JMK – Leading leader @ 80

The pedigree of a man is the foundation of his personality because you cannot build something on nothing. Unfortunately, a man does not have the opportunity to choose his parents. Our parent are usually the foundation upon which we derive and build our character traits.

JMK is lucky in this regard by being born into reputable families in Ago- Iwoye and Ijebu-Ode. I am aware his paternal grandfather was a jurist while his father was a prominent and successful business man in Ago- Iwoye, His maternal grandfather is a descendant of the Tunwase ruling house in Ijebu -Ode. Undoubtedly, he was born into nobility.

Well Educated Personality

His various education at Wesley School, Imososi, Ansar- ud-deen Teacher Training College and finally at the University of Ibadan where he read Politics and Economics really makes JMK a well-educated person among his contemporaries at the time. He graduated from University of Ibadan in 19…… where he became the Secretary General of the University of Ibadan Student Union Government.

A Godly Man

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. JMK is a devoted Muslim who is committed to the practice of the fundamentals of Islam -Khalima, Solat, Ramadan, Zakat and Hajj. A strong pillar of the United Muslim Council of Nigeria, indeed the Aare Musulumi of Ogun State. He also rose to become a member of National Executive of the Nigerian Supreme for Islamic Affair (NSCIA) along with Chief MKO Abiola.

I am also aware of his sponsorship of Quranic Competitions on Television and Radio Stations in Ogun state to promote the course of Islam and encourage the younger ones in the area of reading the Holy Quran. JMK remains a foremost leader of Muslims in Ago – Iwoye, Ijebu land, Ogun State and Nigeria.

He is not only religious, he is also a godly man, who fears God in his dealing with humanity.

A Family Man

JMK takes interest in the welfare and development of his entire family. His nuclear family consist of children who are all educated up to post-graduate level, Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer, Business Administrator etc are the various professions of his children both in Nigeria and abroad.

He also trained and sponsored the education of a lot of the members of his extended family in Ago-Iwoye and Ijebu Ode up to graduate and post-graduate levels.

His interest in the development and progress of his family members is unprecedented. In actual fact, the manpower development of Ago -Iwoye indigenes remains one of his remarkable achievements.

JMK engage in counselling and painstaking engagement of family members irrespective of their status. He engages them in dialectics and sharpen their focus to the path of success in their numerous endeavours.

A Communal Leader

The quantum of development strides contributed by JMK to the growth and development of Ago -Iwoye is immeasurable. Many developmental projects in Ago- Iwoye were carried out through his influence and sometimes directly by him. It is pertinent to mention a few of those projects:

Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye

• Structures at the temporary and the permanent site of the University bears testimony to the philanthropic gestures of JMK.

• Transportation of the students were provided on humanitarian grounds.

• Indigenes and Non-Indigenes were provided with accommodation whilst Scholarships were awarded to some needy students of the University

MV power Station, Ago -Iwoye

This transmission/distribution project was facilitated by JMK as Minister of State, Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Industrial Establishment

A lot of the indigenes of Ago Iwoye were employed and mentored in the establishment of JMK such as Pyramid Ventures Ltd. Many of them have ended up as successful entrepreneurs, successful business men and women in their various endeavours.

Ago -Iwoye to Isara Road

JMK is the chief facilitator and promoter in the Construction of this road, which has shortened the distance from Ago -Iwoye to Abeokuta and other important towns in Ogun State. He should be given credit for the conception and execution of this road development.

Otunba Fiwagboye of Ijebuland and Seriki Ago -Iwoye

Among many titles, the above titles are means of acknowledging the contribution of JMK to the development of Ago -Iwoye, Ijebuland, Ogun State and Nigeria in general.

Political Leadership

JMK is a born politician as his father was a prominent member of Action Group under Chief Obafemi Awolowo GCFR. His political tutelage started from the University of Ibadan where he served as the Secretary General of the Students Union Government. He later joined UPN- Unity Party of Nigeria under the leadership of Chief Bisi Onabanjo in 1978, when the ban was lifted on party politics.

In 1993, he was elected as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of Social Democratic Party- the grassroot based party. Along with other progressives, he joined in the movement for the election of Chief MKO in 1993, initially at the Jos Convention primaries and finally at the June 12, 1993 polls.

In 1997, he was the foremost leader of United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) in Ogun State before its proscription by the General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s Administration in 1998.

In 1998, he led the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State as a foundation member and was the Governorship Candidate of the party in the 1999 Governorship elections.

In 2003, he led the Campaign of PDP to victory in Ogun State as the leader of the party (PDP) from 1999-2003 in Ogun State. He has since remained a member of the party (PDP) to date. An uncommon feat in the political landscape of Nigeria.

National Service (NIGERIA)

(a) JMK was elected into the 3rd Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1992-1993). He was the chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence. He was also a Senate President (pro-tempore) during his tenure and a prominent leader in the SDP Senate Caucus.

(b) In 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR appointed JMK into the federal executive council as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was assigned to Ministry of Finance as the Minister of State. Providence bestowed the entire leadership of the ministry during the absence of Mallam Adamu Ciroma- the Minister of Finance. He held the position with impeccable track records within the period and throughout his tenure.

(c) In year 2010, JMK was again reappointed into the federal executive council as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was posted to the Minister of Commerce and Industry as a substantive Minister, a position he held till year 2011. He held the position with dignity. He remains the first and the only minister of Ogun State Origin appointed twice into Federal Executive Council.

The above positions were held without blemish.

(d) National Honours: as a reward for his immeasurable service to the nation and people of Nigeria, JMK was awarded a national honour of the (Order of the Federal Republic) of Nigeria OFR.


JMK is an enigma that is worthy of study in the contemporary politics and communal development in Nigeria.

A consensus builder in politics and community service, particularly in conflict areas. He promotes equity, justice and fairness in his dealings with followers and associates.

A true democrat and a promoter of internal democracy in the affairs of organization particularly in political parties. As far as JMK is concerned all politics is local, and power must reside with the people.

A consistent leader, who is steadfast in the course of action where he has conviction. He has never switched political parties in his entire political career.

A pragmatic leader that does not suffer fools gladly and always honest with his followers and associates. He protects both the rights of majority and minority in conflicts through a win-win situation at all times.

JMK is a leader of leaders hence the nickname- Leading Leader.

He has produced worthy successors in business, politics, community service and other endeavours of humanity. A God fearing, Amiable, Decisive, Just, Equitable and Quintessential leader.

Happy birthday to the leading leader@80.

May you spend more useful years on this planet(earth) in good health and more accomplishments.

This tribute on JMK @ 80 was written last year by

Chief Sarafa Tunji Isola

Former Minister for Mines & Steel Development & Ambassador-Designate

About Post Author