investors and provide employment opportunities for the army of unemployed youth roaming streets in the state. However, Amuwa had posited that he is not cut out to get to power by all means and at all costs. He has vowed to do the needful to emerge the next governor of Ondo with the consciousness of another chance to vie if he fails to win this time.
This former member of Ondo State House of Assembly who was part of the team that visited some European countries and a participant in Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences in Melbourne Australia and Namibia will hope to leverage on his immense political goodwill to actualize his governorship ambition.