A former Chief of Staff and former Military administrator in Ogun state, General Donaldson Oladipupo Diya’s son, Dr. Babatunde Diya has expressed his delight and joy over the life of his father as he clocks 78.
Dr. Tunde Diya, the renowned doctor and partisan politician in an interview monitored by this platform ran through series of questions concerning his father as he marked his 78th birthday. He spoke about family and public life of the former Chief of General Staff.
Speaking with newsmen at his Odogbolu country home, Dr. Tunde Diya extols the virtues of his father as a public servant, military administrator of Ogun state and family man.
As General Oladipupo Diya clock 78years, can you remember any memories of your dad while in service?
I was quite young then. But I know my dad spend every available time he has with his family members either immediate or extended.
Even as Chief of General Staff, he will come to the children’s room in his uniform to wake us for morning prayers before he goes back to work. Some times, we’d eat together and I always admired him. He’s an astute in his uniform. He was my role model he has continued to be my role model.
I know him as a very detailed and uncompromising man. He is indeed a disciplinarian and caring. That is why you can see that most people around him today are members of his families. It was as if he was in the service to “emancipate” his family from poverty through education and training.
What do you think Gen Diya will be remembered for mostly as a public servant, Chief of Staff, and a Military Administrator?
Like I said, one of the things my dad will be remembered for is how he carried himself in the course of his duties both within and outside the country. He will be remembered for how many lives he was able to touch. He will be remembered for his efforts to build his community especially putting Ijebuland on the world map.
Some of the things he will be remembered for are the things you can see in us, his children (biological and adopted). That is why in my own little way, I have been trying to emulate him while alive to show the world what General Oladipupo Diya stood for and has continued to live for.
What was General Diya’s reaction when he gets to know about your decision to join partisan politics?
Before I started politics, I went to him for his blessings. He asked me why I was going into politics, if it was for going sake or if I had a passion for doing things differently in politics? He also asked that are you sure you are not going into politics to embezzle money? I wasn’t shocked as I had heard him on numerous occasions speak about the need for people to want to serve without ‘ojukokoro’ like they say. He is completely against corruption and laziness in public office holders. A lot of people who know him will tell you he has always been very blunt about this. To God be the glory, while he was the Military Administrator of Ogun State, or Vice President and after, there has not been any case or issue as to this regard. He was and is still a very contented man.
How have you been managing your profession as a medical doctor and Politics?
I came in with a passion to make a difference. My first decision was to set up the Doctor Tunde Diya Foundation (DTDF) with The Yellow initiative (TYI ). The Yellow Initiative was particularly set up to support His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR and the people of Ogun State which is a continuous process. It was and remains my opinion that if people collectively support their government, things will move forward for all of us at a more faster pace. So, for my people and I, the main focus of seeking public office is to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people which is engraved in my heart permanently with a mindset of the need to implement policies that will benefit people. I decided to focus on starting at the Local Government level. A leader in the APC once told me “Politics is from bottom to the top”.
As electioneering process begins, what are we to look forward to from you?
Apart from me being a medical doctor, I am also a politician. Every political season will definitely have to be studied keenly, consultations to be made, and a decision to be arrived. The experience we had recently had taught us that all stakeholders must be on the same page on whatever individual aspirations one must be having. Definitely, we will attempt something in 2023 but we are still doing our consultation within the party structures and other stakeholders.
What’s your prediction for 2023 Presidential race?
As a party man, one must work within the available structure especially the political party. I believe APC as a party has been able to surmount many challenges as a party and as government. 2023 as a defining moment in the history of our nation must be allowed to take it’s natural cause. Wherever my party goes I go. And I’m certain that APC has the capacity to retain the power at the centre and in Ogun state in particular.