Senator Adegbenga Sefiu Kaka, who marked his 70th birthday anniversary on Saturday, May 14, 2022 is not only an Ogun State politician of note, but a silent philanthropist who takes delight in making people happy. He also helps individuals, particularly indigent students and organisations.

The former deputy governor, Ogun State, attributed his existence aside God to his parents, particularly his late mother, who after marriage, remained in purdah till death, struggling that young Sefiu and his siblings did not only have the best of education, but survive them in their old ages.

“Growing up was not an easy one for me as I was confronted with many ‘teething” and other challenges that did not only threaten my existence but have claimed the first three older children of my mother.

” For your information, my mother lost the first three of her children before me at toddler ages. So when I was born, they (my parents) were not sure whether I was going to survive or follow the way of her previous children, so they just managed not to name me “Ogbanje”, he confessed.

” I know that throughout my primary school education, I was not conscious of my environment as different ailments confronted me. However, it pleased God for me to surmount them and later became who I am. I can say without any contradiction that since my birth till now, the graph of my mental agility of my health has been on the upward trend except minor Malaria challenges.

“I have never fallen sick to the extent that I would be admitted into an hospital except an interjection of minor surgical operation. Beyond that I give glory to my creator Almighty God. At my age, I still read without glasses; an unusual trait of someone at my age.

However, in 1987, I have had a week of life-threatening challenges, but I thank God for being there for me to surmount them including armed robbery attack, accident and admission of my son and wife into the hospital at different intervals.

“For my wife, she was admitted for 3 days for life threatening abortion which led to her being wheeled into the theatre for operation. Regrettably on the fourth day, we lost the baby she was carrying and I also lost her (my wife) stone-dead but was revived after forty minutes in the threatre by doctors.

“That’s life for you, before the incidents, I had thought I was too close to God that I would not experience those terrible incidents, but who am I to query God for His promises of trials on mortals, including those who believe Him.

Aside that, I have gone through many political trials that I would not want to delve into for now. Perhaps, If God spares my life beyond, I may come up with a book on my political trials which I resisted the temptation of incorporating into my biography which is to be unveiled as part of my birthday celebration.

He speaks further:

Q. What’s running on your mind at 70?

What is running on my mind is to devote the rest of my life to God and humanity as well as to uphold the principles I am known for without comprising what ever I believe is the truth to the end of the rest of my life.

Q. What are those principles you think you are known for?

Without sounding immodest, at least people have been drumming into my ears, my honesty, consistency, humility, steadfastness and love of my fellow human beings including my perceived enemies even though I do not think I have real enemies. But as much as possible, I want God to give me the spirit of forgiveness without compromising on my principles of standing by whatever I believe is the truth.

After that, what is left for me is to prepare for the world hereafter, realizing that anytime from now I can answer the supreme call. As far as I am concern, I want to be living the rest of my life as if tomorrow does not exist.

Q. What has life taught you at 70?

It has taught me a lot. But first and foremost, I have reaslised what elders go through; the mandatory decline from the agile status to the gradual weaken of the bones and muscles and of course the vibrancy decline of the reasoning faculty. All this I have started seeing that they are inevitable.

Before now, I know it is inevitable, but the reality is now confronting me the more. I do not use to use jotter or diary and the memory as sharp as ever, but I have discovered that I have to be searching, forcing and waiting for sometimes to fully recollect things now. These are the mandatory aging traits and I will continue to live with them to the end.

Q. Who is your Nigerian political role model dead or alive?

My role model is no other person than the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who forever remain so for his worthy and emulative life impacting projects in many human endeavours while on this side of the world. As for the living, I have no complete Nigerian politician that fits into my role model because I believe I am better off than most of them in area of having the interest of the masses at heart and doing the right thing at the right time.

Q. How do you react to the calibre and number of presidential aspirants for the forthcoming 2023 election?

It was nothing, but madness and insanity in term of the cost of the nomination form an the calibre of people who aspired for the highest office in the country. To me, what is being practiced in this regard is not the real democracy, but “monetocracy” which should be discouraged and condemned by all. It is a sad development for the country and the entire citizenry and highly regrettable that we can descend so low to this level of decadence in our political evolution.

Q. What are the vicissitudes of life that you have undergone in the past 70 years?

I have experienced so many either directly or indirectly, but I thank God that I am alive today. They were trials that I have so far experienced which were preparatory for greater things to come for me later in life most of which I triumphed over.

Q. Why did you name an auditorium after your mother and not your father?

My father had insisted that I must learn and finish Quaranic Studies before I entered secondary school. Unfortunately, I was in the secondary school at the Muslims College, Ijebu Ode when my father died and the responsibilities of raising children fell on my mother, a devout Muslim who remained in purdah even after the death of my father and also refused to re-marry. I decided to name a hall after her for her untold hardship and suffering, doing a lot to bring her children, seven of us up. When my mother was struggling to bring us up, her detractors were mocking her.

We had to engage in menial jobs including hawking ‘’Ogiri’’ ‘’Ogi’’, Kerosene among others to make ends meet. Even though an illiterate, she was instrumental to the education of her maternal brother who later became a structural engineer and later saw to my educational needs too.

“So, for my mother’s passion for education and her self-education even though initially she could not read and write, I decided to name the 200-seater auditorium after her, as Alhja Idiat Adebisi Kaka Auditorium which was formally handed over to the Abraham Adesanya polytechnic, Ijebu Igbo as part of my birthday milestone.

Q. How would you like to be remembered after your passage?

When in years to come, I join my forebears and parents, I would like to be remembered as someone who totally submitted himself to Almighty God and I wait for whatever fate that comes my way expecting forgiveness for all sins I have committed and having the grace and mercy of God in judging me for any good and bad deeds which I know I have aplenty. I am only hoping that I will find myself in Paradise.

Q. What is your assessment of the administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun in Ogun State?.

Although I will say that people who are beneficiaries of his programmes are in a better position to judge him, however, I will also say that Governor Dapo Abiodun has delivered above average as he has done marvellously well amid the garmount of debts he inherited from the previous government. So I commend him for what he has been able to do so far.


N.B. This piece was first published in 2022 to celebrate the 70th birthday of Senator Sefiu 'Gbenga Kaka.